ExWeb Posts Summer Expedition List for Karakoram

Batura valley Passu 1

The dust has barely settled on the spring climbing season in the Himalaya and it is already time to start looking ahead to summer in the Karakoram. Starting later this week, the first teams will begin arriving in Pakistan in anticipation of climbing in the big mountains there. This year, we’ll see a number of expeditions heading to the region with the intention of climbing peaks like Latok 1, the Ogre, Broad Peak, Nanga Parbat, and of course K2.

In anticipation of the start of the season, ExWeb has obtained a list of all of the teams that are expected in Pakistan in the days ahead. Of particular note is the continued commercialization of K2, which is expected to have more than 50 climbers this year. Amongst them will be a Himalayan Experience team led by Russel Brice, signaling that company’s first foray into guiding the mountain. They’ll be joined by teams from Furtenbach Adventures, as well as independent American and Polish climbers who will be looking to scale what many consider the most difficult and dangerous mountain in the world.

Elsewhere, Summit Climb is leading a major expedition to Broad Peak, which will also be the target of a team from Japan and will serve as the acclimatization climb for Furtenbach as well. Other squads are expected to visit Muchu Chhish, the highest unclimbed mountain in Pakistan at 7543 meters (24,747 ft) and Chogolia, a 7668 meter (25,157 ft) peak near the Baltoro Glacier.

The first of the teams are scheduled to begin arriving this weekend, with permits that are good for approximately two months. Much like climbing in Nepal and Tibet, most of the alpinists will acclimatize over the course of several weeks, while watching the weather for a good window to launch a summit push. Traditionally, summits in the Karakoram come in late July and early August. But sometimes, on K2, the opportunities to summit don’t come at all, as it is not unusual for that mountain to remain unclimbed for several seasons in a row.

As usual, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the season as it unfolds. For now, the teams will just be making their way into the country and will spend some time sorting gear and getting organized before starting the long journey to Base Camp. Things should start to get very interesting soon however.

Kraig Becker