Dispatch 2/13/03: Nobody has been any higher
Denis Urubko and Piotr Morawski have established
camp IV at 7630 m. It is for the first time that
climbers have reached such an altitude on K2 in
?Hi, greetings from ?number four' ? we heard the
voice of Piotr Morawski during the evening
communication with the base. ? We are 100 m above
the place where we installed fixed ropes yesterday.
We pitched our camp on a little rock, exactly on the
spot of the Russian base, and the base of Poles and
Italians from 1996. Our little tent sits on another,
older one. We are sitting in it and shivering with
Whenever the clouds did not block out the vision,
Krzysztof Wielicki tried to direct Denis and Piotr
to the place of the camp he had established himself
less than seven years ago. Back then, he set out to
the summit from a tent sitting 200 m higher. He had
reached the summit at night already. On the way
back, he went through a dramatic bivouac and the
rescuing operation of his frostbitten and exhausted
Japanese alpinists, who in the summer of 1982 were
the first ones to conquer K2's Northern Pillar, did
not manage to return to the highest camp before
dark, either. Both the first four-person team and
the second team consisting of three alpinists were
forced to bivouac during their descent; they did not
use any oxygen cylinders. One of the Japanese
(Yukihiro Yanagisawa), exhausted after a night spent
without a down jacket or sleeping bag, fell down the
following day and died.
From the present camp IV to K2's summit (8611 m),
one has to cover an altitude difference of one
kilometer. And then return. ?The one who's going to
try to reach the summit ? said Denis from camp IV ?
has to be well-adjusted and has to have a strong
psyche.? There will not be any more fixed ropes
above. And the way leads mostly on the glacier, and
then on a rocky ridge. The last 300 m are not
visible from the base from the northern side.
tent of camp IV sits on a safe spot. It is protected
from strong western winds by a high ridge. The
alpinists still want to establish the last 300 m of
ropes. Another team should do this, however. Urubko
and Morawski have already spent their fourth night
above 7000 m. (Marcin Kaczkan has returned to the
base today.) They are very tired.
present expedition has already broken the altitude
record that man has ever achieved in winter on K2.
During the former, first winter expedition in
history from the southern, Pakistani side that was
headed by Andrzej Zawada at the turn of 1987,
Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy reached 7100 m.
Monika Rogozińska from the base under K2
Written by Monika
translated by "Scrivanek".