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weather remained stable through the night and
Christian, Markus and Ralf got up at 2.30 a.m. for a
fast breakfast. They passed the chaotic Gasherbrum
glacier until the ski depot, and continued their way
on ski and rope to camp 1. Despite some stops for
making video recordings, they got to camp 1 in five
hours. Our tent was still in good condition despite
some days of absence. Only a large frozen pool on the
floor indicated newly-fallen snow that have got into
they dried all stuff in the wonderful sunshine and had
a comfortable day there. Olaf and Lydia made an
additional resting day in the base camp to follow the
other day. Ralf, Christian and Markus went to their
sleeping backs at 6 p.m. because they wanted to climb
up tomorrow morning.
began already at 2.30 a.m. with melting snow and
cooking. Unfortunately, Ralf had bad headache and
decided to stay at camp 1 and to wait for Lydia and
Olaf. Christian and Markus started at 3.30 o'clock to
camp 2. The first part of their way (about half an
hour) was flat across the ruggy Gasherbrum glacier,
before they reached the steep southwest edge towards
the Gasherbrum II.
way is partly equipped with stationary ropes that were
installed by previous expeditions and that are
repaired and supplemented by each following
expedition. So this exposed area is rather good
secured. This is very important because there are
commercial expeditions beside skilled ones. The
members of the former would not get any meter to camp
2 without these aids. E.g. there is a Belgian giant
expedition, that came with more than 300 (!) porters.
And this morning, we became witness of a fatal
accident when a Belgian fall down to death 200 meters.
Obviously, he had no knowledge in securing techniques
and his shocked partner had not any essential
and an half hours later, Christian and Markus reached
the place of camp 2 at 6550m altitude and erected a
Ralf was recreating in camp 1, Olaf and Lydia ascended
from the base camp to camp 1. Because they did not
want to go through the ruggy glacier alone, they
joined another roped party. The progressed fast and
already 5 hours later they arrived at Ralf who had
expected them one hour later. So they started with an
extended breakfast. When there is sunshine it is
important to protect oneself against the sun. On sunny
days, there are up to 35 degrees Celsius despite 6000
ice, melting it and preparing tea are the main actions
today. At the radio communication in the evening, they
decided to climb up one camp higher each: Christian
and Markus to 7000m for preparing the place for camp 3
(though they had not a tent for it, yet); Lydia, Ralf
and Olaf to 6550m for supplying camp 2 with fuel,
food, and the tent for camp 3.
early bird catches the worm: Times to get up were 2.30
and 2.00 o'clock at camp 2 and 1, respectively. Markus
and Christian started at 3.40 a.m. together with four
Austrian climbers. They had to prepare a new path
because of the snow of the last days and so they
alternated each other with this excreting work. After
the first third, they had cold feet and decided to
make a rest on a small platform, spreaded their
isomats and crawled into their sleeping bags with all
clothes to wait for the first sunrays. At about 6800m
altitude, it became too hot in their sleeping bags
after 2 hours, so they had to continue their way.
o'clock, they arrived at 7000m altitude, where camp 3
shall be established on a small platform. The weather
was still fine and so they went into their sleeping
bags again to make a rest. Three members of the
Spanish expedition with which we share the permit,
arrived half an hour later and erected their two
tents. Christian and Markus could use one of them for
the night so they had not to descend. Olaf, Lydia and
Ralf arrived at camp 2 in the morning. And all we were
witness of a giant spectacle. From the flanks of the
Gasherbrum I, an huge avalanche ran downhill enlarging
every second. It crossed the kilometers wide
Gasherbrum glacier (and, therefore, our ascent route
to camp 1!) to ran uphill the Gasherbrum VI for some
hundred meters. A quarter of an hour later, when the
snow precipitated, we were aware of total destruction.
The huge power we could grasp when talking on radio
with our cook at the base camp. Over there, they saw
the giant avalanche and they had reacted promptly and
properly. Before the shock wave arrived (about 15
minutes later), they have fixed the tents by stones.
So, our large tents survived the shock wave, but a lot
of tents of other expeditions were blown away.
the night, something happens that destroyed all of our
plans: Suddenly, Lydia had an incredible headache, and
felt worse every minute. As all medicine did not help,
we suspected an acute altitude sickness. There is only
one way of aid, immediate descent! So, Lydia, Ralf and
Olaf had to prepare for it in the middle of the night.
At 4.00 o'clock they were ready , but Lydia could
hardly stand alone on her feet anymore. Finally, they
made it to camp 1 with the great aid of Olaf and Ralf.
The condition of Lydia did not improve in camp 1 and
so they decided to return to the base camp. After an
adventurous night passage through the seracs and the
crevasses, they arrived at 11 p.m. at the base camp.
Here, Lydia's condition became stable rapidly.
and Markus descended to camp 2 with no idea what
happened. When they arrived at the empty camp 2, they
got the radio message, and after having a rest for
some hours, they returned to camp 3 again to erect the
tent there. They only needed two hours for the ascent
because of their good adaptation and their rest
news in the morning: Lydia felt as there was nothing.
The Walter Brothers started their descent in the early
morning at -20 degrees Celsius. Because there were
dark clouds and the weather seems to get worse after
some good days, they descended as fast as possible: 30
minutes from camp 3 to 2, 80 minutes to camp 1 and
then, after a short rest, 2 hours on ski to the base
camp. When they arrived there, it started snowing and
sight decreased to some 100 meters.
will stay at the base camp as long as the bad weather
persists and ascent with the first sunrays for the
first storm to the summit.
Walter & Olaf Rieck, Gasherbrum base camp,
the reports here are running behind, but have you seen
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and go back and look at these pictures !!!