Karakorum Update: Summits On Nanga Parbet, K2 Climbers Push Higher

280px Nanga Parbat 029

Even though this is the quietest season in the Karakorum for some time, the teams that are there continue to make progress and push towards their summits. Such was the case this weekend, when teams tried to take advantage of improved weather, some with more success than others.

On Nanga Parbet, the ninth highest mountain on the planet at 26,660 feet, there were summits by the Iranian, Nepali, and Korean teams, who, according to ExWeb, reached the top on Saturday. The Korean team reported back that the weather was bitter cold with high winds, but they still managed to put three of their climbers on top of the mountain.

The Basque BAT Team making an alpine style attempt on Broad Peak weren’t so lucky however, as poor weather did prevent them from completing their expedition. While the team did reach the summit of BP’s north peak on Friday, they were unable to continue on with their planned traverse that would have seen them crossing all three of Broad Peak’s summits. Undaunted however, the boys have returned to Base Camp where they are waiting for the weather to improve once again, before making another attempt at the traverse.

Similarly, Mike Horn and Kobi Reichen abandoned their attempt on Broad Peak at 7900 meters (25,918 feet) on Friday due to heavy snow and high winds as well. No word on what Mike and Kobi’s plans are for another attempt just yet.

On K2, the world’s second tallest mountain, the teams have now established Camp 3, and ExWeb is reporting that Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner  has spent the night at 7000 meters as she continues to acclimatize. She and other members of her team, most notably husband Ralf Dujmovits, hope to climb as high as Camp 3 today, where they’ll spend the night, then head back to BC before a round of bad weather is forecasted to hit tomorrow.

Finally, over on the Gasherbrums, a number of teams are focused on making progress as well. For instance, the Altitude Junkies established Camp 1 over the weekend, and even had the odd experience of seeing a glowing glacier while making the trek up from BC in the evening. High winds at the summit were preventing other teams from making their bids over the weekend however, so much like the rest of the region, they’re all holding their breath and crossing their fingers for good weather. This includes Don Bowie and climbing partner Alexey Bolotov, who aborted an attempt on the summit of G1 at 7500 meters when conditions worsened as the winds picked up.

Lets hope weather across the Karakorum improves this week so the teams working hard on the mountains can finally get a crack at the summits.

Kraig Becker

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