Irritated by Commercialization of K2? Watch Out for These Expeditions on Gasherbrums

K2 has traditionally been the ‘big thing’ of Karakoram climbing season, but with Mountain of Mountains pretty much occupied by commercial interests, exciting things are happening elsewhere. We have already witnessed a new route attempt on Nanga Parbat, another strong climbers heading towards Nanga Parbat summit despite tough conditions and two independent climbers summiting Broad Peak in no time. No support, no fixed lines, no queues, no blame-game; they are keeping the spirit of mountaineering alive.

And it’s just the beginning…

GIV – Shinning Wall
Perfectly acclimatized Aleš Česen and Luka Lindič will soon be on Gasherbrum IV's West Face.

GI SW Face
Márek Holeček is already trekking to Gasherbrum BC, for yet another attempt on Southwest Face of Gasherbrum I. Marek has already attempted the route three times; twice with Zdenek Hruby in 2009 and 2013 - who sadly perished during latter attempt. Marek was joined by Tomas Petrecek, last year. Tomas was also expected to be part of current expedition, however, he’s staying home because of medical reasons.

Fellow climbers Jirka Pliska and Ondra Mandula had planned a G-IV attempt this season. However, the expedition has been delayed due to health issues of Jirka Pliska. Ondra Mandula has, thus, joined Márek Holeček’s GI expedition. Like 2009, 2013 and 2015, it will be an alpine style attempt.
Marek Holeček and Ondra Mandula; Source

GII South Spur
Spaniards Alberto Iñurrategi, Juan Vallejo and Mikel Zabalza arrived in Pakistan with open-ended goal of doing something different on Gasherbrum Peaks; it could have been GI-GII traverse, a new route on GI or GII, or a combination of these. After spending four weeks in region and closely observing conditions on mountains, they have settled at an alpine style attempt on South Spur of Gasherbrum II. The route was first climbed by French mountaineers Yannick Seigneur and Marc Batard in 1975. Apparently, it has been repeated just once by an Italian team in 1985.
GII South Spur; Source

A Polish team also reached Gasherbrum BC hoping to complete GI-GII traverse. Last week, one member of expedition suffered injuries after falling into a crevasse. Rest of the climbers went up on GI towards C2 for acclimatization earlier this week. However, considering overall rough conditions and bad weather, the team has abandoned the goal of a full traverse. 
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