Summer 2016: GI Southwest Face New Route Summit-Push Launched & Other Updates

Marek Holecek and Ondra Mandula left Base Camp earlier this morning. They will trying to complete the unfinished line on GI SW Face, already attempted by Marek three times (reached maximum altitude of 7600m). “Ahead for us are infernal long days of toil, cold, fear, nights without sleep, and the 3000-meter Gasherbrum Southwest wall with a peak high above the clouds,” the duo messaged before departure.

Marek Holecek and Ondra Mandula reached Gasherbrum BC at around mid-July. They climbed GI normal route till 7500m on July 25th for acclimatization, before returning to BC for rest and recovery. On Southwest Face, they are heading up in pure alpine style; no ropes, no camps, no oxygen, no support.

Marek has already attempted the route three times; twice with Zdenek Hruby in 2009 and 2013 - who sadly perished during latter attempt, and Tomas Petrecek in 2015. Ondra Mandula planned to climb G-IV, together with Jirka Pliska, this season. However, the expedition got delayed due to health issues of Jirka Pliska. Ondra Mandula thus joined Márek Holeček’s GI expedition.

UPDATE (02-Aug-16): Change in weather, as strong wind sweeping the mountain slopes, forced the climbers to return to BC. They will now wait for another weather window to launch the summit attempt.
The unfinished Czech route on GI SW Face. Blue line highlights the unclimbed bit. Source

More GI Attempts
Dreamers Destination team arrived at Gasherbrum Base Camp on July 29th, after their unsuccessful K2 bid. As per Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, they will attempting GI now. The mountain has remained unclimbed this year, thus far.

Oscar Cadiach’s Wait Continues
The Spanish climber’s final summit push on Broad Peak remained unsuccessful, this week. It was his third consecutive attempt on the mountain. He will have to wait till summer 2017, at least, to complete 14x8000ers quest.

Around a dozen climbers were just below Broad Peak Col (7900m) last week, when bad weather forced them to turn back. While other teams departed, Oscar Cadiach stayed in BC for another summit attempt. Together with fellow climber Lolo González, HAP Saheb and Liaison officer, they were only team at BC.

Oscar, Lolo and Saheb launched summit-bid from BC on July 30th. After a night in C2, they pushed to C3 on 31st. However, the conditions started deteriorating during the ascent. Clouds came in and it started to snow. On August 1st, they wanted to set up advanced C3 at around 7500m before summit attempt following night. However, bad weather foiled the push at 7300m. Broad Peak season, thus, ends with just two summits this year.
Oscar Cadiach on Broad Peak. Source
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