Winter 2013 | Approaching Broad Peak BC, Nanga Parbat Weather Improves

Bad weather dominated Nanga Parbat teams' activities over the past weekend. Poles must have had first view of their dream, the Broad Peak, by now. Along with review of activities on Nanga Parbat and Broad Peak since previous blog post, there would be a brief update on the strong man attempting a beautiful Karakoram peak this winter.

Broad Peak
Polish team must have felt lucky when they landed at Skardu Airport on 15th January. It was the first flight to Skardu in twelve days where airport remained closed due to bad weather. Shaheen Baig and Aminullah Baig, two highly experienced mountaineers from Hunza who would be assisting Poles in this expedition, arrived a day later and the team departed for Askole on 17th January. Askole can be reached via jeep track from Skardu through Shiger valley.
The lengthy walk from Askole to Broad Peak started on 18th January amidst freezing temperatures and heavy sky. After night stays at Jhula and Paiju, they reached the bottom corner of Baltoro glacier under clear sky and warmer ambient on 20th January. That night was spent at Urdukas campsite, adjacent to the renowned Nameless Peak (of Trango Tower) but the walk wasn't over yet. They had to spend two more nights (at Goro II & Concordia) on Baltoro. If everything went as per plan, team must have left Concordia by now and started walking under over Godwin Austin glacier to reach their destination - Broad Peak base camp.

Nanga Parbat
Tomek Mackiewicz and Marek Klonowski who were back in that cozy and warm mud hut at Lattabo village after establishing C2 at 5750m, rested there till 19th. Reports suggest that they were doing well and eating good. But clear skies on 20th January urged them to go up again. They were last spotted at around 5500m on 21st January. These days the duo must be trying to set up Camp-3, probably somewhere around 6500m.
Also, from their last update it can be derived that team consists of only two members. Hence we might consider that neither Piotr Strzezysz nor Adrian Kutarba is part of third 'Justice for All' Winter Nanga Parbat Expedition.
Inside view of hut by Marek:-
Happy faces

The hut life

Adjacent to Poles on Rupal side is solo climber, Joel Wischnewski. Unlike his colleagues, Joel didn't stay back at base camp during the bad weather period. Rather he tried to make the most of available time to shift his luggage upward. Since this valiant fellow is solo climbing without porters and fixed ropes, the shifting of loads upward is a big task. Obviously baggage would shrink as he goes up. The return of labor during bad weather was, that Joel successfully managed shifting everything to C2 at 4300m, by 20th January. He has the faith and energy but problem of the moment is his weakened body due to series of ill days since Tarishing. Yesterday, he posted the action plan for coming days. he wants to reach 5000m today and assess the route forward.
Joel's has captured some outstanding photos:-

Regular updates from American-Hungarian Team couldn't resume yet, although their home team has been posting brief details on facebook page. The generator required to energize electronic equipment couldn't arrive till Sunday due to bad weather. As weather has improved since then, it can be hoped that they would be receiving their baggage and generator shipment, very soon.
Last week their acclimatization trips were stopped at 5100m but right now they are out of base camp and trying to go higher.

Daniel Nardi and Elisabeth Revol, who were on Ganalo for acclimatization and first-winter-ascent when last post was published. They spent the first night at 5400m as planned but had to turn back from 6000m on 16th January. Muhammad Ali, the Pakistani mountaineer with the team, wasn't feeling well and also the weather was deteriorating. The decision proved to be wise as upon their arrival at base camp, weather became too harsh to be at 6000m.
Bad weather continued till Sunday. Daniel and Eli want to make another trip to Ganalo before shifting to Nanga Parbat. They might go for Ganalo summit after spending one night at 6000m.

BC during bad weather; Photo by Eli
Finally the sun comes out; Photo by Eli

Laila Peak
Thankfully Alex Txikon's wait for Skardu flight didn't last too long. Alex, who arrived in Islamabad a couple of days ago, flew to Skardu yesterday morning enjoying unmatched beauty of Nanga Parbat, K2, Broad Peak and Gasherbrums from pilot's cabin. Next excitement of the day was meeting old friends in town and afterwards shopping chores were finished off. Skardu was as usual seized by cold weather. Alex would have left Skardu by now and would be approaching Hushe valley from where he will trek to the base camp of Laila Peak. Team is expected to be in base camp by tomorrow evening.

Frequent updates are tweeted here.
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