Summer Climbs 2017: Summits on Broad Peak


Patience and persistence has won out on Broad Peak, where teams have now nabbed the first summits of the season, while on K2 work continues as squads begin eyeing their first potential summit bids of the year too.

After a long weekend of bad weather on Broad Peak it looked like there might not be any successful summits on the 8051 meter (26,414 ft) mountain. Deep snow and high winds prevented anyone from going above C3, with most dropping all the way back to Base Camp, and some even deciding to pack their bags and head for home. But, what a difference a few days can make. Bolstered by a forecast that predicted calm conditions, a few teams – led by Furtenbach Adventures – headed back up the mountain and were able to top out at long last.

Furtenbach posted the news to its Facebook page earlier today, indicating that the team did most of the trail breaking and rope installation on the way to the summit. This resulted in seven members of the team reaching the summit, including the head guide, three Sherpas, and three clients. The note also indicated that three more teams followed close behind, although it is unclear exactly which other squads were able to complete their climbs as well. The report indicated that although meteorologists predicted windy conditions, it was a calm, beautiful day on top.

Meanwhile, over on K2 things continue to progress nicely. Fredrik Sträng reports that he is back in Base Camp after depositing gear at Camp 3 yesterday, and is now preparing for a weather window that will allow his team to launch its summit bid. It may take some time for that to happen however, as he also indicates that conditions above C3 are treacherous at the moment, with unstable snow potentially leading to a high level of avalanche activity.

Other teams on K2 are currently moving up and down the mountain as they take advantage of good weather to acclimatize further. Most have been spending some time in C2 as they allow their bodies to get accustomed to the thin air, but as of now, no one has gone higher than Camp 3 due to the danger. Traditionally, summit bids on K2 come late in the month of July and the first week of August, so there is still plenty of time for things to stabilize.

Yesterday we reported that summit bids had begun on Gasherbrum I and II as well, but today we learn via Alan Arnette that those climbers have abandoned that bid. Alan reports that Juan Vallejo, Mikel Zabalza and Alberto Inurrategi have returned to BC after finding too much snow above Camp 2 on GI. They will rest, recovery, and reassess the mountain before giving it another go. The plan is to summit GI first than traverse to the top of GII afterwards.

That’s all for now. More as things develop.

Kraig Becker