from stu in the usa office
July 1, 2010
Fabrizio has left a few voice dispatches (see at bottom) with the very latest on the team's efforts on Broad Peak and they are impressive to say the least! In just 4 days our team has placed 2400m of rope and established 2 camps with 5 tents each. You can see in the image below the general route and typical camp placements and click on it for a larger view.
Broad Peak route from K2 BC © stu remensnyder
On the 26th Fabrizio and Aziz and Farhad made it up to C1 from basecamp in a lightning 2hrs and 5 minutes. In 2003 this took me nearly 4 hours on my second time up and I was trucking. I don't know how Fabrizio and the HAP's can go that fast, me thinks EPO or HGH a la Tour de France!! Perhaps injectable epi as in the classic film "K2" during the "take me out to the ball park" scene. If you have not seen this film its a must-see-cult-climber-flick! Just ordered a fresh copy from Amazon! Most normal human on our team are taking between 4hrs and 8 hours to reach C1 and taking a few pics, a rest or two and some breaths along the way!
More than half of the team has now spent the night at C1 and by the end of the next few days the entire team will have done so. There had been hopeful plans to move up the hill sooner but snow on the 29 & 30 kept our team resting up at BC. With a nice 2-3 day window starting tomorrow much of the team will be on the move including some members starting rotations at C2. Perhaps half of the team will have spent a night there by the 4th when light snow is expected to fall. Likely we will then be grounded a few days with heavier snow expected on the 5th into the 6th.
By the 4th Fabrizio and the HAP's are hoping to push the route into C3. The 5 HAPs will carry approx 150m of rope and this should give us enough to make the critical sections safe. After a series of steeper steps above C2 the route eases off for a large stretch and C3 can be placed in many spots along the way. Typically the height is between 7100 and 7200m and from this high on the mountain BC begins to feel far off and sensation of being on the moon begins to take over. Nonetheless on a nice day it can be well above freezing and a nice place for a cup of tea and a rest.
Hot tea at C3 © stu remensnyder
Some years depending on conditions of the team and the route we will add a camp higher up nearer to 7400-7500m which can shorten up the summit day. We had 2 nights in 2003 at this camp and it was glorious spot with great views of sunset on K2.
Loney C4 in 2003 © stu remensnyder
Passing the hours at BC this summer has included marathon sessions of Jenga and you can hear more in fabrizio's dispatch from the end of the day on the 27th in Pakistan. On the 30th they had the entire bc contingent over for a party and Jenga once again played a central role with a 15-person game which included Catalans, Slovaks, Canadians, Americans, Norwegians and more! Apparently Chris and Fabrzio have taken great pains to set up the best BC we have ever had including a cushy floor, strung lights and games galore. The FTA BC setups always seem to be inviting and whether we are in Nepal, Pakistan, Argentina, Ecuador or Tibet we enjoy the company of all the other teams on the hill. Always nice to create a community on the mountains with other folks passing through for a cup of yak butter tea, a game of cards or a sip of Khukuri rum!
Fabrizio wanted to be sure we mentioned the amazing job that Aziz and Farhad are doing and they are proving to be the strongest HAP's right now. We had met them last year on the Latok rescue attempt and they had demonstrated great skill and strength and we are glad to have them on our team for this year and hopefully for many years to come!
Enjoy the audio dispatches below and stay tuned for more news in a few days!
26th June, 2010 Audio Dispatch
July 1, 2010 Audio Disapatch (#88)
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