4th Newsletter Int. K2 North Pillar Expedition
We spent another five days and four nights at high camps on the mountain. Last night we came back to our advanced base camp, tired but also very content. We left from our advanced base camp on 19th July after a forecast of at least six days of good weather.
Bad weather brought continuous snowfall and heavy fog from our deposit camp onwards, which left us doubting our plans on arrival at Camp I. The climb across the glacier — with lots of crevasses and several falls (no injuries) — didn’t make it any easier for us. Over night the sky cleared and so we started on 20th July at 5:30 am.
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The red dots show our route and what we are up to 7 July cameBild 21 von 21
2nd Newsletter of the International K2 Expedition to the North Pillar of K2
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner & Ralf Dujmovits
On Friday afternoon, 08th July, After four exciting, beautiful but also exhausting days, we returned to our advanced base camp (ABC) at the lower part of the K2 north pillar on Friday afternoon (8th July). We are now planning to rest at this camp, which is also called ‘Italy Base Camp’ (4,650m), for a few days and are hoping to get a break in this extremely changeable weather here. Since we arrived at the Chinese Base Camp (3,900m), a lot has happened.
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1st Report – Int. K2 North Pillar Expedition 2011
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner & Ralf Dujmovits
Today we’ll get from our base camp, located at 3900 meters.
Since we landed in Bishkek, a lot has happened.
Darek we already met at our stopover in Moscow, Maxut and Vassiliy then in Bishkek at breakfast in the hotel, where we could make a little fresh. After the two had her Chinese visa, we were able to drive off towards the Chinese border, first to Tash Rabat. A few lonely yurt were located at about 3000 meters our sleeping quarters. Yuri and his wife are the summer up there to entertain people passing by. A very nice couple Kyrgyz. The next morning we tried yet fermented mare’s milk from the neighboring small horse farm. A bit strange sbedürftiger taste, but should be said to be very healthy!
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Only 14 peaks in the world raise up over 8000m into what today is known as “the dead zone”. All are situated in the Himalaya range spread over countries like: Nepal, India, Pakistan and Tibet.
The first expedition to set foot on a 8000m peak was achieved by a French expedition in June 3th 1950, when the guide Louis Lachenal from Annecy together with Maurice Herzog from Lyon, set foot on the summit of Annapurna. As a first time ever achievement, Lachenal and Herzog climbed the dangerous peak of 8091m without the use of supplemental oxygen. A big French success, as just the logistic problems transporting the gear and equipment from France to Nepal in 1950, was a major and expensive obstacle, to what you can add climbing up into unknown conditions. Maurice Herzog was the first to reach the summit, followed closely by Louis Lachenal, though reaching the summit, and especially without the use of supplemental oxygen, they were forced to pay the price: Herzog’s decision to opt for lighter boots, and the loss of his gloves near the summit allowed frostbite to set in quickly, resulting in extensive amputations on both hands and both feet.
What makes the French expedition to Annapurna special is not only the fact that it was the first 8000+ meter peak climbed, it was also the first that was scouted and climbed entirely in one climbing season, a feat not easily repeated, especially in the golden era of mountaineering.
Since Annapurna in 1950, Climbers have learned from the experiences made, and what was in the beginning heavy National expeditions, are now light international “low budget” expeditions. At the end of 2011, only 24 people have climbed all 14 8000, and the latest to join “the club” is Japanese climber Hirotaka Takeushi, who summited his last 8000m peak: Dhaulagiri May 26th at 05:30PM local time.
Alpinism is often infused with the fundamental question of puritanism. In this spirit, climbs being made without the use of supplemental oxygen, nor porters and hence in alpine style, are regarded as the ultimate human engagement confronted with a 8000. And in this game, there are only a small club left of 13 climbers in the world, having completed this achievement.
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Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Ralf Dujmovits
I would like to give you a brief update before we depart for our expedition to K2. On Monday, we were finally able to send our cargo, which was a lot more than usual, as we do not have any stored gear in China.
When I wrote my last newsletter, it was not certain whether our friends from Kazakhstan would join us, so I am now even more than happy to tell you that they will be part of our expedition. Our team is now complete.
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