Winter Climbs 2013: Summit Push Underway On Broad Peak

It was a very busy and active weekend on Broad Peak where the Polish team has launched their summit bids amidst forecasts of better weather ahead. As is typical with this squad, they have been taking a methodical and focused approach with two-man teams alternating going up higher as they fix ropes and build camps. One of those teams is hoping for a successful summit push today. If that happens, it’ll be the first winter ascent of the 8051 meter (26,414 ft) peak.

Over the weekend, two members of the team, Adam Bielecki and Artur Małek, were able to push as high as 7820 meters (25,656 ft) in their push but returned to Camp 3 after completing their work. Another temporary camp is now in place at 7400 meters (24,278 ft) which is where summit bids are being launched today. The hope is that with three or four rotating squads, they’ll continue to assault the summit while the weather window remains open.

Keep your fingers crossed for the team. They’ve been working very hard this season and their goal is now in sight. Lets hope they get up and down the mountain safely.

Over on Nanga Parbat, the whereabouts of Joel Wischnewski remains a mystery. Last week I reported that he had been in contact with his support team and that everything was fine, but if you missed the update to that story, it turns out that report was in error. There still has been no word from Joel, who was incredibly sick the last time we heard from him. That was nearly two weeks ago, which doesn’t bode well for the French snowboarder, who claimed that his summit push would be three days in length. Now ExWeb is reporting that a search and rescue operation is underway with a team of local climbers now on the Rupal Face searching for the missing climber. Lets try to hope stay positive and hope for the best.