2001: Qgir - K2 Himalaya 8000
||Qgir - K2
Czech Expedition: HIMALAYA
8000 K2 (8612 meters) & Broad Peak (8047 meters) Updates
8000 K2 (8612 meters) & Broad Peak (8047
meters) Himalaya 8000, is introducing the
expedition to the Pakistan K2 & Broad Peak.
The main goal of
our expedition is to reach the summit of the
second highest mountain in the world K2 (8.612
m) and BROAD PEAK (8.047 m) using expedition light
style. K2 (Chogori) is the most difficult eight
thousander in the world. It is considered to be
a great achievement to reach both of these 8000
meter summits in a single expedition.
the present time Himalaya 8000 has organized seven
expeditions to the eight thousanders. On four of them
members of Himalaya 8000 reached summits: Cho-Oyu 93,
Dhaulagiri 94, Shishapangma 95, Manaslu 96, Makalu
98, Lhotse 99 and Kangchenjunga 2000.
of the K2 and Broad Peak expedition will be
experienced climbers, who have reached several summits
over 8000 meters. Sona Vomackova is the best Czech
female climber and she will be a member as well. Sona
reached the summits of two eightthousanders: MAKALU
(8463 m) and LHOTSE (8516 m). She holds the Czech
female elevation record and she is the first female in
the world to have reached the above mentioned summits
goal of this expedition is to reach the second highest
summit in the world in combination with the summit of
Broad Peak without oxygen.
of the expedition
see the K2 2001 page for Updates...
Czech K2 expedition led by Zdenek Hruby arrived
back in Islamabad/Rawalpindi unsuccessfully.
Luck was not on our side said the leader we tried on
July 22 but the whole team was not ready for this challenge
and they need more time to acclimatized, we again
tried August 4 but the days we need for the final
attempt was not there due to bad weather.
decided to descend down due to snow storm and poor
weather. We are very happy we came back alive, though
we manage to reached 8000 meters.
team is heading back to home.....
Asghar Ali Porik JASMINE TOURS
Department of Tourist Services License #333 http://www.jasminetours.com
Everyone is well, heading home !
under K2 has become one big goods station. We are
porters started to arrive in the afternoon. We mailed
a request for 23 porters to take down the kitchen. On
behalf of the expedition members Bouda estimated that
we will have to take down 650 kg. It will take all
together some 49-52 porters. The ones who arrived
first informed us about the other 40 coming behind
them. Oops! We will be short 10 porters. Then our
experienced expedition chef called the agency and
yell, so we will see. It is 15:40 and we have about ?
half of them here.
these last two days the climbers put themselves
together. They eat and sleep well. They do not eat
much on the mountain ( tea, instant soup and perhaps a
chocolate bar ). So after everyone returned, our chef
cooks a lot and we can once again see some table and
card games on the table...
program for the next three days is the same as in the
beginning of this expedition: hard trek. Tomorrow
crossing Concordia we are going to Aliacamp ( some 7-8
hours over a glacier and moraines). The next day we
will get up at 2 am and ascend to the Gondogorola
saddle. Originally they say it is at 5960 m, but the
locals claim that it is 300 m less. In any case when
the night is turning into day it is the only time to
cross this safely, because during the day the sun
warms up the ice and frees the stones. It is very
dangerous walking under the fast falling rocks. The
third day we will descend to the green areas, which we
are looking forward to.
cannot see any vexation in BC over the fact that
nobody did reach the summit. Zdenek Hruby, leader of
expedition says: It is true that high mountains are
all about the summit. Everybody will ask you about
that. We managed to climb up Cesen's route, which is
held in high esteem by all climbers. It is a 3 km high
bedrock pillar connecting to a normal ascend route at
8000 m. It is definitely an extremely technical
accomplishment. If I have to comment on attacking the
summit, at least four of us were ready in C4 to go,
but a quick change in the weather ( out of any normal
weather forecast ) did not allow us. So in the end the
most dramatic part of the expedition was the retreat.
Based on the retreat conditions we can be happy that
everyone made it down alive.
real weird group arrived under K2. About 20-25 porters
were accompanying a middle aged Rumanian couple. They
claim, that they are a tracking group and will stay
under Qgir for about 15-20 days. This is a very
suspicious thing. K2's BC is in the end of the side
glacier, just before the Pakistani -Chinese borders
and it is the de facto last station for all trekkers.
There is nowhere to go other than to turn around and
go back. Our suspicion was especially raised when we
noticed four ice-axes on their back packs: They must
have found out when all of the expeditions will be
leaving so they can count on the fixed ropes to be in
place and usable. They only paid permission to trek
and now can climb K2 stealthily after slipping some
dollar bills into the liaison officer's pocket. If
they will go up the normal Abruzzi's route, they can
count on there being some camps still standing,
because the Koreans did not bother at all to clean up
chance we found some remains of a climber in an
avalanche field under the beginning of Cesen's route.
All of the remains have the same type of clothing and
there is a foot in the shoes. A small size of the
shoes leads us to the assumption that it is likely a
woman. There is a crampon close by as well. Jan Rydl
Camp 4 ! Retreat instead of attack.
It was Friday
midnight and Zdenek, Radek, Miska a Mira were sitting
in two tents (Alpinus and North Face) having crampons
ready on their boots ready to go to the summit. They
went out of the tents and they were standing in clouds
with zero orientation. It was evident, they would have
to wait. They went back to the tent to drink some more
tea, but could not go to sleep. Every half an hour
somebody put their head out from the tent to check the
conditions. The weather forecast for our final days
was completely wrong. Judging on the weather we
experienced, the monsoon edge must have reached over
here too. It doesn’t happen too often, but if it
does it is not good.
Zdenek said: We started our descent around 10 am
during an enormous storm. It become obvious that this
descent is the most dangerous thing we did on this
mountain. There was fresh snow, fog and thumped snow
by the wind on the rocks. We had no idea what this
snow will do after you step on it. We could not find a
lot of fixes in the snow and ice. Our hands were cold,
because we manipulated our gear a lot you can’t do
it in mittens. It took us 5 ? hours to get from C4 to
C3. There was Simon and Sona waiting in C3. We stayed
for a while and continued to C2, where Radek, Miska,
and Mira stopped. I went to C1, where Bouda was
waiting uninformed and without a hand-set, just
imagining what is going on. I had a radio hand-set,
but I arrived to C1 around 8 pm and we could not reach
BC that night. We connected in the morning when I was
in the end of the fixes over the route accession. Chef
Fida and Honza came to meet us from BC to carry our
bag packs. We managed to carry some gear down (tent
and cooking tools), but some things were left behind.
It is a fact that we had only one try for the summit
and a completely fatal mistake in the weather forecast
took us down the mountain. But we still climbed
Cesen’s route. Despite the fact that we failed to
reach the summit this time, climbing Cesen’s route
has a tremendous amount of value.
Sona and Simon waited till Sunday morning to make a
final decision whether to go up or down. They called
us at 7 am on the radio: It is vicious up here, we are
descending. Before 11 am Simon called again: It is
really evil up here, somewhere we can not find fixes
at all, we are searching for the route and we
triggered 3 avalanches. (He was not BS-ing. Just as
Bouda and Zdenek were descending down, one avalanche
passed them. Bouda felt a bit of pressure wave and
snow dust, so he had just enough time to put his hand
in front his nose and mouth ).
We could see from BC Radek, Miska and Mira, who spent
the night at C2, descending at 1 pm. We did not have
contact with them, but based on Simons report when he
and Sona arrived to C2, the boys managed to pack the
tent, but left a fix behind. Simon decided to take
that fix with him down.
I am sending this message on Sunday 2 pm and besides
Simon and Sona, everyone is in BC. The weather has
started to change at base camp at this moment. The sun
has come out, and I could see the summit of K2.
two NEW Updates below
Base Camp: The final summit attack just started.
again we have been blessed with good climbing
conditions after a sharp change in the weather. The
humidity is lower in all elevations, and there is no
wind or clouds so we can see the summit of the
mountain. After receiving the weather forecast we
called a meeting. The weather is going to last until
5th or 6th so the summit attack has to start
decided the following: Zdenek, Radek, Mira and Miska
will leave on Wednesday before four in the morning.
They will go directly to C2 and then they will
progress each day to each elevation camp. This group
should attack the summit on 4.8. Simon and Sona will
leave BC with a one day delay behind the first group.
They will go from BC to C1 and the day after continue
from C1 to C2. Their turn to attack the summit comes
on 5.8. Based on our hydro-meteorological weather
forecast, the conditions are supposed to be even a bit
better than for the first group.
elevation camps are built and are mostly completely
supplied. Climbers will have to carry only their stuff
needed for the summit and perhaps here and there move
a sleeping bag or so from one camp to another.
on doctor Lukas Svoboda’s report, all climbers are
doing well and all have ambitions of reaching the
mentioned that compared to the amount of oxygen in say
Prague for example, there is about 50% less oxygen in
BC and about 70% less on the summit. He also
remembered one of his previous expeditions where he
was so well acclimatized that he took a bottle with
oxygen in BC, put in on and without any heavy
breathing briskly ran up 50 elevation meters on
Lukas Sovoboda says: It is difficult for our bodies to
deal with an insufficient amount of oxygen. I have
with me in BC an oxymeter and I measure everyone’s
saturation of the oxygen in the blood. It is Czech
saturation. In our country the correct amount is
98-99%. Those whom I measure here at 85% are in great
condition. If I would measure 85% oxygen saturation in
a patient’s blood in Prague, I would have to
immediately give him oxygen and do anything to save
the low amount of oxygen, low pressure is also a big
risk in high mountains. The result of low pressure can
be high mountain illness the so called (AMI). This is
nothing else but the incapability of the organism to
adapt to low pressure conditions. A deadly
complication of this might be brain or lung edema. It
is important to note that this illness actually
attacks to a certain extent every human being.
an expedition is planned, everyone is talking only
about AMI, but there are many other risks during
climbing! For example on every expedition people
experience diarrhea and digesting problems. That means
extra loss of minerals and liquids, which is happening
in high elevation naturally anyway. There are often
big difficulties with breathing. Freezing temperatures
dry out the mucous membrane. This can advance to
pneumonia or bronchitis. Due to higher blood density
and a higher red cell count there is a danger of
different types of thrombosis and embolisms. Than we
have to worry about eyes. The danger of snow blindness
is very high for everyone who don’t use precautions.
did not talk about injuries yet. Every limb joint is
in danger. And in the end there is very specific risk:
If I get to the wounded after a long time after an
accident, due to transport to BC, I have to be ready
to deal with the patients shock. So I have to give him
analgesic and infusion against dehydration and
anti-shock prevention. I have with me here also an
intubation set, treatment for pneumothorax, teeth
pulling and stiching tools...
was also solving an ethical question: In the case of
need, will I go to the wounded to the elevation camps
or will I wait for him in BC? One thing applies: give
first aid and bring the wounded immediately down to
BC. Even in BC I am to keep patient until the
life-helicopter arrives. I must say that I don’t
have a lot confidence in the Pakistani health service,
so I would have to fly with the patient to see if he
is well taken care of... Jan Rydl and Lukas Svoboda
Camp 4 Going
for the summit.
the midnight from Friday to Saturday we are leaving C4
( 7900 m ) in the following formation: Hruby, Jaros,
Masek, Caban. They are departing from two tents
positioned on Qgir’s shoulder. Unfortunately our
assumption that the huge avalanche on Wednesday was
triggered by the super dangerous cornice wasn’t’
true. Several tens of meters high and a brutally
tilted snow-ice cornice still menaces all on the final
is the toughest eight thousander in the world affirmed
Radek at five in the morning just before beginning of
summit attack: Mt. Everest compared to K2 is a walk-
over a rose garden. I need new feet and lungs. To get
my backpack as light as possible, I even left my
sleeping bag in C3.
talked to us from C4 on the hand-set about our summit
chances: Our chances will also depend on how well
preserved the route that was set by the Koreans,
Spanish and two climbers from International team is.
If the track is still there we will not fall into snow
up to the waist which is what happened on our way from
C3 to C4. The fact is if the track is still there our
chances are much better. After that he warn Simon and
Sona that the ascent is really difficult and they are
acclimatized only to 6800 m.
the evening we heard from C4 that the cooking goes
very slowly. At the same time they are completely out
of tea and sugar. Cooking gas is also low.
agreed that the last part of the route to C4 was more
difficult than expected due to long sections over snow
fields, which do not have fix ropes. Therefore the
descent will be very risky as well. We can expect that
everyone going down this way will go using every bit
of their last strength.
night Simon and Sona will spend in C3. After giving
them the weather forecast in the evening, they
confirmed their intention to go to C4 and on Sunday
attack the summit. The wind is 8-12 m/s, low humidity
and the temperature is -20C. These conditions are
favorable for summit ascent.
says thanks for phone calls and e-mails we received in
BC. Jan Rydl
bad weather should be over soon.
are still waiting in BC in the snowstorm for better
weather conditions. The only source of optimism is
Simon's statistics from all of the successful climbs
of K2. It points to a result that most of the
successful climbers were standing on the summit of K2
between 27.7 - 8.8. So everyone believes that the
clouds will disappear, the wind will calm down and
this mountain will allow us to go up.
biggest concerns are about all of the high camps. We
have no idea
which camps are standing and which camps have been
destroyed by the snow and wind. Looking at the weather
forecast, we should be able to find out what is going
on up there around 1.8 - 2.8. The latest date for our
departure (if we will not re-book our plane tickets)
will be 9.8.
are completely alone in BC. The Spanish,
International, and Korean expeditions are gone. The
Koreans were living through dramatic situations until
the last moment under this mountain. They set the date
for departure while they still had two men in C2 (one
with snow blindness and one supposedly with swelling
of the brain). There was also one exhausted Korean
climber in advanced BC, which is at the beginning of
Abruzzi's route. At the end they manage to bring all
of the climbers down and left. There is a body of the
dead Korean climber left behind near our C3.
are 7 expeditions leaving the area under 4 eight
thousanders at the same time (K2, Broad Peak, G1 +
G2). Based on the information from the porters,
everybody stopped somewhere in the middle of the
Baltoro glazier. This happened because big crowds of
climbers, trekkers, and porters could not go over
large earth slides. So everybody came back to
Concordia and went for an escape road over Gondogoro -
Jaros, Petr Masek, and doctor Lukas Svoboda took
advantage of their waiting under K2 by trekking to the
base OF the Gasherbrums peaks. It is quite a distance
and so Radek with Miska got lots of exercise. They
planned this trip for two days only. They walked 10
hours daily , just so they could get a glimpse of the
Hidden Peak in random openings of the clouds. Doctor
Lukas had planned to spend three days on this trek. He
was a bit luckier, but the sky was not azure.
the Bulgarians under Broad Peak had a strong exchange
of opinions. [We will bring you this, when we have
time. The Bulgarians have been talking to us. It is
important...] One of their groups got to the summit
and the other group (4 climbers) could not get there
due to bad weather. It is as clear as daylight that
the successful group was not keeping their plans to
depart a secret. Nobody knew how long this bad weather
will last so why stay in BC if the summit was
successfully reached. This became a controversial
point of their discussions. We do not know how they
solved this problem. On the other hand, the French
expedition arrived under Broad Peak about a week ago.
We are sitting in BC for the second time now and
waiting for the weather to clear up. It
is so bad that there is no way to go to the mountain
face at all. The
weather forecast which we have is predicting bad
weather until 7/29. Around that date we will have to
start to plan to leave this mountain. We are still
very optimistic though. Especially after today’s
arrival of the porters with new supplies: eggs, gas,
and chili sauces. The only thing that they forgot was
other expeditions that are here with us under K2 and
which were successful are packing for departure.
Members of the International expedition are leaving
one by one. Hans Kammerlander has left already two
days ago. Koreans: Out of six people standing on the
summit of K2 this Sunday, today they have only TWO of
them back down at BC ! One of their climbers died on
the way down and lies somewhere near our C3. One is
still in advanced BC on the end of the ice-fall just
at the beginning of Abruzzi's
route. And the other two are supposedly still in the
Korean’s C2 (one suffering with snow blindness and
the other with brain swelling). They may manage to get
down their people down by then by the 27th, but they
will definitely not manage to get their gear down.
I went to visit the Bulgarian group in BC under Broad
Peak. On Monday the climbers: Gospodin Dinev, Petco
Totov, and Stanimir Gelvazcov reached the summit of
Broad Peak [Note see the Broad
Peak page for details, some of these did not reach the
Main Summit according to the Bulgarian themselves...].
They were very quiet and told us only that they
reached the summit after a 12 hour ascent on the hard
snow directly from C3 (they completely skipped C4!).
On the summit they were together with two Americans
[Not sure which Summit !]. 4 other members are
supposed to go the day after (means today). When we
look at the top part of Broad Peak today from our BC
here under K2, it looks to us like their plans to
attack the summit isn’t a good one. We do not even
think it’s a good idea for them to wait in C3. One
of the Bulgarians told us: Next year we want to go to
K2 Abruzzi’s route. Even though the beginning of
Abruzzi’s route is a one day trek away from their BC
under Broad Peak, they did not use this opportunity to
take a look. Anyhow they still claim they are well
Argentinean climbers were on top of Broad Peak a day
before the Bulgarians, and there are Estonians just
about to attack the summit.
experienced a very embarrassing situation on Tuesday
evening when Christian Trommsdorf from Chamonix
entered our dinning tent. Until now he was a good
friend from the international expedition. He was
always very funny. Unfortunately he did not make the
summit. Most likely he did not want to go under the
overhanging snow-ice, which is over C4. This year it
is leaning to the extreme. On his way down he met
Radek and asked him to carry some stuff down for him.
Radek was fully loaded at that time. Then Christian
asked for help to break down the tent in his C1. Mira
was there too and so the boys were going to help him.
Christian put his full bag the on the small mountain
ridge, half of meter from the fix, but he did not
attach it! And so as they were working on the tent.
Radek brushed against Christian’s bag during the
folding of the 4 m long pole. The bag fell about 800
meters down and mostly everything fell out from it.
Some of the things the three of them were able to find
on their way down, some stuff was kept by Oqir
herself. In the evening Christian came to our BC
asking Radek to pay for his lost stuff.
we threw him out! In the end, on his way out he who
does not fix his bag on the mountain face, tried to
mask the manipulative side of his personality by
pretending that he did not know, that Radek did it by
mistake while helping him to break down his tent……
This was simply embarrassing! Jan Rydl
7/22/2001: Camp 3, 10
climbers on K2 summit
at 2:54 pm Simon called the news from C2 that there
are 10 people on the summit of K2: 6 Koreans, 2
Spanish, and 2 members of the international team. [See
the K2 page for details...]
Koreans left their C4 at 1 am with the help of their
elevation porters and with oxygen. Jose Carlos Pauner
Gator (37) and Jose Antonio Garces (44), reached the
summit for the Spanish team. Hans Kammerlander and
Jean Christophe were the members of the international
expedition. Hans plans to ski down most of the face
back to BC. This would be the first attempt in the world
on K2. Hans has plenty of experience in skiing.
didn't announce a serious plan to attack the summit at
this time, says Zdenek. We wanted to build C4. Of
course subconsciously we thought after building C4, we
want to go to the top. There is not a question about
the summit at this moment, because we did not manage
to get the tent for C4 in the proper place on the
together with Radek and Zdenek worked very hard to get
our equipment up. So this is how Miska feels about it:
left BC to get to C1. The very next day (Friday) I
went all the way to C3. Originally we were four on the
way up, but C3 accommodates only three climbers. So
Mira and I decided to flip a coin to see who stays in
C2 and who will continue up to C3. In the end Mira was
tiered before C2 anyway. So the three of us continued
to C3. I must admit it was pretty hard and each of us
carried a 20 kg bag. As we arrived to C3 we saw the
tent was completely destroyed. We had to clean
everything up and raise a new tent. It was almost 6
pm. Our new tent is Alpinus designed for two people.
We got in with all our stuff and it was very crowded.
We cooked in a sitting position. Normally when we
cook, we lie down. We went to sleep around 10 pm and
it was a difficult night. Everybody was bumping into
each other. I was very tired in the morning.
took us too long to pack up in the morning. We also
cooked a lot. I did not feel like eating, but despite
that I managed to get down a little bit of chocolate
and crackers. We left camp at 11 am. A bit late. We
were ascending hard with Radek at the lead, then me
and last was Zdenek. We wanted to bring up all of C4,
so each of us carried about 20 kg. There was fresh
snow over C3. While walking I was sinking in and I was
walking really slow. After about 200 meters I knew
that I will not get there with this load, so I called
the guys. We got together and decided that they will
go down to C3 with me.
went directly to C2. Firstly to get good sleep and
secondly to get a better appetite. Finally in the
evening I ate without feeling sick. I was at 7000 m
for the first time in my life and I think all these
problems come from exhaustion than from elevation. I
feel that everything will be OK, so I still have the
summit on my mind. Next time I will be ascending, I
will go from BC to C2 and then I will go up each day
to each camp.
and Sona left for C1 on Saturday afternoon. Bouda was
supposed to go with them, but based on the weather it
seems that they are in for a long stay (2 days) on the
mountain face. So Bouda decided it is not worth it.
Monday Radek and Mira tried to bring up at least the
basics for C4. Later Radek called to BC to say that
they did not make it, so they deposited camp somewhere
around 200 m under mountain shoulder. Zdenek, who
talked to them from BC was not to happy: If they would
only take a tent and make it all the way, it would be
just great. This way all four of us have to build C4
and Sona arrived to C2 with the load and were asking
for the weather forecast. If the weather will really
get worst on Monday, they will return.
chef went to BC under Broad Peak today. He said that 2
Bulgarians and maybe even Argentineans are going for
the summit today. The Estonians are planning to reach
the summit on Monday.
7/22/2001: Hi, In accordance with last message [see
below], 10 people get to the SUMMIT of K2 !!! 6
Koreans (with oxygen and porters) [the Koreans only
reported five so far], 2 Spanish (Carlos Pauner and Pepe Garces),
2 members of the International expedition (Hans
Kammerlander and Jean Christophe Lafaille) (Expedition
leader is Peter Guggemos). Our Czech expeditions have
not build C4 yet. We not try summit attack, at this
attack in groups.
Radek and Miska left C1 for C3 on Friday and Mira went
to C2. They had to find out what the situation is in
the elevation camps after a huge brutal avalanche
which went down on Friday at about 5 am. They also
planned to build C4 on the mountain’s shoulder at
7800 - 7900 m. The weather was beautiful and the tent
in C3 was completely destroyed. Zdenek decided to
build another tent that evening, sleep over and in the
morning go on to build C4 so Mira had to bring a new
tent from C2.
had conformed that the Koreans, Spanish, and
international group with Kammerlander at the lead want
to reach the summit on Sunday. Zdenek and Radek
decided to join them, but on Saturday morning during
their ascent where C4 was supposed to stand, they
returned. None of them felt good. The weather forecast
is beginning to be bad already for during the night
from Sunday to Monday.
is busy here in BC. An expected Czech group of
trackers arrived. We were worried that the
above-mentioned avalanche buried all the gear that
Sona, Simon and Bouda had deposited on the mountain
face just were Cesen route starts. So everybody in BC
including our chef went to search for the lost gear.
After a careful revision we found out that it is not
that bad. In the end the only thing we were missing
was Sona’s helmet. The problem was that this was the
only one Sona has. A Chef from a neighboring
expedition brought a helmet, but demanded $ 350 for
it. In the evening he deducted $200, so he wanted $100
for it. Even that it is crazy extortion. In the
morning our chef Peter went to the BC under Broad Peak
and brought another helmet, this time for $25. So
after all that Sona now has a helmet.
next news will be right on Sunday to tell you how the
groups are doing attacking the summit and also to tell
you what our plans are.
of the Czech K2 Expedition: Himalaya
here for K2 2000