Avalanche, gusty winds hamper climbers’ K2 ascent

Published January 14, 2021
An avalanche and gusty winds destroyed tents of the international climbers at the Camp 2, forcing them to abandon the K2 summit plan for the time being. — File photo provided by Imad Brohi
An avalanche and gusty winds destroyed tents of the international climbers at the Camp 2, forcing them to abandon the K2 summit plan for the time being. — File photo provided by Imad Brohi

GILGIT: An avalanche and gusty winds destroyed tents of the international climbers at the Camp 2, forcing them to abandon the K2 summit plan for the time being.

Over 60 climbers from four expeditions from 18 countries are currently staying at the base camp to attempt scaling K2.

Nims Purja from Nepal with the help of Sherpas had built the camp 2 near the House Chimney point recently.

Through a Facebook post on Monday, Mr Purja said his team reached the Camp 2 and found it lying in tatters. “Both of our tents and other equipment that we had left for the summit plan have been destroyed. Now, I have to reassess and re-plan everything,” he said.

The Nepali climber updated on Tuesday that the summit plan would be pushed a bit late in the season.

Iceland’s John Snorri, Mohammad Ali Sadpara and his son, Sajid Sadpara had also fixed ropes to the Camp 2.

John Snorri said on Monday that a big avalanche came hurtling down K2 and went all the way to the Broad Peak on Sunday, destroying their tent.

Meanwhile, Romanian Alex Gavan and Italian Tumhara Lunger are still hopeful to climb the savage mountain without supplement oxygen.

Alex Gavan informed Dawn through a text message that though he and Tumhara Lunger were part of SST winter expedition team, they were acting as an independent expedition.

“Tamahra and myself just share the base camp service of SST, but we are totally separate expedition,” he added.

“Our equipment at Camp 1 is safe as we have secured tent on rocks,” said Mr Gavan.

“In next couple of days we will climb up to the Camp 1 weather permitting,” he maintained, adding the next day their plan was to climb up to the Camp 2 at 6,700 meters. “If everything goes according to the plan and forecast not changes, we will even push it to 7,300 meters above black pyramid Camp 3 for acclimatisation.”

To climb K2 without supplement oxygen, you really need proper acclimatisation, he said.

Tumhara Lunger is one of only 11 women to have ever climbed K2 without oxygen in summer of 2014.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2021

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