Summer 2015 | Climbing Action in Karakoram Begins Soon

Spring climbing season in Karakoram and Himalayas is just around the corner. Some teams have already started their journey towards Pakistan whereas others shall kick off their climbs in coming weeks. After a remarkable summer 2014 climbing season, K2 will again host multiple commercial expeditions. There will be some interesting attempts on Gasherbrums and Broad Peak as well. Few months ago, some climbers were interested in climbing Nanga Parbat, however as of now, none of them have made their plans public.

Swiss team of Mike Horn, Fred Roux and Köbi Reichen reached Pakistan, more than a week ago. However, their ‘security clearance’ for trek to K2 Base Camp is still pending. Such bureaucratic delays while climbing in Pakistan have become almost a norm, now.

Apart from Swiss, other smaller teams on K2 are a Spanish expedition consisting of Carlos Suárez, Jose Fernandez and Esther Ibáñez, and a two member Hungarian-Romanian team (Szilard Suhajda and Csaba Varga).

Madison Mountaineering Expeditions is returning to K2 with a small group of climbers. American lady Vanessa Obrein is part of this expedition. Russell Brice’s Himalayan Experience K2 team will be a group of 12 clients with four guides and Nepalese Sherpa. Mark Woodward and David Tait are part of Himex team.

Pakistani climber Mirza Ali will also be attempting K2. It’s reported that he will be part of a larger commercial team.

K2; Photo: Alan Arnette

Broad Peak
Òscar Cadiach will reattempt Broad Peak this season - the only peak missing from his 14x8000ers title. Chris Burke and Lakpa Sherpa were also on Broad Peak last year. After an unsuccessful summit-bid on the mountain, they scaled K2. Chris and Lakpa may return to Broad Peak, this year.

Canadian Al Hancock has also confirmed his Broad Peak expedition. He was also amongst successful K2 climbers, last year.

German climber Billi Bierling will be attempting Broad Peak; her climb is supported by Himex.

Veteran Spanish climber Juanito Oiarzabal has set a new goal for himself; 2x14x8000ers i.e. climbing all eigh-thousanders twice. He will start the project with an attempt on Broad Peak. Alberto Zerain will be his climbing partner this season.

Finally an international team consisting of Slovak Zdeno Brnoliak, Kiwi Nathan Dahlberg, Romanian Andras Adrian and Bulgarian Dimitar Kamburov will also be on Broad Peak.

Several climbers and commercial expeditions are heading towards Gasherbrum Massif this season. We have already reported about an enthralling Czech expedition to GI SW Face. Marek Holecek and Tomas Petrecek are expected to reach Pakistan in early July.

French mountaineer Yannick Graziani has announced that he will travel to Pakistan on June 15th, to attempt GI and GII. However we don’t have further details about the expedition, yet. Yannick’s previous endeavor in Himalayas dates back to autumn 2013, when he and Stephane Benoist made a heroic ascent of Annapurna South Face.

Other GI climbers include Catalonian Ferran Latorre, American Nick Rice and Peruvian Richard Hidalgo. A four member Taiwanese team will also be on the mountain.

French lady Sophie Lavaud is part of a larger commercial expedition to Gasherbrum II. Commercial outfitter Kobler & Partner’s 10 member team (7 climbers, 3 HAPs) will be on GII as well.

Chilean young guns Martin Gildemeister, Rafael Matte and Tomás Vial’s GII expedition will be their first attempt on an 8000m peak. Last but not the least Olek Ostrowski and Piotr Śnigorski will be attempting a ski-descent of GII.

Camp-2 on Gasherbrum II. Photo: Chris Burke
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