Lots of work and no result: According to weather forecast, July
1, 2 and 3 were supposed to be nice days. We left at 4am flat on July 1. It
was snowing and we met Spanish grandpa (64 years old Carlos) turning around
right at the beginning of the glacier. I think they made right decision. We
were hoping the weather will improve. It did not. Trail was broken to Camp 1
by couple Canadians but that is about all. We continued to Camp 2 in the fresh
snow up to the knees. On July 2, weather was good - but only up to Camp 1. In
5 hours in blizzard, we made slight progress up to 7000m, then returned to
Camp 2 for second night. On July 3, weather finally got better but we got only
50m higher then previous day. We returned to BC on the same day.
It means that we did not reach the spot for Camp 3 at about
7300m and only left another depo half way up. Naturally we are disappointed
even we are the only team which made any progress above Camp 2 so far.
Climbing above Camp 2 is difficult. Way more than below Camp 2. It is either
steep rocky ridge or up to the waist ( one spot up to the arms) in endless
dust snow. Some old fixed ropes are usable but only after tough effort pulling
them out of snow and ice. We cut our 100m LANEX 6mm rope and placed it into
the four steepest sections.
So much effort and so little progress. It reminds me
Kangchenjunga last spring. There were only hours, not days when we could talk
about nice weather.
Back in BC, our cook managed to get some food from other
expeditions (cow did not make it yet). According to ATP managers, our food had
to be stolen or sold. I am glad we made the inventory, otherwise we would be
just eating our stuff and someone would be laughing how stupid we are.
We are not planning to be back on K2 for couple weeks at least.
From Tuesday on, the weather is supposed to get better again and we will try
to walk up Broad Peak. Sad news. The Swiss expedition from under Broad Peak is
leaving tomorrow. Jean Troillet, Professor of Climbing Arts (this is how his
boys are calling him) has problem with blood circulation in his foot and
decided to abandon the climb. If I would like to have a companion on the way
up to Broad Peak, from all the expeditions it would be this group of three
mountain guides from Swiss Alps.
Rather than that it seems like we will share this mountain with
our "old Korean friend from last year Kangchenjunga" - Mr. Hun & comp. As soon
as we arrived to Islamabad, we learned that this group is in Karakorum as
well, climbing GII and finishing Broad Peak as the last of the 14th 8000m
peak. Yesterday and today, we have been watching by binoculars the effort of
couple Sherpas and Mr. Hun to make it up. Mr. Hun even said that the chopper
is coming to pick him up for huge party. Watching them high on the mountain,
we were more afraid the helicopter will have to bring black plastic bag for
him as the weather is definitely not for making it to the top today. A few
minutes ago, they turned around as the weather is for sure closing in and they
realized it, too. Time to rest, read the book and play chess. Cheers,
Written on notebook ASUS -