Summer 2014 | K2 Base Camp, Broad Peak C1 and Political Unrest

Amidst the fragile political and security situation in Pakistan, the summer climbers continue their northward journey. Few teams have reached the BCs and are working on the mountains now. Others are currently located in Skardu and a few are in Islamabad. Although a couple of expeditions have been cancelled due to ongoing political unrest in Pakistan, the mountaineering action has otherwise progressed quite ‘normally’ so far.

K2 this year; Source

Political Unrest

The latest surge of violence and unrest in Pakistan has orbited around airports and flights; something which directly affects mountaineers and mountaineering in the country. Every expedition begins with the arrival of climbers at Islamabad airport, whereas majority of them also prefer flying from Islamabad to Skardu, over a long and risky KKH drive.

On June 8th, a deadly assault on Karachi airport killed dozens of innocents and halted the flight operations for multiple hours. In another incident on June 24th, a flight was fired upon from the ground while landing at Peshawar airport.

In an incident of different nature, Islamabad airport operations were seriously affected by the arrival of controversial political and religious leader Dr Tahirul Qadri on June 23rd. He was returning from Canada to try to start what he calls a “peaceful revolution” against the government.

Bumpy, dusty, dangerous and unpredictable: the drive to Askole. Source

Masherbrum Team and K2 BC

The Austrians David Lama, Peter Ortner and Hansjorg Auer are done with acclimatization on Broad Peak. “Made one more attempt to push even higher than 7000m on Broad Peak last week. But bad weather forced us to turn back. Tomorrow off to Masherbrum BC for the real deal. Can't wait!” Hansjorg wrote on his Facebook page on June 23rd.

Giuseppe Pompili, the Italian K2 climber, reached Broad Peak BC a moment after the Austrians left. “Broad Peak BC, Just arrived, in the same spot just left by the David Lama led Austrian BP & Masherbrum filming Expedition. They left a pile of rubbish!” The Italian mountaineer is now at K2 Base Camp.

As of now, the Polish K2 team, Pakistani-Italian expedition and two Greek climbers have reached K2 BC. Several other climbers are currently trekking and will be reaching the mountain, next week.

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Arriving at K2 BC;  Source

Broad Peak C1

The Polish Broad Peak Middle team established C1 on June 24th. Pakistani climbers Karim Hayat, Safdar Karim and Naseer ud-Din are also with the team. Apparently, Pakistani trio will eventually be going for main summit via normal route. It appears that Gavin Vickers and Alex Gavan have also reached the BC.

The two Spanish teams (led by Oscar Cadiach and Lina Quesada) have arrived in Pakistan and will be moving to the Broad Peak, soon. Taiwanese and Hungarian Expedition are currently trekking to BC.

Gasherbrum Team

Turkish climber Tunc Findik reached Skardu on June 24th, “After 2 days and 850km of tiring drive at the KKH here we are at Skardu. Following preparations we will start for the trek to Gasherbrums BC. All seems fine...” he wrote on Facebook.

Tunc Findik and members of Nepalese Female K2 Team, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, Dawa Yangsum Sherpa and Maya Sherpa. Source

Cancellation of Latok I Expedition

A four member team planning to climb the unclimbed North Face of Latok I has cancelled their expedition because of political situation in Pakistan. Alexander and Thomas Huber wrote on Facebook, “we just made a very hard decision: we cancel our Expedition to Latok 1 because of the political situation in Pakistan. Of course the dream of this giant wall is still in our mind and we hope next year we will get another chance.

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