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 K2 2000 Day 56-65

K2 2000 Coverage with Waldemar Niclevicz reporting for Project K2 and Gary Pfisterer reporting with the American International Expedition! Included is news on other climbers on the mountain including Hans Kammerlander, Araceli Segarra and many others. 

August 3rd 2000 65th day of the Expedition K2 2000 Base Camp (5100 meters)

My dear friends, 

I am so sorry by the lack of news. We are extremely tired after reaching the summit of K2 and we are trying to leave here as soon as possible, or it will be too late to save our frozen fingers. So, we are a little nervous.

Fortunately the weather has got better, so we have got a confirmation of a helicopter tomorrow. We are going down to Concordia (4700 meters) (about a 5-hour walk) and God willing there are enough flight conditions to arrive in Skardu, because Marco Camandona needs medical care urgently.

Also, sorry by the lack of photos. Due to the intense cold, the digital camera didn't work on the Summit of K2. But the conventional one did, so as soon as I arrive in Brazil all of you will be able to see the photo here in this site, as well the amazing images that we have done and will be exhibited at Fantástico (TV Program)

I give you my sincere thanks, you that have been cheering for our victory. Victory that is yours too. Victory that is our sponsor's too: O BOTICÁRIO, TAM, NET VÍRTUA and SPORTSJÁ, companies that have relied on our potential and financed our expedition. Thank you very much, all of you!!!!

Waldemar Niclevicz

Project K2 2000 is sponsored by O Boticário, TAM, Net Vírtua and Sportsjá.

63rd day of the Expedition K2 2000


My Dear friends,

I am here again, in my tent at Base Camp, at 5100 meters,  happy, although writing just with one hand, and outside the snow keeps falling. It has snowed hard all day long, more than 20 cm here on the base, the landscape is grey, sad.

Why am I writing just with one hand??? Because I have my fingers frozen on the other hand. It was a cold night after the summit, that I spent inside an ice crack, at 8400 meters, alone. That is true, things that I had just seen in films, read in books, happened with me. But that is not all, much more occurred in our conquest of K2.

I left base camp on the 26th, with our four altitude porters. My meteorologist friend Dani Ramirez said "Light improvement of the weather in the next four days, maybe a good opportunity to try the summit "I did believe him. And it succeeded. Dani "Muchas Gracias". So, during four days I jumped to Camp 1 and went straight to Camp 2 (6700 meters). On the second day, on the 27th Abele Blanc and Marco Camandona left in the morning, direct from Base Camp to meet me at Camp 3 (7450 meters). It was a hard day, many things failed. As soon I left Camp 2 with the porters an accident occurred. One of them was hit by a stone. Even wearing helmet he cried. My God, I thought. The weather was getting better and I did not want to go down. Thus two of the porters when down from 7100 meters, taking the injured colleague. We went on having just one porter, but with very few food. Following us, very happy, Ivan and Fabrizio from the American Expedition, saying that we could use their tents, which they had set some days before at 7300 meters. When we got there no tents at all, all of them had disappeared, taken by an avalanche. While our friends were disappointed we went up a little further up to 7450meters, the true place of Camp 3. 

The weather was getting better and better. On July 28th we went on enthusiastically, Abele, Marco and I towards 8 thousand meters!! Virgin ground ahead of us, with no fixed ropes, with no footsteps. At 7700 meters we tried to find oxygen bottles that were left there in 1998 inside a tent but we did not find anything. It meant that we would try to finish the climb without artificial oxygen. Something very hard!!!

At 7950 meters we set Camp 4. At 11:00 pm, on the 28th I started the final attack with the altitude porter Meherban Shah, one of the four Pakistan climbers that had climbed K2. At the end of the "Bottle's neck", at 8300 meters, he  complained about cold for the tenth time, consequently he returned to Camp 4. Later at 4:30, Abele and Marco joined me, at about 8400 meters. The sun heated the "Japanese path", while an ice wall (serac) of almost 80 m threatening to drop over our heads.

At last, the true K2's summit, there at the back, very far. It was 3:30 am, very late. The snow was on the knees, delaying our progression and besides we had no artificial oxygen. But, the weather was great. And we kept on to get there,  Abele Blanc, Marco Camandona and I one behind other. And, at 6:30 on July 29th we reached the 8611 meters of altitude. Excited hugs.  We have got it, my God, we have got it.

At 7:00 we started our long descent. In the rarefied (thin) air Marco and I lost our torch. Abele lit our descent in the darkness, but just a torch for three wasn't enough. Abele and Marco went a little further. And I found  myself alone, at 8400 meters. I looked for a shelter in an ice crack. I spent the night almost freezing, 30 degrees C  negative. Marco and Abele arrived in our tent at 4:00 am. At 7:00 am Abele was surprised by a ghost's presence, it was me, that could reach Camp 4, alive. We arrived at Base Camp exhausted. Now we are all Ok. I have the beginning of freezing in my fingers of the left hand, nothing serious. Marco's situation is worse, he'll probably need to amputate the extremity of  two or  maybe three fingers. Abele, as always is great. K2 keeps imposing, almost unbeatable. 

Project K2 is sponsored by O Boticário, TAM, Net Vírtua and Sportsjá.


Greetings Everyone,

Thanks for all the e-mail messages.  It is good to hear from everyone.  Please rest easy, we are all okay.  We have four members, possibly five if we can get enough porters leaving base camp on 4 August.  The remaining members will be leaving on 10 August.  Almost all members are back in base camp, but everyone coming back from the summit or summit attempts are totally exhausted and shattered and will require 3-4 days of rest in base camp before they can assist with clearing the hill of tents and equipment so the bulk of this dubious honor will fall to me.  I am planning to head back up on the 4th to recover and consolidate as much of the tents etc on the hill in camp II.  Most expeditions left everything up there.  Hopefully by the 8th we can have a mass carry of kit back to base camp and the porters are scheduled to arrive on the 10th.  We should be in Skardu by the 15th and Pindi on the 17th or so. 

It snowed all day on the 31st and 1st, finally stopping about midnight last night.  There is over a half meter of new snow at Camp II and the route is very difficult to descend.  We have two members arriving momentarily in base camp and one final member staying in camp II and hopefully arriving tomorrow in base camp.  It is difficult to convey how tired these folks are, but it is taking them about three times longer than normal to descend each segment of the route.  Part of this is the deteriorated conditions but part is just exhaustion.

Ivan just arrived in base camp.  This leaves Andy Collins and Fabrizio the only ones from our Expedition still on the hill.  Hopefully they will struggle in tomorrow.

Hope to see you all real soon.

Cheers, Gary

Leader of the Successful American International K2 2000 Expedition



Greetings Everyone,

The infamous weather finally cleared on 26 July and in spite of the fact that several members had just come down the day before, three members went back up that evening and all other members except myself went up the following day to various camps.  Two members went directly to camp III, six directly to camp II and one to camp I.  With limited tent space on the hill I waited to head up to avoid a traffic jam in camp III.  This was good as when the initial members arrived at camp III it was nowhere to be found, having either blown away in the storms or been buried by them.  Much digging disclosed nothing and members there were forced into other tents for the night.  Down suits and other equipment was lost and adjustments had to be made. 

To make a long story short Nasuh Mahruki was with Waldemar and his team in camp III on the night of the 27th.  They pressed on to camp IV on the 27th [ Editorial note: We believe this should read the 28th.]and left for the summit on that night at about midnight.  Nasuh, Waldemar, Marco and Abele summitted on the 29th about 6:00 pm.  They spent the following night getting back to camp IV arriving in the early morning of the 30th. 

Meanwhile on the 28th the two members who originally went straight to camp III had to descend to camp II because they had lost all their equipment (down suits, food and gas) with the camp.  Four people in Camp II Andy Evans, Andy Collins, Chris Shaw and Billy Pierson moved up to Camp III with our only remaining tent a three person Trango. The member that had gone to camp I returned to base camp with tendon injuries to his heels.   

On the 29th the Andy's, Chris and Billy moved their three man tent up to camp IV and the two members that had descended to camp II moved back up to camp III with a two man tent removed from camp II re-equipped for a summit attempt.  I finally set off and arrived in camp I.

Then Andy''s, Chris and Billy left for the summit about 3:30am. on the 30th.  They all made the top and returned to camp IV about 6:00pm.  Fabrizio and Ivan moved their tent up to camp IV and I moved up to camp II. 

On the 31st Fabrizio and Ivan set off for the summit at about 2:00 am.  I set off for camp III. Nasuh had made it down to camp II and was heading to base camp.  The four summiteers were heading down to various camps.  The weather was going off again and as I headed up through the pyramid the clouds came in and it began to snow with the wind eventually picking up to 50mph.  I turned around about 10:30am as the game was obviously off for me.  I made it back to base camp by about 5:00pm.  I have unconfirmed report that Fabrizio turned around before reaching the summit and do not know weather Ivan made it or not. 

As I write only Chris has made it back to base camp although we are expecting the Andy's and Billy later today.  Fabrizio and Ivan are reported in camp II.  All members of our team that reached the summit did so without any high altitude porter support or the use of supplemental oxygen.

There was considerable other success on both K 2 and Broad Peak in this brief window.  I will leave these details to Waldemar to report if he hasn't already.  

So when the weather clears, all that is left is to go back up and clear the hill of tents and equipment.  If conditions are good at that time I may make another attempt as well as Fabrizio and Ivan if he didn't make it this time.  Either way we should be packing up to head home around the 10th or so.

Hope all is well with everyone.  Cheers, Gary

UPDATE.....Ivan made the summit late in the morning on the 31st in very bad weather.  Fabrizio turned around just above the bottleneck (about 8250 meters).

Fabrizio is in camp III tonight, Andy Collins and Ivan are in camp II and Billy and Andy Evans are in Camp I.  Everyone is well and safe and all should be in base camp tomorrow.  

Cheers, Gary 

Leader of the Successful American International K2 2000 Expedition

Note: the message is a bit confusing on the "Andy's", but as we read it he is saying both made the Summit ! We will confirm ...

We will post Waldemar's report just as soon as it arrives !!!

The Teams !

Newsflash 8:25am EST US: Sources who have been reliable for EverestNews.com in the past, report to us that Um Hong Gil, the Korean climber summitted K2 on July 31st in the early morning. No News on any of the others. 

Note we believe Waldemar's people wrote the three updates below. We DON'T know what this Day 62 update means. Hopefully we will find out soon. We have not "clean-up" these three updates much.

Day 62

Descent to base camp 62nd day of the Expedition K2 2000

My friends! I know how it has been hard to see the messages, without being sure what is really happening. I apologize a lot, but we are concentrated on the final climb to K2,  with no conditions to send messages daily. We are going down to base camp. We'll be in touch soon with news. I want to have just good news for all. May God protect us on the mountain ! If it takes longer to send news, it's because we are waiting  for good weather in the upper camps some more days, so we can finish the climb successfully

Camp 3 (7450 meters) / Camp 4 (8050meters) 60th day of the Expedition K2 2000

Going to camp 4 (8050 meters)

If everything is going well, we'll overcome 8 thousand meters today, being face to face to the summit. A day of great emotions and thin air. We'll walk with difficulty up the mountain. The great obstacle will be to overcome the "Shoulder", a 300- meter protuberance. We must meet much, but too much snow on its upper part.


Attempt to get the summit (8611 meters) 61st day of the Expedition K2 2000

Attacking the summit

God permit us to step on  the heights of  8,611m. I count on your prayers, on your cheering. It'll will be at least 15 hours further from our camp 4 (8050 meters) up to the highest part of K2, 8611 meters. Our plan is to leave at 10:00 pm. The descent is the most dangerous part.

Waldemar Niclevicz

Day 57

Base Camp (5100 meters) / Camp 1 (6050 meters) 

Starting the 7th lunge

My friends! The weather forecast indicates an improvement. Today the wind blows on the heights between 100-130 km/hour and there is still a probability of strong blizzard. After tomorrow the wind speed falls to 30-60 km/h, and getting better and better. So, let's go, faithfully we start our 7th lunge today. God willing  nature will help us to end the climb successfully. I rely on your cheering.

Waldemar Niclevicz

Project K2 2000 is sponsored by O Boticário, TAM, Net Vírtua and Sportsjá.

Day 56 Base Camp (5100 meters) 

Resting at Base Camp

Weather forecast at K2 today by Dani Ramirez: "Very cloudy sky, with moderate snow from morning to midday. Lighter snow at the end of afternoon. Abundant mist. Strong and very strong winds S and SW, with gust of wind  over 100-150 km/h at superior camps. The low pressure persists - 997 millibars in the centre and East of Pakistan, with a very consolidate and important monsoon between India and Himalayans. Isotherm 0 degree at 6 thousand meters"

Yes, my friends, our situation at K2 is still hard. But the weather is likely to get better soon, according to images via satellite. The important is that Abele, Marcos and I are in good mood to wait for good weather as much as it's necessary. We can't stay here forever, our permission to climb expires on August 15th. So, we still have 3 weeks left to end the climb. I, particularly, believe that we'll get the summit of K2 before such date. Nature will offer us a truce to make up for our effort.

I am sure that your hopes are with us, and that is important too.  It is extremely difficult to endure so many days of continuous bad weather but knowing we are not alone renews our enthusiasm.  I thank you for supporting us in our efforts. 

Waldemar Niclevicz

Project K2 2000 is sponsored by O Boticário, TAM, Net Vírtua and Sportsjá.

Day 56-65

Day 46-55

Day 39-45

For previous Reports from K2 see our News Reports Index

K2 Team Lists 2000

K2 Summits (before 2000)


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