Pakistan 2012: Teams Gathering Across The Region

A few days back I mentioned that most of the action in the Himalaya this summer has taken place on Nanga Parbat thus far, but that there were a host of other teams en route to Pakistan and the various mountains there to begin their climbs. In addition to further progress on Nanga, climbers have now started their expeditions on Gasherbrum I and Broad Peak as well.

Al Hancock has begun posting dispatches from BP, which he hopes to use as a warm-up for an attempt on K2 later in the summer. After arriving in Skardu on the 15th, he and his team were off to Askole the same day, taking five hours to drive to that location. The following day they started their trek to Base Camp on Broad Peak and they should be settling in there today. Al reports that he has been feeling a bit under the weather, fighting off flu like symptoms. Hopefully he and the team will have a day or two of rest before the begin the first acclimatization rounds on the 8047 meter (26,414 ft) mountain.

Meanwhile, over on Gasherbrum I, Canadian Louis Rousseau has arrived in BC as well following a six day trek across the Baltoro Glacier. He and his team spent yesterday getting settled and expect to make their first foray up to Camp 1 today. It will be a bitter-sweet expedition for Rousseau, who came not just to take on the mountain, but to look for signs of his friend Gerfried Goschl who, along with two other climbers, perished on this mountain while trying to climb it this past winter.

ExWeb is reporting that the Rousseau expedition isn’t the only one in Gasherbrum Base Camp. Three other teams are already onsite as well including Polish, Korean and Swiss squads. Others are expected to join them in the next few days with some of the climbers looking to bag GI while others will attempt Gasherbrum II.

On Nanga Parbat the teams there continue to make solid progress on the mountain. After a rest day yesterday, two members of the Mazeno Ridge team hope to climb up to Camp 2, located at 6200 meters (20,341 ft), but then immediately descend back down to Camp 1 to spend the night. This is all part of their acclimatization plan of course as they wait for their Sherpa team to set up C2.

Romanian Torok Zsolt is also on NP and reached Camp 3 yesterday. He reports very deep snow high on the mountain, which could delay his summit bid. Having spent the night at C3 Torok is probably physically ready to go, but will likely descend to BC now and wait to see if the amount of snow on the peak is reduced in the days ahead.

The summer climbing season is just starting to ramp up. Look for plenty more updates in the weeks ahead. It should be an interesting summer in the Himalaya and Karakoram.