24 August 2011 – Team still descending – International K2 Expedition
Update 10AM Local Time
At midnight last night, Gerlinde, and a little later also Darek, reached Camp IV at 8,000m. Vassily and Maxut stayed the night at their bivouac at 8,300m, from where they left at 7am. They have now almost reached Camp IV.
Today, they are planning to descend to Camp I at 5,300m, where they will spend one last night at the foot of the North Pillar before they will go down to our deposit camp tomorrow. I am planning to go up and meet them there.
From there, it will probably take another three hours to carry our heavy gear across the dry K2 glacier to our base camp, which Tommy and I have almost completely dismantled.
Once at base camp, we will pack up our last belongings and go down to the Chinese base camp (about 3 ½ hours), where our camel herders are already waiting for us.
These are our preliminary plans, however, the four of them have to get down safely first. We wish them all the necessary strength and concentration, which they certainly need to manage the last 2,500m of their descent.
I will be in touch again as soon as Gerlinde, Maxut, Vassiliy and Darek have arrived at Camp I.
Update 10PM Local Time – Between Camp II and Camp I
Ralf has just spoken to Gerlinde. The four climbers are still on the descent between Camp II and Camp I and had already reached the rock shoulder, which means they have passed the most difficult sections.
We hope the rest of the descent will go well and they will be able to spend a good night at Camp I.
Ralf Dujmovits from K2 base camp