The base camp at K 2, the second highest mountain on earth, will turn empty in the coming days. Andrzej Bargiel and his Polish friends declared that their ski expedition was over after they had finished their summit attempt at the weekend because of too much avalanche danger. The Swedish Fredrik Sträng and his Pakistani companion also turned around. The commercial expedition operators Furtenbach Adventure and Himalayan Experience had previously thrown in the towel.
Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, head of the operator Dreamers Destination, can return to Nepal highly satisfied. Under the guidance of the 31-year-old a team of twelve climbers had reached the 8,611-meter-high summit on Friday. These were the first summit successes on K2 since 2014, when Mingma had also been one of the successful climbers there and had climbed up without breathing mask. In spring 2017, the extremely high performing Sherpa had already scaled along with clients the eight-thousanders Dhaulagiri and Makalu. This summer he had reached with a team the summit ridge of Nanga Parbat without knowing if they had really found the highest point. After his success on K2, I have sent Mingma some questions. Here are his answers:
Mingma, first of all congrats to you and your team. Great performance! Some expedition leaders turned around due to the avalanche risk which they valued as being too high. What made you feel confident that it could work?
Date31. July 2017 | 13:55
It was a tough piece of work. “Finally we are at the summit of K2,” Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, head of the Nepalese expedition operator Dreamers Destination, wrote on Facebook. Besides him, eleven other climbers had reached the highest point at 8,611 meters, including six Sherpas, Mingma said. Obviously it took them about 16 hours to climb from the last high camp on the K2 Shoulder at about 7,650 meters up to the summit – no wonder considering the large amount of fresh snow, which had previously caused some teams to abandon their attempts due to the avalanche danger.
Date28. July 2017 | 14:41
TagsDreamers Destination, John Snorri Sigurjonsson, K2, Karakoram, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Pakistan, Summit success, Vanessa O'Brien, Zhang Liang
The Beatles can not have meant Oscar Cadiach when they wrote the lyrics for their song “When I’m sixty-four”: “Yours sincerely, wasting away”. The Spanish climber is 64 years old but nothing could be further from wasting away. He is certainly fitter than most 32-year-olds. Today, Oscar completed his big project: The Catalan summited the 8051- meter-high Broad Peak in the Karakoram and has now stood on top of all 14 eight-thousanders without having used bottled oxygen. 33 years ago, Cadiach had scaled his first eight-thousander, also in Pakistan: Nanga Parbat.
Date27. July 2017 | 18:56
TagsAmin Ullah, Broad Peak, John Snorri Sigurjonsson, K2, Karakoram, Kari Rostad, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Oscar Cadiach, Pakistan, Tunc Findik, Vanessa O'Brien
Will K2, after all, stretch out its hand for reconciliation? Despite the difficult weather and snow conditions on the second highest mountain on earth, today more than a dozen climbers have reached the highest camp on the K 2 Shoulder. “He just arrived at Camp 4,” Lina Moey, partner of the Icelander John Snorri Sigurjonsson, wrote on Facebook. “He is very tired, after almost twelve hours of climbing. This was a very long day and the snow reached up to his waist at some points. Fourteen people are planing to summit the peak, 9 of them are Sherpa. They had to dig 1.5 meter down to be able to put the tent down.” On 16 May, the 44-year-old Sigurjonsson had summited the 8516-meter-high Lhotse in Nepal. He was the first Icelander on the fourth highest mountain on earth. Also on the summit of K2, he would be the first climber of his country. John’s GPS tracker showed an altitude of 7,650 meters.
Date26. July 2017 | 19:37
TagsAndrzej Bargiel, Broad Peak, Dreamers Destination, Furtenbach Adventures, John Snorri Sigurjonsson, K 2, Karakoram, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Oscar Cadiach, Pakistan, Tunc Findik, Vanessa O'Brien
Damn hard or impossible? This question is likely to be answered in the next few days on the eight-thousanders K2 and Broad Peak. Summit bids are running on both mountains. “K2 is all about weather,” Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, expedition leader and head of the Nepalese operator Dreamers Destination, writes on Facebook today. “We had three days bad weather though weather report showed good (weather). Some teams on K2 are closed already and some in my team are going down too. But remaining, we still want to check 27 July.”
Date25. July 2017 | 15:17
TagsAdam Parore, Broad Peak, K 2, Karakoram, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Oscar Cadiach, Tunc Findik, Vanessa O'Brien
Waiting can wear down. For more than one and a half weeks, the freak weather in the Karakoram prevented major activities on K2, the second highest mountain on earth. A week ago, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa watched from Base Camp a big avalanche, which swept down over the normal route via the Abruzzi spur at about 7,000 meters. The 31-year-old head of the Nepalese expedition operator Dreamers Destination had to give up his plan to check what damage had been caused due to bad weather. Since then, he has been waiting for a summit change at the foot of the mountain, along with his clients and Climbing Sherpas. After all, the first team members left BC today heading for Camp 1. Before, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa answered my questions.
Mingma, how is the mood in K 2 Base Camp while waiting for a good weather window?
Date23. July 2017 | 8:20
Once again the weather in the Karakorum is a grab bag. “We are all still at Base Camp with the same 4 seasons in one day, sun, cloud, rain, snow, wind,” the New Zealand expedition leader Russell Brice wrote this week from K 2, the second highest mountain on earth. About 20 kilometers as the crow flies from there, Alberto Inurrategi, Juan Vallejo and Mikel Zabalza regardless of the freak weather started their ambitious attempt to traverse Gasherbrum I and II in Alpine style without descending to the base camp – 33 years after Reinhold Messner’s and Hans Kammerlander’s pioneering on these two eight-thousanders which has not yet been repeated to date.
Date21. July 2017 | 16:15
TagsAlberto Inurrategi, Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II, Juan Vallejo, K 2, Karakoram, Mikel Zabalza, Pakistan, Russell Brice, Traverse
According to the Pakistani expedition operator Alpine Adventure Guides, there was this summer’s first summit success on Gasherbrum II. The two Frenchmen Mathieu Maynadier and Jeremy Rumebe had reached the 8,034-meter-high summit in the Karakoram, the agency said on Twitter. Further information is not yet available. The two mountain guides from France had planned to climb G II on the normal route and to ski down afterwards. The goal of his first eight-thousander expedition was to gather experience at high altitude for an attempt on a technical route on an eight-thousander over the next few years, Maynadier had said ahead of the trip.
Date17. July 2017 | 14:40
TagsAlberto Zerain, Andrzej Bargiel, Gasherbrum II, Jeremy Rumebe, K 2, Mariano Galvan, Mathieu Maynadier, Mirza Ali, Nanga Parbat
With this monarch is not to be joked. K 2, the “king of the eight-thousanders”, is moody and therefore dangerous. “This morning at 8:12 am, we saw (a) big avalanche coming from (the) Abruzzi route,” Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, head of the Nepalese expedition operator Dreamers Destination, writes on Facebook. The Abruzzi route, following the path of the Italian first ascenders in 1954, leads via the Southeast Ridge of the mountain (look at the picture below, route F). “We feel all (that) Camp 3 (at about 7,300 m) is swept away again. I am sure we have all our deposit near Camp 4 because our Sherpa team made it on (a) ice cliff, but it is likely sure that all the fixed ropes are washed away.” Tomorrow his Sherpa team will go up again to assess the situation.
Date14. July 2017 | 14:41
TagsAbruzzi route, Avalanche, Cesen route, Dreamers Destination, Himalayan Experience, K 2, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Russell Brice
Looked at soberly, actually there can not be any doubt: The Spaniard Alberto Zerain and the Argentinean Mariano Galvan have been killed two weeks ago in an avalanche accident on the Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat. Photos taken by the Romanian climber Alex Gavan from a rescue helicopter show the track of the two climbers ending exactly at the fracture line of an avalanche. The last position indicated by the climbers’ GPS tracker is a spot far below, in the supposed fall line. (Look also at the video below) Nonetheless a Pakistani team of eight is currently again searching for the missing climbers at the place where the avalanche swept down. “We moved to the south side of the ridge. We closely looked at the face,” the leader of the search team said today. “We can see the traverse Mariano made. We can also see the ridge from which a chunk of ice fell that potentially caused the accident by sweeping the climbers off the (ridge) into the highly broken glacier. Three of us will try (to ascend) from South West Ridge and three from south east.”
Date12. July 2017 | 15:03
TagsAlberto Zerain, Alex Gavan, Mariano Galvan, Mazeno Ridge, Mount Everest, Nanga Parbat, Pakistan, Search
From Pakistan, this summer season’s first ascents on the 8051-meter-high Broad Peak are reported. Seven members of the team of the Austrian expedition operator Furtenbach Adventures and four climbers of the team of the Swiss operator Kobler@Partner reached the summit of the twelfth highest mountain on earth, it said. According to Furtenbach Adventures, expedition Rupert Hauer succeeded, along with three Sherpas and three clients, the first summit success on Broad Peak this season – even though there was a meter of fresh snow above the last high camp: “The sherpas made an unbelievable job and worked really really hard.”
Date11. July 2017 | 14:41
TagsACP, Alberto Zerarin, Alex Gavan, Broad Peak, Furtenbach Adventures, Herbert Rainer, Karakoram, Kim Hong Bin, Kobler&Partner, Lakpa Sherpa, Mariano Galvan, Nanga Parbat, Rupert Hauer
The Slovenian Davo Karnicar, known for his spectacular ski runs from the highest mountains in the world, has aborted his expedition on K2. The 52-year-old justified his decision with a minor back injury, which he had suffered already at the beginning of the expedition. The injury did not allow him to jump with his skies on the slope to change the direction, said Karnicar. Previously, he had skied down on trial from Camp 1 to the Base Camp. “K2 is too demanding for improvisation and for doing things by halves,” said Davo. Karnicar also pointed out that the key section of the South Face was currently snow-free and therefore a complete ski descent from the summit to the Base Camp, as he had planned, was not possible. The Slovene wanted to ski down the Cesen route.
Date7. July 2017 | 16:33
TagsAndrzej Bargiel, Davo Karnicar, K 2, Karakoram, Luis Stitzinger, Mount Everest, Pakistan, Ski descent
The weather currently makes life tough not only for the mountaineers in the Karakoram. Also in Nepal it thwarts many time schedules. The work on the new school in Thulosirubari has now been slower because of the monsoon, writes me Shyam Pandit, Nepalese liaison man of the “Nepalhilfe Beilngries”. The German aid organization coordinates the construction of the new school building, which became possible through your donations for “School up!”. Along with the well-known climbers Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Ralf Dujmovits, I had launched the donation campaign two years ago to rebuild the village school of Thulosirubari, about 70 kilometers east of the capital Kathmandu, as quickly as possible. The school had been so badly damaged by the devastating earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015 that it had had to be demolished. Since fall 2016 the construction work is in progress. Actually, the first construction phase should have been completed before the rainy season.
Date6. July 2017 | 15:35
Compared to the highest peak on Mars, Mount Everest is a dwarf. Olympus Mons rises 26 kilometers above the surface of the red planet. However, this is not the reason why the German Aerospace Center (DLR) deals with high altitude sickness. For a – as I find, very interesting – study, the DLR is looking for mountaineers, who will ascent in the period from 7 to 20 August after a night on the Gnifetti Hut (at 3,647 meters) to the Margherita Hut. The “Capanna Regina Margherita” is located on the summit of the Signalkuppe in the Valais Alps and is, at 4,554 meters, the highest building in Europe. The DLR scientists want to find out whether it helps against high altitude sickness if climbers are sleeping with a raised upper body. The test persons will use wedge pillows, which ensure that they are raised by 30 degrees. In intensive care units in hospitals such pillows have been used successfully for a long time.
Mountaineers who want to participate in the study at the Regina Margherita mountain hut in August can either register by email at email@example.com or register at the valley station in Alagna or the Gnifetti Hut with the DLR study supervisors. I have talked to Dr. Ulrich Limper who heads the study. The 35-year-old doctor has been working at the DLR for three years.
Dr. Limper, why is an aerospace center interested in the health problems of mountaineers? Are there similarities between astronauts and climbers?
Date6. July 2017 | 0:11
TagsCapanna Regina Margherita, DLR, High altitude sickness, High-altitude climber, Keilkissen, Mars, Study, Ulrich Limper
The two climbers Alberto Zerain and Mariano Galvan were most likely killed in an avalanche accident on Nanga Parbat. A rescue helicopter from the Pakistani army has now discovered an avalanche cone at the place from where the last signal from the GPS tracker was sent last Saturday. During two flights today the helicopter crew found no trace of the 55-year-old Spaniard Zerain and the 37-year-old Argentinian Galvan. “This situation unfortunately excludes the possibility of finding survivors,” said Alberto Zerain’s team.
Experienced eight-thousander climbers
Date1. July 2017 | 11:01
TagsAlberto Zerain, Avalance, Karakoram, Mariano Galvan, Mazeno Ridge, Mazeno-Grat, Nanga Parbat, Rescue