Karakorum 2009: K2 and GI Updates – Going Up and Going Down!

Summit bids continue in the Karakorum as the new week begins, and another strong Korean climber emerges as a threat to be the first woman to nab all 14 8000 meter peaks.

Over the weekend, Korean climber Oh Eun-sun reached the summit on Gasherbrum I, claiming her 4th 8-thousander of the year, and 13th overall, as she moves into a position to become the first woman to summit all of the big peaks. She now has just Annapurna left to conquer. Gerlinde Kaletenbrunner may join her soon however, as she is in the middle of her summit bid on K2, which would put her at 13 as well. Miss Oh has also successfully topped out on Kangchenjunga, Dhaulagiri and Nanga Parbat this year.

Things weren’t completely rosy on GI this weekend however, as the Altitude Junkies are reporting that their team went as high as 7300 meters before turning back due to high winds. The entire team is safe and healthy and expected back in BC tomorrow, where they’ll regroup and consider another go at the summit.

On K2, the outlook is a bit better, with teams continuing to make their push today, and the Field Touring Alpine Team is checking in from Camp 4, which puts them on schedule for this attempt. The FTA climbers are planning on going to the top this evening (local time) and are probably already moving up as I write this. According to the update, there are a number of teams in C3 as well, and it appears they’ll move up tomorrow and be in place to make their summit bid tomorrow night.

Expect good news from K2 soon, and keep your fingers crossed that everyone gets up and down in one piece!

Kraig Becker

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