Pakistan 2012: Moving On


Not a whole lot has changed since our last update from Pakistan a few days ago. The teams are mostly in a holding pattern at the moment as they wait to see what the weather will give them. Some have called it quits for the season and started the long journey home, while others are simply trading one Base Camp for another.

One of those climbers who is switching peaks is Al Hancock who left Broad Peak yesterday and is now en route to K2 where he’ll hope to have better luck. Al was climbing as part of the Field Touring Alpine team, who made a summit bid on BP last weekend but were turned back due to heavy snow and avalanche dangers above 7000 meters (22,965 ft). It’ll take a few days for him to reach BC on K2 where he’ll no doubt continue sharing his excellent dispatches once he’s had the opportunity to get settled.

Speaking of the FTA team, they posted an update on their status yesterday and their weather forecasts say that there will not be another window in the near future. With that in mind and as they recover from their previous efforts, the rest of the squad will now return to Skardu and start to head home. They gave the expedition all they could but Mother Nature simply had other plans for the mountain this year.

While one expedition comes to a close another is just getting under way. I mentioned the Trango Air Wall project awhile back and it seems the team is now in Pakistan and making its way from Islamabad to Skardu. For those who don’t remember, this is the group of four climbers who intend to scale Nameless Tower and BASE jump from the top. The Tower stands 6240 meters (20,472 ft) in height and features a massive 800 meter (2524 ft) wall that is amongst the most difficult high altitude climbs in the world. If successful in their bid, Liv Sansoz, Jérôme Blanc-Gras and Manu Guy, all of France, as well as Brit Tim Emmett, will be the first to BASE jump from the massive rock spire that is part of the Trango Towers.

Finally, there has been no news on K2 from either Peter Hamor or Tunc Findik. That can only lead us to believe that the weather remains bad and that the climbers are still biding their time in BC while they wait for an opportunity to shuttle more gear up the mountain. The next few weeks will be very telling on that mountain, the most difficult in the region if not the world.

Kraig Becker