From stu in the usa office
19 July 2010
Our team called in from BC on the evening of the 18th to let us know that the entire team was down safe and sound in BC and that our team had cleared the remaining gear from the hill. After a few rest days the team heading to K2 will begin to shuffle gear over to our BC at K2 and prepare for what looks like a possible window for C2/C3 around the 25-26 july. A better window for summit bids looks to be on the horizon for around the 30th and we'll be watching the forecast very carefully in the next few days to see how these two windows play out.
I should have more information about the individual decisions of climbers and departure dates in the next 24 hours. At this time a number of folks will be heading out on the 24th and then a second group around the 28th and then the final departure around the 8th of august.
We are very happy to hear that some other climbers who had decided to push on to the summit were able to reach the top. We know that the descent became quite difficult and one even spent the night out at 7800m. Seems our team made the prudent choice to head back to camp - especially given that they had enough concern for the slopes to fix 300m of rope on the way down (in sections that they had climbed up without ropes!) We are glad that the ropes our team used were then in place to protect the descent of those who had gone on to the top. Sounds like at least a few were quite happy to have them at hand!
Ed Viesturs notes in his K2 book (p20) that “I am proud of the fact that on all thirty of my expeditions to 8,000m peaks, I never once had to bivouac. On several occasions, I turned back around short of a summit rather than submit to a night out without shelter.” Included in this list is a first attempt on Broad Peak in 1997 when, as noted on his own site, www.edviesturs.com, “they stopped just 150ft from the true highest point. The simple traverse was threatened by severely unstable snow. It was early in the morning and we felt quite strong, but the risk was too great to continue simply to gain a few more feet in altitude.” Ed returned in 2003 to polish off the last 150ft!
Seems our crew is in good company with the decisions they made! The mountain will still be there for next year and we'll be back!
Broad Peak makes for a great 8000m climb with the combination of one of the planets greatest treks and climbing that remains varied, interesting and accompanied with superior view. We are looking forward to coming back in 2011 for our 7th trip to the mountain and are already accepting applications. We hope to be on Nanga Parbat, G2, G1 and Broad Peak next summer and possibly even a return to K2! Join the most experienced Karakoram 8000m expedition company for a great trip in 2011!