Summer 2013 | K2 Teams Progress, Avalanches on Nanga Parbat

Teams climbing K2 have diverse schedules, this summer. While some arrived as early as start of June, other will not be in Pakistan till end of the month. Currently Japanese team is approaching BC and Swiss climbers are on the way to Karakoram. On the other hand, Nanga Parbat teams are already in the Base Camp, fighting against deep snow, avalanches and bad weather. Until now, no one could reach C2 on Kinshofer route, but after weather improvement teams are on the up again. Rupal face team is also making steady progress.

Japanese Tochigi Expedition was the first K2 team to arrive in Pakistan. If everything went as per plan, they would have left Skardu a week ago and must be approaching the Base Camp, now.

Instead of setting K2 as major goal, Spaniard Ferran Latorre will be focusing on Gasherbrum-I climb this season. He will be traveling to Karakoram with fellow K2 climbers Alex Txikon and Felix. Ferran Lattore hasn’t simply ruled out chances of K2, but said, “We will see if everything goes incredibly well.”

Mexican climber Benjamin Salazar reached Pakistan on June 17th and is still in Islamabad. Along with exploring the city and its suburbs, he enjoyed some unanticipated encounters with old climbing friends. One of such friends is Al Hancock who will also be on K2 this year. Al and Benjamin met on Everest five years ago.
Benjamin Salazar and Al Hancock in Islamabad; Source

Al Hancock will be climbing with Adrian Hayes and four Nepalese. His plan was to leave Nepal for Pakistan on June 19th. To prepare himself for K2, Adrian Hayes has been running up and down on Dubai’s skyscrapers stairs with ankle weights. He was also set to fly to Pakistan, tonight (June 21st).

Swiss team of Mike Horn, Fred Roux and Kobi Reichen is also on the way to K2.

A Mongolian contributor, Bayar Dashdeleg, shared news about first Mongolian lady to climb Everest (2011), Badamgarav Gangaamaa, who is currently in Pakistan to climb K2. Having left Mongolia on June 10th, she was in Skardu a couple of days ago. Ganga will be joining one of the international teams to world’s second highest peak.

Badamgarav Gungaamaa in Skardu; Source

Nanga Parbat

It has been a dramatic week on the western-most Himalayan eight-thousander. An avalanche struck Diamir side BC on June 19th, destroying half a dozen tents but fortunately everyone remained safe. Nanga Parbat slopes on both Diamir and Rupal face has been shaking off the snow accumulated during bad weather days. Climbers going above BC narrowly escaped such avalanches at several occasions. Higher camps have also been affected by snow and avalanches.

Diamir Side
Ukrainian team led by Igor Svergun established C1 at 4800m, on June 16th and sat up an intermediate camp at around 5300m before the deterioration of weather. After heavy snow on 17th and 18th, they had to spend the whole day securing C1 from avalanches on June 19th.

International Expedition’s tents have been damaged by snow and avalanches. But as the weather has improved, the team will try to conquer Kinshofer wall and reach C2, over the weekend.

Pakistani Expedition leader Karim Hayyat returned BC yesterday, after spending two nights in C1, whereas Naseer and Sher have just gone up. The team’s report about mountains conditions is not very encouraging, “The snow conditions are bad on the mountain. Yesterday Karim was almost hit by the avalanche but he saw it in time and could protect himself by the rocks. The weather is fine but the temperature is quite high and there is still serious avalanche risk.”

Snow covering tents on Nanga Parbat; Source

Polish Nanga Experience team reached 5800m and deposited some equipment there before turning back to BC during bad weather. They have been waiting for better to go further.

Iranian climber Mehdi Gholipour is also attempting Nanga Parbat from Diamir side, this year. As per recent report, he is trying to reach higher camps as part of acclimatization.

Turkish climber Tunc Findik, who is climbing with Chinese team, reported on June 19th that the group has reached the Base Camp. Diamir side BC is buzzing with more than 50 climbers amongst whom 9 are sherpas. The Sherpas brought with them the Buddhist ritual of 'Puja'. Lithuanian Saulius Damulevicius reports that the commercial expedition held the Puja at BC few days back. Usually no such ceremony is held before climbing, in Pakistan.

Ekspedicijos į Nanga Parbat dalyviai. Iš kairės: Ivan, Ihor, Nina, Saulius ir Oleg
Ivan, Ihor, Nina, Saulius and Oleg during puja ceremony; Source

Rupal Face
The Romanian team reached C1 on 19th, after 'dodging avalanches and difficult progress due to deep snow'. Yesterday, they successfully fixed the equipped the route to 5700m and were hoping to reach C2 (6100m) today.
Previously, the team descended back to BC due to bad weather. Zsolt Tork reported the conditions as, 'It's terrible weather, it snowed all night and many avalanches are rolling down'. Romanians are currently the only team on Rupal side.

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