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 K2 2000 Day 39-45

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.

Day 45

Time for another update from K2: 7/14/2000

It has been a long time since you heard from me because we have had a problem with our server. Anyway, everything has been fixed and we are up and running again.

On the 29th of June Ivan Vallejo and myself descended from Camp 2 to Base Camp in very strong winds and thus began the start of a 9 day storm that left us for the most part tent bound in Base Camp. It was a rather frustrating time as we were all pretty sure that since our team had fixed the whole of the Black Pyramid -a notoriously difficult section of the mountain stretching from Camp 2 at 6700 meters to 7300 meters. We were quickly going to progress to Camps 3 at 7450 meters, and then to Camp 4 at 8050 meters. But all we could do was drive ourselves a little bit crazy by constantly discussing the weather, different food that we would enjoy and everything else we didn't have available at base camp. 

Finally on the 7th of July things started to clear and a few members headed up to Camp 1 and then Ivan and I climbed up to Camp 1 the following day. One major event did occur though, another Korean team arrived, with 12 members, 4 Nepalese Sherpas and 3 Balti High Altitude Porters. The Climbing leader, Mr. Um, has climbed several 8000m peaks and in no uncertain terms has very little regard for our team members nor the other Korean team that we have worked so closely with. We were very afraid of how they were going to treat the ropes because of their previous climbing styles. We could only wait and see how it would work its self out. 

After a very quick ascent to Camp 1 on the 8th, 1:45 with a ten minute rest to Advanced Base Camp  - the average for all the climbers this season being 3:00 - and 2:45 to Camp 1 - the average being around 5:30, we awoke on the 9th to find a foot of fresh snow and again made a good time to Camp 2, 6700 meters. Our normal time of 3:00 hours was pushed to 5:30, we rested and joked about how well we were doing. The following morning we woke to find another foot of snow and climbed through the Pyramid and arrived after 6 hours at Camp 3 at 7450 meters. We put up our tent warmed our feet and made our way back to Camp 2. The whole day the wind had continuously pushed us over and we were very grateful for our previous efforts fixing the rope all the way through the pryamid. The morning of the 11th we woke to very strong winds and descended all the way to Base Camp.

On our way down from Camp 2 Ivan and I found out how the new Korean team lead by Mr. Um had chosen to climb. Ivan left the ten twenty minutes before me so that we wouldn't  have to wait any time in the wind as we descended the 37 rope lengths to Advanced Base Camp, parting with a hand shake, smile and saying that we would maintain visual contact and stop for some water at Camp 1. Ivan left and I hoped the ropes hadn't been worn out too much by the wind and fresh snow. I waited and then went out into the wind and started off down the ropes. I reached the bottom of House's Chimney, a very steep rock pitch first climbed on the 1938 American Expedition. The 40m section has been the basis for much discussion as the ropes have taken a fair amount of abuse and the 100m section below is laced with loose rocks and every rope runs over  very sharp edges. I started down the dangerous section very slowly and was surprised to see the members of the new team. I was surprised for two reasons, the first they had only been in base camp a few days and the second more important was five people were on one rope which was probably the worst rope of the whole stretch. I protested rather loudly, and if you have ever climbed on a mountain with me you know just how loud that can be. The Koreans said they were very strong and experienced and that I should mind my own business. I said they were climbing on my ropes and that this was my business. The issue of the ropes was discussed at length and I said they would now have to climb to my team's standard if they wished to continue to piggyback off our hardwork. 

I moved on and they managed to hit me with three rock and then they had a minor accident and one of the climber's helmet went flying by. I new it was time to get off the mountain and have a discussion with all of our team members. We have decided to work things out between the teams and if they stick to our terms they are welcome to use our ropes. But upon the first infraction they will have to fix their own.

Anyway we are all back down in base camp and after an aborted attempt to try for the summit we are again facing a long spell of bad weather. We are all worried about the new snowfall and the condition of the last few hundred meters of the summit slopes.

Ivan and I now wait for the first sign of good weather and then we are off on our summit attempt. The moon is almost full and we are a little restless. But we will wait it out. I hope all is well.  Wish us luck. 


Member of the American International Expedition lead by Gary Pfisterer


Italian climber Hans Kammerlander, trying to summit K2 along with teammate Konrad Auer, is still waiting in Base Camp, due to heavy snow blizzards. "There's more than one meter of fresh snow fallen in the last days" says Kammerlander's manager Sigi Pichler. So the expedition, wanting to summit K2 and descend on skis, has been stopped due to high danger of avalanches.

Pichler, who had contact with Hans by satellite phone only few hours ago, is still optimist: "Weather reports say there'll be clear sky in the next days, so Hans and Konrad will wait two or three days, to try the summit again" says Pichler.

Kammerlander and Auer tried the same ascent one year ago, but had to retreat for bad weather conditions after ten days.

Source: Luigi Zoppello, Trento, Italy

Day 45 

Back at Base Camp after our attempt to reach Camp 3, more tomorrow. 

Waldemar Niclevicz

Day 44

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Camp 2 (6500 meters ) / Camp 3 (7450 meters) 44th day of the Expedition K2 2000!

From Camp 2 to 3 

My friends,

This is the fifth day of our lunge lunge towards the summit of K2.  Our goal is to try to set Camp 3 at 7450 meters.  In 1998 I passed through this section and I can attest to the difficult challenge we face.  This part is called the Black Pyramid, it is the most difficult section of the entire route.  It is almost all on dark rock that is amazingly vertical, the exposure is hard to comprehend.  Fortunately Marco and I, along with the  American and Korean teams, have fixed the ropes on this section.  We now need the weather to become our ally because it is almost impossible to succeed on the Black Pyramid fighting wind and blizzards.  If we succeed in our goal to establish Camp 3 we will have reason to celebrate because the path to K2's summit will have been cleared!!!

(legend of the photo: Marco Camandona getting close House's  Chimney; at the back, on the right the tent of Camp 2 (6,500 m). Photo by Waldemar Niclevicz.)

Waldemar Niclevicz

Project K2 2000 is  sponsored by O Boticαrio, TAM, Net Vνrtua and Sportsjα.

Day 43

Waldemar At Camp 2

Camp 1 (6050 meters) / Camp 2 (6500 meters) 43rd day of the expedition K2 2000 

Again at Camp 2

This is the fourth night that I will spend at Camp 2 (6500 m), it is important for our acclimatization (body's adaptation to the rarefied air). We still need to spend the night at Camp 3 (7450 meters) to avoid problems at the end of the climb due to a lack of oxygen in the atmosphere. The alpinists with more experience usually adapt better that those people who seldom face the rarefied air.

Waldemar Niclevicz

Day 42
Alpinists restart climbing at Abruzzos Spur. Photo by Waldemar Niclevicz

Click on this Picture ! You must see this !

Base-camp (5100 meters) / Camp 1 (6050 meters) 42nd day of The Expedition K2 2000

Starting the 5th lunge

The weather has got better at last, it is great. Well, we do not know for how long. It is necessary to take the best in order to recover the waste time. Main Aim: Set camp 3 (7450 meters) anyway. Setting such camping we will already have conditions to attack the summit. Insha Ala!

Kammerlander and Konrad Auer have also left this night to the get the superior altitudes, via a path called Tomo Cesen. Americans and Koreans are also following us through Abruzzos Spur. The movement is intense in all expeditions, everybody hoping to set camp 3 and also if the weather keeps good make the first attempt to the summit of K2.

I count on your cheering in the next days. 

Waldemar Niclevicz

Project K2 is sponsored by O Boticαrio, TAM, Net Vνrtua and Sportsjα.

Update from the American Expedition 7/13/2000

Greetings Everyone,

It has been quite a while since the last e-mail.  This was due in part to the fact that our e-mail service was interrupted from the 2nd to the 6th of July and the good news was after that we were back on the hill for a bit. 

The weather continued to be terrible through the 4th of July.  On the fifth it brightened up a bit but we were so spoiled with the memory of the early weather we enjoyed that we stayed in base camp.  By the tie the 6th rolled around we realized that if we were going to continue to make progress on the hill we would have to go back up pretty much regardless of the weather and hope for a break while we were there to move up.  With this in mind a group of five set off on the 6th and went up to Camp I.  Two others followed on the 7th and another two on the 8th.  We moved up to Camp II on the 7th.  There had been a fair bit of new snow but the route was in pretty good thick.  The weather at Camp I was unnaturally calm and as we went up the wind increased and by the time we got to House's Chimney at 6600 meters it was blowing a gale and snowing sideways.  When we popped out the top of the chimney the wind was about 50mph.  Fortunately we were close to Camp II by then.  Another 50 meters and 20 minutes got us to Camp II.  The tents were a bit wind blown and drifted but still serviceable and we didn't waste any time getting in and settled.

The next day the 8th two of us in Camp II went back to base camp as the weather was looking grim and two others were arriving from Camp I.  The other three at Camp II sat tight and took a rest day.  The next day we had a bit of luck and the weather eased off.  The five members in Camp II set off up the ropes of the Lower black pyramid.  By this time two Koreans and two of their porters were also in Camp II and set off as well.  It had snowed another foot or so the night before so the ropes were under deep snow.  The first person out, in pulling up the ropes set off an avalanche in the first gully out of the Camp.  They pressed on, making slow progress, three members and the Koreans were carrying fixed line with the intention of making a few repairs to areas already fixed and to complete the route to Camp III.  The other two members were carrying tents and equipment to establish Camp III once it was reached. 

It was a very slow process that we were able to watch from base camp through binoculars.  It continued late into the afternoon and early evening.  We were all wondering what was going on up there when finally about 6:30 we could see most of the climbers descending.  When we finally established radio contact we were happy to learn that the day was a major success.  The route through the pyramid was established and so was Camp III with two members staying in the Camp for the night.  The pyramid is the most difficult section of the climb and takes about 7 hours to negotiate on the ropes.  Two other members did a carry to Camp III the following day while most other members descended to base camp for a well earned rest.  Everyone was back in base camp for the 11th when we celebrated Andy Evans' birthday with a giant cake.  He was so out of breath from all the work on the hill that he could only blow out two out of three candles!!!!  He'll get another wish next year so no worries.

The Brazilian team has now moved up the hill with three members and four porters to try to get their Camp III established with the intent to try to push on to Camp IV and possibly the summit.  The Koreans are moving up tomorrow 13th for what they are hoping to be a summit bid.  They too still lack a Camp III but they purchased the other Korean Camp IV from the successful Korean team that was on the Spur.  So if that is still there they will have this advantage. 

As I write we are the only team on the hill with a Camp III.  It was placed a bit lower than normal at 7350 meters in a very sheltered and protected area.  We traded off the additional elevation of the normal site at 7450 meters for the safety of this location.  We are now in the process of retrenching for another assault.  This next trip we hope at the least to establish Camp IV at about 8050 meters.  There is a bit more fixing to do which we hope the Brazilians or Koreans will take care of.  Optimally the group that establishes Camp IV will also make a summit attempt if the weather permits.

Unfortunately the weather continues to be very unstable and unpredictable.  We have given up doing anything but ignoring it and attempting to press on in spite of it.  So far this approach has enabled us to continue to make progress, but as we get higher on the hill we will have to be more circumspect.

 Unfortunately the weather continues to be very unstable and unpredictable.  We have given up doing anything but ignoring it and attempting to press on in spite of it.  So far this approach has enabled us to continue to make progress, but as we get higher on the hill we will have to be more circumspect.

The most recent development has been the Korean invasion of Mr. Um's team.  This is one of  his last 8000er and he arrived with a twelve person team with six high altitude porters.  His arrival has essentially doubled the traffic on the ropes and the consequent wear and tear.  It is a bit of a difficult situation as they have done nothing to help establish or fix the route but use the ropes as a birth right by virtue of the work of the other Korean team that helped put the route and ropes in.  Hopefully all this will sort out satisfactorily.  We had a meeting this morning to discuss the use and care of the ropes etc that seemed very positive.

With regard to other teams, the small Japanese team on the Spur is still acclimatizing on our route.  Voytek and his Japanese partner who were attempting the new route on the east face have moved to the Spur.  The Brazilian team is now in Camp II.  The old Korean team is going up tomorrow.  The new Korean team is moving material up to Camp II.  Mr. Um's competitor Mr. Park is also here but is on Broad Peak before coming to K 2.  He has a base camp here and has established a Camp I in anticipation.

The Broad Peak mob tried a mass summit bid on the morning of the 7th.  Five teams joined forces to be turned back by deep snow at 7700m.  When the Japanese team returned to their high camp the found two of their tents had been swept away by an avalanche.  Everyone returned to base camp.  David Hamilton is done and leaving on the 15th.  The other teams are all awaiting better weather for future attempts.  Thankfully the Japanese team that was planning to come to K 2 after Broad Peak is staying there to see things through.  The Camps and ropes are getting very crowded here.  

With regard to the Korean descent off the Spur, they did have a bit of a problem as they did not wand the route and had to sit at the bottom of the bottleneck for about three or four hours for a break in the weather that engulfed them on their descent to see their high camp.  As I'm sure you know by now they all returned safely.  It took them two days to get down in the soup.

 Forgot to mention Hans Kammerlander.  I think he is just sitting tight and conserving energy.  He has a small team and i think will likely tuck in with the Japanese when they begin to move up the Spur.  Voytek and one Japanese are already up there in Camp II or III.

So, hope the summer is progressing nicely for everyone.  I am anticipating leaving for Camp I tomorrow.  We have two groups heading up two days apart to try to push the route to Camp IV  and hopefully beyond.  I think summit success is a bit optimistic at this point but who knows, we are hoping with the full moon the weather may clear for a bit and we might just get lucky.

Back in touch in a week or so, Thanks for all the messages and love to all. Cheers, Gary

Day 41

Marco Camandona, Waldemar Niclevicz and Abele Blanc waiting for good weather at K2's Base Camp.

41st day of the Expedition K2 2000

Waiting for good weather at Base Camp

We can say  that there has been 13 days without good weather, very different from the nice days when we arrived here at Base Camp 25 days ago.

Our expectation about the next full moon is great, on 16th, because the weather usually tends to keep on stable. For a while, we can just wait patiently for such improvement, because a new frustrated lunge means  unnecessary physical waste; our aim is to set Camp 3 (7450 meters) and do it just in a good weather. It is not easy to be at base-camp waiting for good weather. The days go by so quickly and fatally the end of the climbing season (in the middle of August, arrival of monsoon, a constant bad weather) is getting closer, diminishing our chances to finish the climb successfully. Even so, our hopes  to get the summit of K2 still in this month are great. I believe that the weather will give us a break, as it happened with the Koreans two weeks ago. So, what we are trying to guess is when there will be a break, so that our efforts don't be in vain. 

Waldemar Niclevicz

Day 40

Base Camp (5100 meters) 40th day of the Expedition K2 2000

More Koreans at K2

A Korean Expedition left K2 victorious last week, and this week other two expeditions arrive hoping to get its 8611 meters. What happens, exactly, is that we have been surrounded by Koreans at Base Camp. Two expeditions  have arrived, one set its camp below ours and other over.

I do not have details about these new Korean  expeditions yet, because they have just arrived, making our Sunday very agitated. But I am sure that the number of alpinists that are trying to climb K2 this year must be a record  in the history. At least 50 alpinists from Pakistan side. From the Chinese side there must be 20 alpinists at least, in 3 expeditions. [ Actually more than that.... others he does not know about...] We hope, too, there can be many successes, and no tragedy this year.

Waldemar Niclevicz

Day 39

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Sight of Camp 2 yesterday, the clouds persisted around K2. Photo by Waldemar Niclevicz

Base-camp (5100 meters) 39th day of the Expedition K2 2000

Being back at Base camp.

Being back to base camp, we have started to cheer for good weather, so that we can go on our work and end the climbing successfully at last. We really hope to finish the climbing in this month of July, more specifically in the full moon, (July 16 and 17th).

Today the weather has shown some good signs. It is a good luck for Koreans and Americans who are at Camp 2, because I believe that they have good chances to get Camp 3 (7450 meters). If the weather really keeps good, maybe they can get the summit tomorrow.

Another important thing that I didn't say yesterday. Although the weather was bad, Marco Camandona, Abele Blanc and I are in great physical condition. That's very important. We know we are a strong and competent team and that we depend on just 4 good weather days to reach the summit of K2.

Waldemar Niclevicz

Project K2 is sponsored by O Boticαrio, TAM, Net Vνrtua and Sportsjα.

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)

Waldemar Niclevicz http://www.niclevicz.com.br/

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