Dispatch 2/25/2003: A
Winter K2 Expedition - storming the summit
It's this Wednesday
are climbing higher and higher amidst the blizzard.
Weather permitting, especially the wind, they will
attempt to reach the K2 summit on Wednesday.
Denis Urubko and
Marcin Kaczkan, amidst high wind and blizzard,
reached camp III this Monday (7150 m). The Russian
tent weathered the storm without much harm. But it
was full of snow. Urubko, calm and good-natured as
he is, was in a fury when saying on the radio phone
what he thought of the colleagues leaving the tent
door open. Instead of cooking, getting warm or
having a rest, he had to bring the tent back to
order. It's extremely cold, reported Denis who's not
in the habit of complaining. Marcin Kaczkan joined
him an hour and a half later. They are planning to
climb up to camp IV (7630m) on the next day.
chief, Krzysztof Wielicki, is one day behind them
and has reached camp II (6780m). On Tuesday he plans
to cut the distance and, leaving out camp III, to
meet his colleagues in camp IV. According to the
weather forecast, fair conditions are expected on
Wednesday, but unfortunately it'll be windy. More
clouds and strong wind are expected on Thursday. If
that forecast is right, Wednesday will be the only
day to attempt reaching the summit. It's not so much
the cloudless sky that matters, but rather the
strength of the wind.
Up to camp IV, the
climbers use fixed ropes. On the last kilometer,
they no longer have this protection. In the summer
of 1995, the wind blew off the wall six climbers
descending the North Ridge (on the Pakistan side).
Krzysztof Wielicki and Denis Urubko seem to have
enough experience to judge their chances and take
the right decisions.
- It's make or
break, that's how the expedition's doctor, Roman
Mazik, commented on the strategy to storm the
from the base under K2
Written by Monika
translated by "Scrivanek".