Monday, July 14, 2008

Summit Aborted! 50cm snow, high winds

I had to make the really tough decision to call off pretty much our only summit chance last night at 10:30 pm. 10 cm of snow had fallen and the winds had started to blow. I went around to the team members' tents and broke the news. Surprisingly, everyone supported my decision to see what the morning would bring. Well, 50 cm of snow, a total white out and blow-you-over winds. The north face team turned back at 7400m due to avy danger. Their bid to ski from the summit of Gasherbrum 2 is pretty much off. Its been great climbing with such a great group of people and we look forward to a rockin' dance party back at base camp. I digress...

At about 10am this morning I had to make another tough call. Wait out the a storm at 7000m, that arrived early and is supposed to last 5 days or get off the mountain before the team gets trapped and can't descend the extremely avalanche prone slopes. (3 additional days of sun are needed to help consolidate the snow and make it relatively safe) I must say I'm not the happiest of campers right now but I stand by my decision.

Here we all sit safe and sound at camp 2. Everyone but Jean-Rene and Francois will descend to base camp tomorrow morning. The two French climbers feel differently about the weather and route conditions and along with Asgar, may make another attempt from camp 2. Naucho remained at camp 3 and may also descend tomorrow or head up to camp 4, weather permitting.

It saddens me, and all of the members to be going down after working so hard to to get so close to our goal. In the end however, it is always safety first and my first responsibility it to bring everyone home.

Chris from G2 camp 2.

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