It has been a few days since I posted an update from Pakistan, where the teams are trying being patient and waiting for an opportunity to resume their acclimatization rounds. The weather hasn’t been all that cooperative this week however and so many climbers are in a holding patter at the moment.
On Broad Peak, Al Hancock says that his squad scrubbed its plans to climb up to Camp 1 yesterday due to the fresh snow that has fallen since the beginning of the week. He and a few other members of the team did move up today however and they intend to spend the night there before proceeding up to Camp 2 tomorrow. They’re making a gear haul on this rotation and fixing the lines. The remainder of the team will follow along to C1 tomorrow with gear to help establish Camp 2. Weather permitting of course.
Also on BP is the Field Touring Alpine team who are reporting much improved weather today. They’re starting their second rotation out of Base Camp as well with some of the squad climbing up to Camp 1 today and others following along tomorrow. Their goal is to spend the evening at C2 over the weekend in an effort to let their bodies get use to the altitude, as well as carrying gear for the climb ahead.
The team of Sandy Allan, Rick Allen and Cathy O’Dowd are on the Mazeno Ridge of Nanga Parbat where they saw their efforts to climb higher earlier in the week thwarted by heavy snow. They’ve since made up for lost time however, going all the way up to Camp 3 yesterday. C3 on the Ridge is located at 6450 meters (21,161 ft) and after spending the night there, they are now back in BC resting. They’ll now watch the weather very closely and when a window opens they’ll know attempt the summit along the very long and difficult route up the Mazeno. Stay tuned for updates on this one.
Over on Gasherbrum I, Louis Rousseau and members of his team have just returned to BC after spending the night in Camp 1. They report unusually warm conditions while crossing through the already dangerous icefall and as a result it was much slower going than they had anticipated. Louis has already expressed concerns about conditions in the icefall this season and it seems that it may be even more precarious than usual. They’re expecting to climb to C2 sometime early next week, and from there the climb gets really challenging as the upper slopes of GI start to get much steeper.
It looks like the season is in full swing right now and should continue to be interesting over the next few weeks. I’m not sure how many squads are confirmed for K2 yet, but that mountain always puts an exclamation point on the end of the season. Can’t wait to see if anyone can tame the Savage Mountain this year.
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