Karakorum 2010: Kazakhs Making Summit Bid on K2

404px K2 East Face 1909

While most of the climbers have now abandoned their efforts to summit K2 this season, two very talented Kazakh climbers are giving it another go in hopes of finishing their final 8000 meter peak.

According to ExWeb, Maxut Zhumayev and Vassiliy Pivtsov, two well known names in the climbing community, have launched their summit bid and are hoping to reach the top on Saturday. It hasn’t been an easy climb so far however, as it reportedly took them 3 hours longer than normal just to reach Camp 2, and the fixed ropes are said to be in tatters from all the rock falls. They are currently in Camp 3 with plans to go up to C4 tomorrow, and then make the final push, weather and other conditions permitting on the 14th. Those conditions may not be the best however, as climbers report that the weather is simply “acceptable” at the moment, but of bigger concern is the continued rock falls, which are quite dangerous as the day goes on and the mountain warms up. Hopefully Max and Vassiliy will reach the top, otherwise, K2 will have pitched a shut-out for another year.

Meanwhile, Fredrik Ericsson’s website has been updated with a bit more info. David Schipper of OutdoorLabs.com posted a quick note to let us all know that Fredrik’s climbing partner made a harrowing descent of the mountain, but returned to BC safe and sound. That occurred a few days back, when a memorial service was held for Fredrik as well. David also indicated that weather in BC has taken a turn for the worse, with more raining hitting the area. With Pakistan already being hit with biblical level floods, this doesn’t speak well for the climbers’ ability to get home in a timely fashion. Travel delays have been very common due to the numerous washouts of the road.

The Field Touring Alpine Blog offered more insights as to what is happening on K2 today as well. They indicated that the climbers are physically still willing, and able, to go up the mountain, but the conditions are just to unsafe, so most are packing and heading for home. FTA will close up shop tomorrow, and begin the trek back to civilization, with their operations in the Karakorum done for another year. In fact, a number of the climbers have already departed for Islamabad, and it’s just house keeping in BC that still needs to be done. The FTA crew will now turn their attention to efforts in the Himalaya, and elsewhere, this fall, with expeditions scheduled for Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Everest BC, Island Peak, Aconcagua and Ecuador Volcanes.

Kraig Becker

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