Winter Climb Update: Gasherbrum Summit Bids Have Begun!

alex devuelta c1 6200mt1

After weeks of preparation and hard work in the Himalaya, the teams on Gasherbrum I may finally be ready for the big payoff. The weather remains a bit difficult, and high winds are currently buffeting the higher camps on the mountain, but a window to the summit is expected to open starting tomorrow, and the climbers have now moved into position to take advantage of it.

The Polish squad started their ascent on Saturday and made it to Camp 1 by early afternoon. Presumably they climbed higher yesterday and today, and although there are no updated since they set out, we have to assume that they are positioned in Camp 3, where they are hoping for the winds to die down long enough to make their summit bid tomorrow. If all goes as planned, we could see history made with the first winter ascent of Gasherbrum I.

Meanwhile, Alex Txikon and Carlos Suarez also moved up to Camp 1 yesterday and have plans to climb to C2 today. They are also getting themselves into position to make a summit bid, although it does seem like they are a bit behind the Poles on the ascent. Depending on how the weather patterns play out, they could be making their ascent at the same time however.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the proceeds over the next 24 hours and looking for updates. It seems that it is now or never on GI, as the winter season has been a long one and the days starting to run short. The climbers still have a few weeks until the official end of winter, but they may not have the strength to continue battling the elements at altitude. For now, we’ll just have to sit, wait, and watch how it all plays out.

If you’ve ever wondered what it is like during these high winds and winter storms, check out the video below. It was shot by the Polish team and gives you a good sense of what they’ve been dealing with. Yikes!

Kraig Becker