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Chronology of getting to the summit
alarm clock rings at 2.30 in the morning. Olaf
and three Spanish climbers want to ascend to
camp 3 at 7000 meters altitude. Again they have
problems with a lot of snow on their path.
Furthermore, they have to free several hundreds
meters of fixed ropes from snow. When they
reached camp 2, it was clear that their power
was not sufficient anymore to ascend the last
400 meters to camp 3. Therefore, they stayed at
camp 2. Olaf needs about 2 hours to dig out the
tent. The remaining day, they melt snow, drink
4.00 in the morning, they start again and lose
their way on the southwest flank of the
Gasherbrum II. Olaf has to dig steps into the
ice at one point in order to get further. When
they finally find the fixed ropes, they had lost so
much time as the whole way from camp 2 to 3
would take under normal conditions. At Camp 3,
Olaf and the Spanish friends had a surprise:
Because this camp is exposed to the wind, the
tents are not under snow. Again they spend their
day smelting snow, drinking and sleeping.
At 16.00 o'clock they have dinner because the
want to start the summit at midnight.
and Christian started from camp 1 to ascend to
camp 2 and 3. They hoped that they can ascend
fast and to catch up with the other team at camp
3. However, the path was already filled with
snow and they needed to make a new track.
Because their skis increase the weight they have
to carry, they need almost they same time as the
previous team. When they arrived at camp 2, they
were too exhausted to get further. After having
a rest for some hours and having radio contact
with Olaf, they decide to climb to camp 3 in the
cold of the night.
hope getting forward faster on the frozen snow
was in vain. Strong wind blew up the track made
by the previous group. At 10 in the evening they
arrived at camp 3, where Olaf and the 3 Catalans
were sleeping. After sharing the narrow space
within the tents, 50 minutes remained to sleep
before the first group wanted to continue their
way to the summit.
and the 3 Catalans started at 15 minutes after
midnight. There were still 1100 meters altitude
left. They get on fast in the beginning, but at
the Traverse they had to track again which
wasted time and power. At least, the weather is
wonderful. Finally, they reach the Western edge
of the pyramid of the summit. There are still
300 meters altitude left but the summit is
always in sight and acts like a magnet. On
August, 3rd, 15 minutes after noon, they stand on
the top of the Gasherbrum II. And they have an
excellent view. Most impressing, K2 (the
second highest mountain on Earth), that is
situated only some kilometers northeast and can
only be seen from the summit. But there is
strong cold wind up there, and Olaf chilled fast
and has problems in handling the camera and the
radio set. So they decide to descend fast
bearing this deep impression in their hearts.
and Christian spend the whole day in the camp for
recreation. At 16.30 o'clock, Olaf returned to camp 3,
exhausted and happy, and got the congratulations.
After having a rest of only 15 minutes and having some
tea, he proceed to camp 2. Christian and Markus wanted
to start the last stage between 22.00 and 0.00
o'clock, but dark clouds on the horizon urged them to
change their plans and decided to ascend immediately.
The main problem was not the 3 hours shorter
recreation period. The tough decision they had to make
was to leave their skis behind that they transported to
7000m altitude. The surplus weight of some kilograms
would retard the ascent and, therefore, risking the
and Markus summit the Gasherbrum II on August, 4th, at
4.30 in the morning. The weather changed rapidly
during the ascent and on the top they had a range of
sight of only 20 meters. At 9.00 o'clock, they are
back to camp 3.
radio, Lydia, Ralf and Olaf get the message at camp 2.
Lydia and Ralf have ascended on August, 2nd to camp 1,
and on August, 3rd. to camp 2. This morning, they had
planned to go to camp 3. But when they wake up at 3.00
in the morning, the weather got worse rapidly. At 4.00
in the morning, it started to snow and it gets worse
every hour. Finally, they had to make the hard
decision to stop the ascent and descend to camp 1 with
Olaf. It was a very hard decision, but the only
possible and right one. But with tears in their eyes.
way to camp 1 caused no problems. However, Lydia, Ralf
and Olaf get a bad surprise when arriving. The large
tent for 8 persons was nearly destroyed by the shock
wave of a large avalanche. They saw this avalanche
last night, but now they are confronted with its
results. The tents of the Kasakh expedition were blown
away by 50 meters into a 50 meters deep crevasse.
Thanks God, all Kasakhs were at higher camps this
night. Olaf and Ralf succeed to repair the tent to
that extend that it can be used again. After 2 hours
work, Olaf proceed to the base camp, together with the
Kasakh alpinists. Lydia and Ralf decide to stay at
camp 1 hoping the bad weather would not stay very
arrives at the base camp on August, 4th. at 1 p.m. and
is hearty welcomed by our cook and by several military
Christian and Olaf - with cold feet but happy at the
base camp, 8/6/01, 8 p.m.