31st July, 2011
Chris has called in with an update from K2 where the team is now resting in preparation for a summit bid. Lakpa, Chris and the HAPs (Farhad, Aziz and Said) have now carried gear (rope, tents etc) and oxygen in C2 in preparation for a summit push this week. Everyone is back at BC with a rest day planned for August 1st. As it stands they plan to ascend to C2 on the 2nd, C3 on the 3rd, C4 on the 4th and then make a summit bid on the 5th. They are running into deep snow high on the route and this will represent a real challenge to establishing camp on the Shoulder in the days ahead so there will be a need for sharing the hard work to do.
They are hopeful to make a bid on Friday the 5th and the weather will dictate this possibility. The predictions have been for calm summit winds for the 2nd to 5th but there looks now to be rising summit winds on the 5th so that window may close before they can make this push in which case they will hope for another window the following week.
At this time FTA members Sophie, Rob and Lakpa will plan to make a summit bid with Chris planning to be in C2 in support during the bid. Farhad, Aziz and Said plan to deposit O2 and other gear in C4 and return to C3 on the 3rd. It is a real challenge for them to deliver these supplies to C4 and our success will depend a lot on how successful they are in their role. They have worked very hard for for our team on Broad Peak and have been a tremendous asset to the expedition as a whole.
Chris notes that the group of climbers now assembled on the Cesen are largely familiar to each other and that they are cooperating very well. Among them are FTA alum Alex Txicon who became the youngest Basque climber to reach an 8000m summit in 2003 on Broad Peak. As well Bruno Buchet who was with FTA in 2005 on Broad Peak is on the hill and joining to push. Fabrizio and Kinga who had planned to climb a different route but have been forced by conditions back on to known ground. Christian, Gerfried and more round out the assembled group. Initially teams were to have been on up to three different routes but now all hopes lie in the Cesen from the Pakistan side.
|K2 from Broad peak BC © stu remensnyder|
We'll have more news in the days ahead with the team's progress.
(Chris's dispatch is a bit garbled due to a poor connection but it worth a listen in!)
After long deliberation about making a bid on G2, Wim has decide to come on out and not make the climb. He had hoped that some teams would still be on the hill and the route in reasonable shape but by the sounds of it G2 is becoming quite deserted and not a safe enough objective without others on the hill. He should be out in 3 days to Skardu and we'll let you know when he is out.
The remainder of the team have all reached safely to Skardu and are on their way to Islamabad. They and all of us continue to have Jeff's loss very much affecting us and our thoughts are with Jeff's family and friends.