Pakistan 2012: Go Time On Gasherbrums, K2 Season Begins

800px K2 2006b

More news from the climbing scene in Pakistan today where some climbers are heading up, others are heading down and a new season begins on the world’s most challenging mountain.

First up, the Mazeno Ridge team has sent out an audio dispatch in which they talk about their difficult summit of Nanga Parbat in very windy conditions. It took them seven days to follow the ridge to the top of the mountain and one of their biggest issues at the end was the lack of food and gas for their stove. Going without food is one thing but the stove is usually necessary to melt snow for drinking water, so Sandy, Rick and Cathy are no doubt feeling the strain of their expedition at this point. A week is a long time to spend on a summit push and as you can imagine, but Rick and Sandy aren’t finished quite yet. They’ve joined another climber on an attempt to open a new route, while Cathy prepares to go down the mountain to BC and a much deserved rest.

Over on Gasherbrum I, the team that includes both Louis Rousseau and Annalisa Fioretti have now left BC on their summit push. Three members of the team went up to Camp 1 yesterday and the plan is to continue the ascent to C2 today. Their watching the weather at the moment and hoping for a predicated window to open on schedule this weekend. If all goes as planned, they should top out on Saturday or Sunday.

Finally, the K2 climbing season is officially underway as Tunc Findik and his Iranian partner Azim Gheychisaz have already arrived in BC and established Camp 1. They’re currently back in Base Camp after their acclimatization round and they’re getting settled in for the long, tough climb ahead.

Kraig Becker