Today is the day that the climbers on Gasherbrum I have been waiting for. For the past few months, the teams on that mountain have struggled o fix ropes, build camps and acclimatize. They’ve also had to be very patient while they waited for the weather to cooperate. That may have finally happened, as a projected weather window has opened and teams are now moving towards the summit. In fact, as I write this, one group of climbers may have already stood on top and are already making their way back down.
According to ExWeb, and his own expedition site, Gerfried Goschl, who is leading a group of international climbers, which includes Alex Txikon, may have already topped out on GI. We’re still waiting for confirmation, but the team’s last dispatch indicated that they were just 450 meters (1476 ft) below the summit and that dispatch was sent hours ago. The group intends to descend on the opposite side from which they climbed, completing a traverse of the mountain, but that descent is expected to be a challenging one so we all wait with bated breath for news on their safe return.
Meanwhile, Alex isn’t a part of this first summit team but according to his website he should have been in Camp 2 yesterday and move up to C3 today. That would put him in position to go for the summit tomorrow as well and since the forecast indicates lessening winds and clearing skies, as long as he’s physically feeling up to the task, there is a good chance he’ll stand on top tomorrow.
Finally, the Polish team on the mountain have reportedly moved to Camp 3 yesterday and should soon be on their way to towards the summit as well. Their plan is to leave late this evening and reach the summit in plenty of time tomorrow as well.
Stay tuned for news on each of these expeditions. We could be watching history unfold as the first winter climb of Gasherbrum I is successfully completed.
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