Summer Climbs 2015: Summit Bids Begin in Pakistan

AB8 1075

It has been a busy week in the Himalaya and Karakoram of Pakistan, where a number of teams are now wrapping up their acclimatization rotations on Broad Peak, which will allow them to launch summit bids in the very near future. But while those climbers wait for a proper weather window to open, other are already starting for their own summits on K2 and the Gasherbrums. 

The Swiss team of Mike Horn, Fred Roux, and Köbi Reichen have been on K2 longer than anyone else, and they wrapped up their final acclimatization round last week. After returning to Base Camp, the trio had to wait for poor weather to pass before launching their summit bid, which began two days ago. The plan is to reach 7500 meters (24,606 ft) today with the hopes of pressing on to the top in another day or two, provided the weather remains good.
Meanwhile, ExWeb is reporting that summit bids are also underway on Gasherbrum I and II, where a weather window opened yesterday and teams have begun moving up to take advantage of it. On GI, independent climbing teams have joined forces to work together on their push to the top, while the commercial squad of Kobler & Partner is organizing the summit push on GII. Ropes have been fixed on both peaks to Camp 3, which is where the climbers are headed today. Once there, they’ll evaluate the situation, check the weather forecasts, and decide whether or not they should proceed up to the summit. 
The Madison Mountaineering team climbed up to Camp 2 on K2 today as they continued to acclimatize on that mountain. The squad’s latest dispatch indicates that everyone is doing well and progressing according to plan. 
Australian climber Chris Jensen Burke is back on Broad Peak this year, where she missed out on the summit last summer but still managed to nab K2. She indicates that her team has completed its first acclimatization rotation, spending the night in Camp 1. Chris is back in BC now however, but will soon go back up once again, this time touching C2 as she prepares for an eventual summit bid. She reports very good weather on the mountain at the moment, which bodes well for the climbers. 
Also on BP is Billi Bierling, who will be going for the double header of Broad Peak and K2 this year. She’s back in K2 Base Camp at the moment, where she is resting up before heading up the slopes to Camp 3. She says that things are also going well, and that she hopes to top out sometime near the end of the month. 
That’s it for today. I’ll be keeping an eye on the current summit bids to see how everyone fares. If the weather holds, than we could see the first summits of the season in the next few days. 
Kraig Becker