Summer 2017 Update: GII & Broad Peak Summits, K2 Teams Ready for the Push

Unpredictable weather in Karakoram. K2 in particular is playing the game of 2015/16, when climbers didn’t even get a full chance to launch summit attempt. Around ten climbers summited Broad Peak on 11th, whereas three made it to GII summit on 16th. Oscar Cadiach remains in BC for his fourteenth eight-thousander. Whereas, K2 teams are all set for summit push.

GII Summits
French mountain guides Mathieu Maynadier and Jérémy Rumebe and American Colin Haley reached the summit of Gasherbrum II on July 16th. The trio’s success was preceded by a series of failed summit-bids by various teams. On July 10th Bulgarian Boyan Petrov reached 7900m when large amount of snow and dangerous climbing conditions forced him to turn back. The French duo stopped at around 7300m that day. On 11th, Ukrainian team’s summit push was thwarted at 7700m.

“We are happy because we were alone on the mountain and the first of the season to succeed this climb," Mathieu Maynadier commented after returning to BC.

A fresh wave of summit attempts including Polish and Italian teams is apparently underway on GII now.
French guides on GII during first summit push. Photo: Boyan Petrov

Change in Traverse Plans
The Spanish trio attempting GI-GII traverse has a change in plans. Instead of Gasherbrum I, they are now on the way to GII summit. Much like first summit attempt, they found heavy accumulation of snow in Japanese Couloir and also the winds were predicted to remain strong on GI. They have, thus, decided to climb Kurtyka-Kukuczka's route on GII. The team was in C3 (7100m) last night.

Alberto Iñurrategi, Juan Vallejo and Mikel Zabalza left BC on July 19th and spent first night in C2 (6300m).

Broad Peak Summits
Around a dozen climbers from two teams reached Broad Peak summit on July 11th. Furtenbach Adventures guide Rupert Arnold Hauer reached the top along with three clients and three Sherpa, whereas Kobler Partner guide Herbert Rainer summited along with Sophie Lavaud and Fida Ali. The teams waited out bad weather days in C2 and C3, when the conditions finally cleared for a perfect summit day.

Oscar Cadiach Waits
Majority of Broad Peak teams have left the mountain - either to neighboring K2 or back home. Spaniard Oscar Cadiach, however, remains in BC for another attempt on the mountain. He is joined by Tunc Findik, Ali Sadpara, HAP Youssef and a couple of American climbers. The mountain is said to be in good climbing conditions.
K2 as seen from Broad Peak summit ridge on July 11th. Photo: Sophie Lavaud

K2: Summit Attempt
K2 climbers are equally divided on SE Ridge (Abruzzi Spur) and SSE Ridge (Cesen) routes this season. Mingma Gylje Sherpa’s international team fixed ropes till 7500m and made a deposit just below C4 on July 11th. However, couple of days later, a huge avalanche swept down the route. The team hasn’t been able to go up and check the status of ropes and high camps/deposit.

“This morning at 8:12am, we saw big avalanche coming from Abruzzi route. We feel all camp3 is swept away again. I am sure we have all our deposit near camp4 because our sherpa team made it on ice cliff but it is likely sure that all the fixed ropes are washed away.” Mingma assessed from BC. Bad weather has halted climbing activities on the mountain. Previously, the team acclimatized to C2 and C3.

On Cesen route, Polish team reached C3 (7100m) on July 15th, whereas Himex climbers arrived in C3 on 16th. They are now set to resume the ascent. “We hope to be at C4 at the same time as the Dreamers Destination team,” says Russell Brice. “It will make life much easier if both teams can get to C4 at the same time, where we can cooperate with the rope fixing above.” July 27th/28th are estimated to be the summit days, if everything goes as per plan.

Polish skier Andrzej Bargiel is already on the move, though. He intends to reach 7500m today, to conclude acclimatization before summit attempt.

Andrzej Bargiel skiing down during acclimatization. Photo: Andrzej Bargiel
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