Summer 2014 | All Set for Summit Push on K2 and Broad Peak

The acclimatization chapter of majority of expeditions concludes here as they get settled in Base Camps to rest and recover. Heavy snowfall and strong wind gusts have been reported from the region. The conditions shall improve in a couple of days. Multiple summit bids are expected during good weather patch starting from July 20th.

K2

The progression from C2 (6600m) to C3 (7400m) has been a bit slow on K2, largely because of difficult meteorological conditions. The campsite above Black Pyramid was not reached until a couple of days ago. On July 15th, several climbers headed up from C2 to C3 in not-so-good conditions; however, many of them successfully made it to C3.

K2 from BC on July 15th; Source

Samuli Masikka says that going up from C2 to C3 in windy and cold conditions was difficult. The Finnish climber spent the night there at 7450m, before a rapid descent to BC on July 16th. “K2 is notorious for bad weather and its hitting fast! Retreated from Camp 3 (7450m) through terrible conditions! Basecamp's comfy and nice!” he tweeted yesterday.

Czech expedition (Radek Jaros, Petr Masek and Travnicek Jan) reached Base Camp on July 11th. After resting for a couple of days, they reached C2 on 14th and made it to C3 on 15th. Apparently, the climbers are still in one of the camps on the mountain.

Star trails! Source

British Adrian Hayes and Canadian Al Hancock also pushed from C2 to C3 on 15th, but the strong wind and intense cold forced them to retreat just below the top of Black Pyramid. They are now back in BC. In a dispatch from C2 on the night of 15th, Al described the Black Pyramid experience in these words.
“Today I was in a dicey section in a near vertical rock band, I slid my ice axe sideways between my body and back pack. I needed both of my hands free to climb. I inhaled deeply and then slowly, slowly exhaled. I am committed, I look up and see a rock protruding, I reach for it with my right hand I test it no movement. I do the same with my left hand. Looking down I see space, nothing but space then my eyes ketch movement it’s the wings of a bird far below. 
Before my mind can register what is happening my body is in fluid motion moving upwards one movement at a time and then bam. I cannot move, the rope is tangled with my ice axe. My heart starts to beat faster, I say to myself relax, relax, breath, breath. I release my right hand balancing on my front points and holding on with my left hand. Every so slowly with my right hand I untangle the rope from my ice axe and continue climbing.”

Adrian Hayes going up Black Pyramid. Source

The Pakistani-Italian expedition has also established C3 at around 7300m. It’s reported that nine members of the team reached the campsite on July 15th.

Ferran Latorre and his partner Miguel are Spanish K2 team. They have spent two nights in C2, but were unable to reach C3 because of bad weather. They returned to BC on 16th.

It’s reported that American lady Cleo Weidlich and four Sherpa were the only team that went up on Cesen route. No further details are available about them, as of now. Note that earlier in the season two Greek climbers abandoned their plan of climbing Cesen route because of excessive snow.

The American team (Garrett Madison, Alan Arnette, Matthew Dupuy and Fredrick Sylvester) returned to BC on July 16th, after spending five days on the mountain. It was first rotation and they were able to go above C2. Alan updated on Facebook that they were able to go “partly up the Black Pyramid”.

View from C2; Source

After retreating shortly before C3, the Nepalese female expedition is now ready for summit push. A Facebook status from the team reads, “Next climbing ahead would be our summit push and waiting for good weather and our Sherpa fix the camp 4.”

The Italian team of Giuseppe Pompili, Tamara Lunger and Nikolaus Gruber couldn’t make it to C3 because of bad weather. They spent a couple of nights in C2 and are back in BC, now.

Chris Burke and Lakpa Sherpa made an unsuccessful summit attempt on Broad Peak last week. But instead for awaiting another summit window, they have moved on to K2. Chris says, they don’t want to miss the K2 summit-bid chance.

A solitary tent on Broad Peak; Source

Finally, there haven’t been any recent updates from Greek duo, the Polish team and International expedition with members from Iran, Macedonia, Turkey and Nepal.

Broad Peak

All Broad Peak teams are done with acclimatization and are preparing for summit push. The weather forecast shows a window of clear skies and low wind from July 20th to 25th.

It appears that the climbing conditions on Broad Peak are not perfect. In lower sections, there is great avalanche danger due to soft snow. Three summit pushes has been thwarted around 7400m - 7700m because of excessive snow. However, the strength of multiple teams shall be able to overcome the challenges.

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