Winter Climbs 2013: What A Difference A Day Makes On Broad Peak!


Yesterday I posted an update from Broad Peak that was mostly doom and gloom for the Polish team waiting to make their summit attempt there. At that time the weather forecasts indicated a prolonged period of high winds and snow on the  mountain, keeping the team in Base Camp until March 11 or so. But today there has been a major shift in that forecast and it now looks like a weather window could open next week.

According to reports, this new opportunity will present itself on March 4 or 5, which means the team is already preparing themselves to move up. In order to be in position on those dates, the climbers will need to set off on the 1st or 2nd of the month. That means on Friday or Saturday of this week they’ll pick up their gear and begin heading back up the mountain for the first time in nearly two weeks.

News of this weather window came as a very pleasant surprise for the team who have been sitting in BC for nine days now. The men were beginning to worry that they would never get a chance to make the first winter ascent and this shift in the weather patterns has given them a much needed ray of hope. When word hit that they would be on the move again in just a few days, the mood in the camp lightened dramatically. As Tmasz Kowalski says in the latest report from Base Camp:

Yesterday, to our great surprise, we were informed that clouds open up and the wind speed decreases dramatically. A light appeared at the end of the tunnel: there is hope for the summit attempt on 4th-5th March! Suddenly, all of us are in good mood and we have forgotten about the stagnation in the base camp. We started to talk about ways to warm up feet, someone began to sharpen crampons and all of us felt motivated to wash our socks. We came back to life. It is not a secret that we have started to lose hope and the leader has not intended to wait till spring to attempt the summit. He said that “ice warriors have to be prepared for cold and wind”. And we are prepared for it! More than ever. We are just waiting for the command “Attack!”. All the best to all people that support us and to the ones that only sometimes read about our progress.

So there you go!  Finally some good news out of the Karakoram. Stay tuned for more updates in the next few days and keep your fingers crossed for a safe climb for these tough and dedicated mountaineers.

Kraig Becker