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 K2 2003: ANDALUCÍA K2 EXPEDITION

 


AFTER SEVERAL DAYS WITH COMMUNICATIONS PROBLEMS WITH THE SATELLITE PHONE OF THE ANDALUCÍA K2 EXPEDITION, SPONSORED BY CONSEJERÍA DE TURISMO Y DEPORTE THROUGH DEPORTE ANDALUZ, WE ATTACH THE LAST INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM THE ANDALUCIAN EXPEDITION WHO IS ATTEMPTING TO REACH THE SUMMIT OF K2.  STRONG SNOWFALLS HAVE PREVENTED THE HIGH ALTITUDE WORKS, WHICH MEANS THAT THE ANDALUCIAN TEAM IS PLANNING TO EXTEND THEIR ADVENTURE A FEW MORE DAYS.

BREAKING NEWS  BREAKING NEWS  BREAKING NEWS

BC Andalucía K2.  July 11, 2003

A group of four climbers and two high altitude carriers have reached C1, with the intention of continuing to C2 in the next few days; Swiss climbers and carriers will join our leading group tomorrow at C2 and we hope to reach C3 day after tomorrow.  A second team also leaves tomorrow from BC with four support climbers with the intention of spending the night in C1.  We hope the weather lets us finish successfully this new attempt to reach C3.  Let's remember that the route with fixed lines is very close to it.

To finish the works up to C3, we have decided to count only with the Swiss expedition, because the rest of the groups are in BC now, showing very little (if any) interest, to work on the opening of the route. 

ANDALUCIA C2 STOCKED 

THE INSTALLATION OF C3 WILL BE A DEFINITIVE STEP TO START THE SUMMIT ATTEMPTS

Andalucía K2 B. C., July 8, 2003

Between the days of 2 and 4 we have been able to stock up C2 and leave everything ready to reach C3, although we keep waiting for a good weather window that lets us do it.  We are going through the most unstable weather period since we got to BC.

A Pakistani and a Sherpa from the Swiss expedition were able to get very close to C3 on the 4th and they fixed 750 meters of line, since that day it has been tried to reach the place again, but it has been impossible.  Today all the climbers who were in the high altitude camps have gone down to BC due to the current snowfalls.  An avalanche has destroyed two tents from other expeditions in C1, with nobody inside at that moment.

The installation of C3 above 7,300 meters will be a definitive step to begin the two summit attempts we have planned.  Because of all the activity done during the first month, there is some disappointment in the air of the BC tent.  We hope that the days of waiting go fast, to go back to the hillsides of K2.  We trust that the good weather forecasts come after the 12th.

As you can deduct from this chronicle, very little of what was agreed in the previous expeditions meeting has been carried out.  The Czechs opened some of the route up to a cliff we didn't know existed in the Black Pyramid and came back down, the International expedition who was going to equip, only went to C2 to stock it up.  Well... Great climbing projects: with the opening of new lines, without high altitude carriers; to use the carriers from other expeditions or ascents to two eight-thousands: Broad and K2, like the Czechs who are already in Broad, but how?  Without seriousness, without plans, without... much presence.

THE ANDALUCIAN EXPEDITION TO BROAD REACHES C2 AT 6,500 METERS

With a little more luck with the weather on Broad, the Andalucians Lina and Ricardo have reached C2 quickly, spending their first night of acclimatization at C1.  The Broad Problem is in the high zone, where the great accumulation of snow has prevented the attempt of Han, the Korean, who hopes to make his 14th eight-thousand and Jean Troillet and two other Swiss climbers who tried in the Alpine style.  Also three Navarra and Vasque climbers, who are part of an international expedition, gave up on the 5th.  To this day, everybody is at BC because of bad weather.

- How was the first contact with the mountain?

- LINA: It's a totally wild terrain and with unforeseeable weather conditions, great and spectacular surrounded by these eight-thousand-meters giants.

- What are your plans for the next days?

- LINA: We are hoping for an improvement in the weather to climb to finish stocking Camp 2 and from there, continue to install 3 and 4 and acclimatizing better each day at higher altitudes.  Manuel González. 

PROFILES AND LIGHTS OF KARAKORUM

Karakorum is probably the most rugged and chaotic mountain system on earth.  In this terrain, as grand as hostile, voyagers who pay attention can discover singular elements of rare beauty.  Mountains with vertiginous forms and magic lights which capture the heart of men.

Around "Paju", the entrance to the Baltoro Glacier, just in the limit of the torrid gravel pits with the ice, we could appreciate how the wind, the heat and the suspended dust generated and environment just like the desert. Gray lights filtered through sand clouds under the slim summit triangle of the first great mountain of Baltoro, the Mango Gusor.

Then in the glacier, in "Urdukas", we were witnesses, in a cold and clear night, of the value of one of the great jewels of the mountain system: the sky.  Radiant stars and planets over the almost perfect cylinder, of the Tower Without a Name and the baroque pinnacles of the Earth Cathedrals.

In "Concordia", under the mate light of the snow fall, we felt little while realizing, in between the clearings of the storm, the great dimensions of the great semicircular "plaza" made by the Godwin Austen and Abruzzos glaciers which form the Baltoro.

At K2 Base Camp we were overwhelmed under the most enormous pyramid of the planet when, lit up by the falling sun, the orange light rays of the summit reached the glacier valley.

At daybreak, on our way to the Abruzzos Spur, the blue lights of dawn flooded our senses with the extraordinary reappearing of the darkness of the immense trapeze that closes the view to the south: the Chogolisa, the white edges mountain.

From the first high altitude camp, the three cones of Broad Peak symbolize the quietness of dusk on the mountain system.  Unreachable rocks that cast ochre toned lights under intense blues.

Now that we are almost at 7,000 meters of altitude in the elusive spur, we are impressed, at birds view, by the formidable glaciers tongues, very long sinuous bands of ice that circle mountains of different profiles and which gather the magic lights of Karakorum.  JAVIER SÁNCHEZ 

BLANK DAYS WHICH PRECEDE DECISIVE MOMENTS

Trying to climb any eight-thousand-meter mountain supposes the acceptance of "special" game rules.  Among them, the forced inactivity in bad weather periods.  Under these circumstances, keeping a cold head, not losing your nerves and calculating the suitable movements, constitute the added value for any expedition.

When we descended for the last time to Camp II and said hello to our ineffable cook Ali Riza, he sentenced, with eloquence and with the accumulated experience of more than 10 summers working on the Baltoro, "good weather going, bad weather coming".  It didn't look bad then. JAVIER SÁNCHEZ

Translated from Spanish by Jorge Rivera

Dispatches

Pictures and text copyright ANDALUCIA K2 expedition







 

 

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