The spring climbing season in the Himalaya has barely finished and already teams are turning their attention to the next big climbing season, this time in the Karakoram of Pakistan. The climbing season on K2 is set to begin there soon and according to ExWeb the first team of the year has already arrived in country.
Japanese climber Akira Oyabe and his squad arrived in Pakistan a few days back, getting an early start to their expedition. This is Oyabe’s third attempt on the mountain, with previous bids taking place back in 2009 and 2013. He hopes to finally summit the 8611 meter (28,251-ft.) peak this summer.
ExWeb reports that other than Oyabe, only one other member of the team has summited an 8000-meter peak, which makes this one of the least experienced teams on K2 this season. That is somewhat surprising considering the reputation and challenges that the mountain presents, making it one that is not especially friendly to those who aren’t properly prepared. Oyabe says he isn’t concerned about this however and is proceeding ahead with plans to climb the second highest peak in the world over the course of the next couple of months.
The team will now spend a few days in Islamabad collecting and sorting their gear before heading out to Skardu where they’ll begin the long journey to K2 Base Camp. That alone can take more than a week. If they stay on this pace, the Japanese team will be the first to arrive in BC this year, giving them a bit of a head start over the commercial teams that will begin arriving in June. Of course, we’ll be keeping a close eye on their progress throughout the Karakoram climbing season with regular updates to come down the line.