Karakorum 2010: Summit Push Canceled On K2

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Yesterday the news from K2 was that a weather window was opening, and a number of teams were in place and preparing to make their summit bids today. But what a difference a day can make, as ExWeb is now reporting that all summit attempts have been canceled, and all of the teams are now retreating from Camp 4.

Apparently the climbers encountered high winds and incredibly unstable snow as they went higher on the mountain yesterday, and considering the difficulty of climbing K2, discretion was certainly the better part of valor. With time running out, the mountaineers, who were mostly working together, elected to head down and wait for a better opportunity to summit. When that opportunity will come is still up in the air, as winds have reportedly continued to increase, and the dangers of avalanches remain high.

Multiple teams, including Fredrik Ericsson, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, and the Field Touring Alpine squad, have all posted updates that give insights into what the conditions were like, and needless to say, with these strong climbers leading the way, they must have been very challenging indeed. The climbers have now returned to Base Camp, where they will rest, regain their strength, and look for the next weather window. Patience is the key on K2, and they’ll need plenty of it if they intend to stand on top.

Kraig Becker