BROAD PEAK EXPEDITION (8047 m)

During the approach through the Indus Valley, we first travel along the Karakorum Highway and then turn towards Skardu. We then hike across the Baltoro glacier, passing by the famous Trango Towers, to reach the Concordia place; on the next day, we will reach the base camp of Broad Peak. In close proximity, the towers of the giant K2 loom around us, as do Gasherbrum I and II; these mountains are all over 8,000 meters.

Broad Peak is undoubtedly one of the technically more challenging 8,000ers of the middle group which includes: Dhaulagiri I, Manaslu, Gasherbrum I and Broad Peak. Still, it is a serious 8,000er with all that goes along with it, such as: intense cold, a logistically complicated chain of camps, and a very high altitude base camp from which the summit will be attempted.

The comparatively safe route was climbed in first ascent in the year 1957. Already at that early time period, the small expedition, including Kurt Diemberger and Hermann Buhl, was able to reach the summit of an 8,000er without the help of oxygen.

Twenty-eight days are available for the actual climbing of Broad Peak. First and foremost, during the first couple of days, the route to Camp one (6,000 m) must be fixed, which, at the end, goes up a 200 meter couloir which sometimes as steep as 50 degrees. Camp two (7,000 m) will be reached by climbing over ice terraces and short rocky out-cropings. Here, as well, all exposed passages will be secured using fixed ropes. Finally, Camp three (7,400 m) will be reached by climbing much less exposed glacier slopes with a few rocky sections; the length of this section is approximately 400 altitude meters. The summit is now in front of us; first through a stepening couloir in the wind-gap between the main and central summit, then across a ridge which is partially exposed at the end; there is very little altitude gain at the end.

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