We’ll start on K2, where Kazakhs Maxut Zhumayev and Vassiliy Pivtsov were hoping to make another summit bid today, but high winds near the top have forced them down, along with a Japanese team they were hoping to work with. The weather forecast calls for “hurricane force” winds on the summit over the next few days, which prompted the hasty retreat back to Base Camp. The question now is, will they hang around for another go?
It seems that most of the teams are preparing to give up on K2 this seaons, and Everest News has already declared “No Summits this Year”. The latest update from the Field Touring Alpine Team says that they’ve elected to go home. Their porters have arrived in BC and packing has already begun. They hope to exit Base Camp on Friday to begin the trek back to civilization. The team is healthy but tired, and although there were no summits from FTA this year, they still consider it a successful outing.
We’ll probably have to wait a few days to find out if any teams plan to stay behind and make one final attempt on the summit, but it seems that BC is going to be very empty by the weekend. If I were to venture a guess, I’d say Max and Vasso are the most likely pair to try again, but with high winds and very deep snow up near the summit, it seems that the chances of topping out are very slim. If the Karakorum season does end with no summits on K2, it just underscores how difficult it truly is to climb this mountain.
Meanwhile, the Altitude Junkies have updated their blog with the confirmation that Spanish and Korean climbers made successful summits on the 3rd. This includes Oh Eun-sun, the Korean woman who now has 13 8000m peaks to her name. The AJ team is completely off the mountain now, and their porters have also arrived on the scene, so they are packing up and preparing to head back to Skardu as well. It seems that the season is over on the Gasherbrums as well.
Finally, ExWeb is reporting that a team still remains on Broad Peak, and they are attempting a new route on that mountain. They’re into C1 right now and will be proceeding upwards to C2 and 3 tomorrow. By the end of the weekend, they may be the final team in the Karakorum.
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