Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer 2014 | Poles Summit K2 on 60th Anniversary

Polish K2 team made it to the summit, on the 60th anniversary of K2’s first ascent. As per message from Pawel Michalski, this noon, Janusz Golab was on top.

"Expedition is successful!!!
Janusz Gołąb on top!
Artur Malek and Pawel Michalski retreated 150m below the Summit (now C4). Kaczkan still trying."

Polish team on K2

The Polish Winter Himalaism Expedition, under the leadership of Marcin Kaczkan completed its acclimatization by reaching C3 on July 24th and opted to return to BC for rest and recovery before summit attempt. This meant that they missed the July 26th-27th summit window. However, the weather on K2 has been exceptionally good this year and Poles also had their brief summit window.

On July 27th, when almost everyone was coming down, Polish team went up. Bulgarian Boyan Petrov, who summited Broad Peak on July 23rd, and Simone were also part of summit attempt group. On July 28th, they ascended to C1 (except Simone, who reached C2). They all reunited in C3 on 29th and climbed to C4 on 30th.

Summit push started at around 1850 hrs local time yesternight, when Marcin Kaczkan, Pawel Michalski, Artur Malek and Janusz Golab left C4. As of now, we don’t have any confirmed news about Petrov and Simone.

As per last communication from the mountain at around 1740 hrs local time, Janusz Golab had returned to C4 before 1400hrs. They are all waiting for Marcin Kaczkan's arrival.

Update 01 (31-Jul-14 2045hrs PST)

Kaczkan also summited and is back in C4, safely. Tomorrow, they will be descending to BC.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer 2014 | Spaniard Miguel Angel Perez Lost on K2

It has been an astoundingly successful year on K2, with almost all the climbers reaching the summit. However, the season isn’t over yet, as few climbers are still on the mountain. In a tragic update from Base Camp, it has been informed that Spanish climber Miguel Ángel Pérez passed away in C4, yesternight.

Commemorative plaque to be placed at Gilkey Memorial; Source

Miguel Ángel Pérez reached C4 with the large group of first summit push climbers. On July 26th, he decided to turn back around 300m short of summit, because of cold. He was climbing without supplemental oxygen.

After returning to C4; eating, drinking and recovering from the fatigue of the day, Miguel decided to make another summit attempt, this time with bottled oxygen. In his second summit push, he made it to the top on July 28th.

Returning from the summit, Miguel was forced to bivouac above bottleneck at around 8300m (probably because of tiredness and exhaustion). In his last satellite communication from the mountain, he was approaching C4 on July 29th morning.

Rescue team getting ready to go up, yesterday; Source

After being unable to connect with him, friends of Miguel in Spain and Ferran Latorre at BC organized a rescue operation, yesterday. Four Pakistani climbers, Ali Durani, Hassan Jan, Ali and Basheer, who had just returned from the summit push, agreed to go up. Having left BC late, they were hoping to reach C2 yesterday and climb to C4, today.

However, yesterday evening a Sherpa from American climber Cleo Weidlich informed that Miguel was in C4 with Cleo and one other Sherpa. He was doing well. Nonetheless, the rescue party continued the ascent and was expecting to reach Miguel on descent, today.

This morning, however, came the news that Miguel Ángel Pérez passed away in C4, last night. It’s reported that he came back to C4 at around 12 yesterday and ate/drank with Cleo and Sherpa, before moving on to his tent. He seemed okay, but unfortunately was found dead, this morning.

Miguel Angel Perez climbing House Chimney; Photo: Ferran Latorre; Source 

Cleo Weidlich and Sherpa are descending and are expected to reach BC, today. Meanwhile, other climbers on mountain include a Polish team and Bulgarian Boyan Petrov, who reached C3 yesterday. They are expected to launch the summit bid, tonight.

K2 was Miguel Ángel Pérez’s ninth eight-thousander after Gasherbrum II (2004), Nanga Parbat (2005), Everest (2006), Cho Oyu (2007), Broad Peak (2008), Manaslu (2010), Lhotse (2011) and Dhaulagiri (2012 ).

"Not just a good climber has disappeared, but above all a special person. A loyal, honest, hardworking man who took time ... where he had almost no time to devote to his passion: mountaineering and especially the Himalayas." remarked Dario Rodríguez of Desnivel, a friend of Miguel.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer 2014 | Day 2 of K2 Summit Pushes - Update # 3

There were many summits on K2 yesterday; probably more than previous most summits on a single day. However, the story doesn't end here, as another summit bid is currently underway. This post will be updated with events of July 27th; second summit push and descent of group A.

Update 01 (27-July-14 04:30 hrs Pakistan Time)

The climbers going for summit today include American team (Garrett Madison, Alan Arnette, Matthew Dupuy and apparently three Sherpa), Finnish Samuli Mansikka and possibly an international team (Zdravko Dejanovic, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Reza Shahlai), if they didn't go for summit yesterday.

It's reported that American team left C4 at 22:40 hrs on July 26th. In a dispatch before leaving for summit push, Garrett Madison said, "Today is Saturday, July 26th at 6:00pm and we are up at High Camp with Alan and Matt. Our plan is to leave in about four hours for our summit push. A few climbers made the summit today and are on their way back now and we are very happy for them. It is snowing a little bit but when we get up tonight we will have clear skies while we are climbing up and early tomorrow morning"

From satellite position sent by the US climbers, it appears that they are currently negotiating the final sections of Traverse.

Update 02 (27-July-14 10:20 hrs Pakistan Time)

SUMMITs! The successful stories from the top of K2 continue as almost all remaining climbers made it to the summit, today.

1. Samuli Mansikka tweeted, "I AM ON SUMMIT OF K2!! The very highest point 8611m! Beautiful day although maybe the hardest I've done! No bottled oxygen, no support!"

2. Next the success of American team was announced at around 08:00 hrs. Following members of team reached the top.
Alan Arnette – USA
Matthew Dupuy – USA
Garrett Madison – USA
Kami Rita Sherpa – Thame Solu Khumbu, Nepal
Fur Kancha Sherpa – Thame Solu Khumbu, Nepal
Kami Tshering Sherpa – Pangbotse, Nepal

As of now, we can't confirm whether there were any other summit attempts, today.

Update 03 (28-July-14 04:20 hrs Pakistan Time)

The above mentioned International expedition was indeed part of summit push yesterday, and was successful in reaching the top. "Today(27th) All team member summit K2" was the message from the team.

Confirmed summiteers are Iranian Reza Shahlaee and Macedonian Zdravko Dejanovic. Full list of climbers reaching the summit is awaited, yet.

On a side note, a third summit push is underway on K2, as Polish team and Bulgarian climber Boyan Petrov, who summited Broad Peak few days ago, leave the Base Camp tonight. They're targeting August 1st as summit day.

Update 04 (28-July-14 15:00 hrs Pakistan Time)

More from K2; Spaniard Miguel Angel Perez has reached the summit of K2 at around 1300hrs, today (July 28th). On 26th he had to turned back 300m below summit, due to cold. After resting and recovering, he went for the summit, today.

The summit of K2 at sunrise; Source

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer 2014 | K2 Summits on July 26th / Updated

July 26th is an extraordinary day in the history of K2. After the prolonged weather window, more than 35 climbers launched the summit bid from C4 at around 20:00 hrs on July 25th evening. First summit reports arrived at around 15:00 hrs on July 26th.

The updates from summit push appeared here. In this post, we compile the names of climbers who made it to the summit.

The shadow of K2 as captured by Chris B warner, when he reached the summit in 2007.

Summits (by first hand reports)
1. Tamara Lunger (Italy)
2. Nikolaus Gruber (Italy)
3. Radek Jaros (Czech)
4. Travnicek Jan (Czech)
5. Adrian Hayes (UK)
6. Hassan Jan (Pakistan)
7. Ali Durani (Pakistan)
8. Rahmat Ullah Baig (Pakistan)
9. Ghulam Mehdi (Pakistan)
10. Ali (Pakistan)
11. Muhammad Sadiq (Pakistan)
12. Michele Cucchi  (Italy)
13. Dawa Yangzum Sherpa (Nepal)
14. Pasang Lhamu Sherpa (Nepal)
15. Maya Sherpa (Nepal)
16. Giuseppe Pompili (Italy)
17. Amin Baig (Pakistan)
18. Ferran Latorre (Spain)
19. Chris Jensen Burke (NZ/Aus)
20.  Lakpa Sherpa (Nepal)
21.  Al Hancock (Canada)
22. Alexandros Aravidis (Greece)
23. Luo Jing (China)
24. Mr. Chhiring Sherpa
25. Mr. Mingma Gyabu Sherpa
26. Mr. Chhiji Nurbu Sherpa
27. Mr. Mingma Dorchi Sherpa
28. Mr. Ngima Dorchi Sherpa
29. Mr. Pemba Sherpa
30. Mr. Lakpa Sherpa
31. Mr. Ngatasi Sherpa
32. Mr. Lakpa Temba Sherpa  

Reported Summits which I couldn't confirm from first-hand reports:-
1. Basheer (Pakistan)
Awaiting News about climbers who were on summit push today:-
1. Cleo Weidlich (USA)
2. Sherpa with Cleo (Nepal)

1. Chris Burke has confirmed three names; Herself, Lakpa Sherpa and Tshring Sherpa. So article is being updated accordingly. Moreover, she says, there were 32 summits on K2, that day.
2. Updated list as further information arrived.

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