Pakistan 2013: Summit Bids Begin On Broad Peak

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A week removed from the heinous crimes that took place in Base Camp on Nanga Parbat and there is a sense of normalcy starting to return to the mountains in Pakistan. That awful scene isn’t forgotten, but the teams have certainly gotten back to work and are now planning the phases of their expeditions.

No where is that more evident than on Broad Peak where the German team is now preparing for a summit bid. The weather hasn’t been all that cooperative the past few days and there has been plenty of snow falling in BC, but conditions are expected to slowly improve over the next few days, so the team expects to move up to Camp 2 tomorrow, followed by Camp 3 on Wednesday. That would put them in position to make a summit bid on Thursday provided everything goes as planned. The Germans are joining forces with an Austrian team for the final push, which will see 22 climbers from the combiend squads as well as seven climbers from Pakistan. It’ll be a big push getting underway in just a few days and hopefully everyone gets up and down safely.

Things are progressing on Gasherbrum I and II where there are only a couple of small teams who are enjoying relative solitude this summer. More teams are on the way however, so Base Camp is likely to get a bit more crowded in the days ahead. The Polish team that includes Artur Hajzer reports that they have now climbed as high as 7000 meters (22,965 ft), fixing new ropes as they go. Weather has been challenging and at the moment they’re back in BC waiting for an opportunity to go back up, but so far they’re happy with their steady progress. The plan is to climb both GI and GII in the weeks ahead, while also scouting for a possible return for winter ascents on those peaks.

Over on K2 there is a sense of expectation as things haven’t really started to ramp up too much there just yet. There are a number of teams heading to that mountain this summer, but several of them were delayed getting out of Islamabad last week due to the travel restrictions imposed in the aftermath of the Nanga Parbat massacre. They are mostly all on the trail to BC now after flying to Skardu and driving to Askole at the end of last week. Now they’ll be trekking in to Base Camp which will take the better part of a week to complete. I would expect to see some of those teams arriving on K2 by next weekend.

Finally, the Romanian team that is the only group still on Nanga Parbat are continuing their expedition despite the fact that everyone else has gone home. This squad is climbing on the Rupal Face of course and not the Diamir route, which is where the attacks occurred. The team was in BC at the end of last week but as the weather improves they will be heading back up in the next day or two as well.

Good luck to everyone as they all prepare for the next phase of their climbs. Stay safe!

Kraig Becker