Friday, July 22, 2011
Karakoram 2011: Summits on Gasherbrum II
Despite bad weather across much of the region, the Karakoram climbing season continues to unfold. Yesterday there was more action on the Gasherbrums, while climbers on Broad Peak hope to take a shot at the summit and have moved themselves into position as well.
Over on Gasherbrum II, Alex Txikon has reached the top just nine days after summiting GI. According to the dispatch on his website, he is tired but excited to have bagged his second 8000 meter peak of the summer. He's not done yet either, as Txikon will now move on to K2, where he hopes to add yet another big mountain to his resume.
Carlos Pauner also topped out on GII, nabbing his 12th 8000-meter peak in the process. His dispatch reports that it took Pauner 11 hours of climbing to reach the summit, and that his intentions were to drop down to Camp III before taking a rest. But the descent won't be an easy one, as there are no fixed lines to the summit, so they'll be down-climbing without ropes.
Meanwhile, some teams on Broad Peak have moved into position with hopes of a summit attempt on Sunday. The weather reports have indicated that bad weather is expected over the peak well into next week, which has convinced some teams to go home, while others are pinning their hopes on a narrow window of calmer winds that are expected on the 24th. As a result, acclimatized teams are getting themselves up to Camp 3 with the hopes of making a dash to the summit if the winds do actually calm some.
For many of these climbers, K2 is looming, so they need to finish up their efforts and head to that mountain – a mountain that is as unforgiving as they come.