23 August 2011 – K2 SUMMIT – International K2 Expedition
2nd Update - 16:15pm local time
I was able to speak to Gerlinde over the radio at 3pm. They had just arrived at the ramp, which leads from the Japanese Couloirs to the summit ridge and progress was very slow due to the deep snow. At one point we could see from base camp how the four climbers were going in three different directions to break trail, however, all of them had to start from scratch as the snow was just too deep.
It is now 4pm and the two climbers who are breaking trail (I cannot tell who) are making much better progress and have almost reached the top of the ramp, which means they are almost at the summit ridge. The summit ridge is a rather wide slope that, according to the German Aerospace Centre, ends up in a basin which leads to the final slope.
Quite a lot of time has past but there is still not a cloud in the sky and as far as I can see from down here, the weather is still relatively calm.
Lets keep our fingers crossed! On behalf of Gerlinde, I would like to thank everyone, who is with the team in thoughts and has sent their best wishes – it gives a lot of strength and support, which is still necessary.
16:35 Local Time
Gerlinde has reached the summit ridge together with Vassiliy. Maxut and Darek come afterwards.
3rd Update 18:18 Local Time SUMMIT REACHED
At 18:18 local time Gerlinde reached the K2 summit. Maxut and Vassily is not far away and Darek are following shortly.
4th Update – The whole team reaches the summit!
Maxut, Vassiliy and Darek have also reached the top of K2 and were able to share the summit success with Gerlinde. The four of them are now on their way down.
Gerlinde is over the moon and can’t believe how lucky they were to reach the summit TOGETHER in this fantastic weather, despite the difficult conditions during the ascent.
Gerlinde told Ralf on the radio that she would like to thank everyone, who was with her in their thoughts and kept their fingers crossed for her climb. She would also like to thank everyone for their mental support, which she could clearly feel and literally carried her to the summit.
However, despite this amazing achievement, we all know that the team still has to reach their camp safely and we wish them all the best for their descent.
5th Update 20:30pm Local Time – Team on Descent!
Ralf has just reported from base camp that he could see the four lights of the climbers at the end of the ramp, just above the Japanese Couloirs.
6th and last Update for today, 22.30pm Local Time - Team at Bivouac
Gerlinde has just contacted Ralf by radio and told him that all four climbers had reached last night’s bivouac. While Maxut, Vassiliy and Darek are still deciding whether to stay there or go down to Camp IV, Gerlinde has already started her descent to Camp IV.
We are still keeping our fingers crossed and wish them a safe descent.
Thanks & greetings from the base camp