Karakoram 2011: All K2 Teams Back In BC

450px K2 from air

K2 continues to be an elusive summit for climbers once again this year, turning back the first wave of mountaineers over the weekend, while others prepared for their own assaults. Yesterday we had word that two Kazakh climbers had reached Camp 4 on the mountain, and indications were that they were hoping to go to the summit, but high winds and heavy snow have forced them back down the mountain, where they hope to get another chance to complete their climb.

Maxut Zhumayev  checked in today from Base Camp, where he says that their trek up the mountain was successful in that they not only reached Camp 4, but were able to construct two tents and establish a gear cache at that location. After that, the weather turned for the worse, and Max and his companion were forced back down the mountain.

They report that a lot of snow has fallen above their high camp and that there is a risk of avalanches that will make any attempt at the summit a treacherous affair. They’ve now joined a host of International climbers that include Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Ralf Dujmovits in watching the weather and hoping for a window that they can take advantage of.

Max’s report also says that they’ll stay in BC for at least three days while they rest up from their climb up to Camp 4, which sits at about 8000 meters (26,246 ft). That would put the start of the next summit bid at Friday at the earliest. As always, Mother Nature and the mountain itself, will determine if a climb is even possible.

Kraig Becker