As I mentioned yesterday, the climbers on K2 are in the midst of a big summit push and according to various reports, they are now into Camp 4, at the Shoulder, high on the mountain. If everything stays according to plan, they’ll make their final climb to the top beginning early Friday morning, starting at around 1 AM local time.
The Field Touring Alpine Blog has been updated with more news today, and they are reporting that their leader, Fabrizio Zangrilli, has called in from 8000 meters with an update on the days events. Fabrizio says that it was a very difficult climb today, with high winds and snows in the early morning and plenty of rock fall as the day went on. Because of the warm temperatures, the snow has melted away, which is causing the rocks to come loose, and as they move up, they are dislodging the rocks and showering the climbers below them. Because of this, they moved very slowly on the steep sections today. As of now though, all of the summit hopefuls are in C4 and preparing for the final push.
Two notable climbers have elected to come down the mountain and return to Base Camp. Ralf Dujmovits, the husband and climbing partner of Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, and Meagan McGrath, who was climbing with FTA, both decided to come down the mountain because they weren’t feeling well. They are back in BC now and are said to be doing just fine, and their illness was likely just the result of the altitude.
So, now the stage is truly set for tomorrow to be a big day on K2. The climbers will catch a very brief nap today before they begin the summit bids in the early hours of Friday. Lets keep our fingers crossed that they all get up, and back down, in one piece.
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