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6th Report – the International K2 Expedition to the North Pillar of K2

the International K2 Expedition to the North Pillar of K2

6th Report – the International K2 Expedition to the North Pillar of K2

Dear Friends,

raining at the moment, as we write these lines, wet snow on our tent in the advanced base camp.
Tuesday night we are after eight very busy, very impressive days on the mountain come back here.

After looking at the end of July in the Chinese base camp had recovered well, we started on 2 August at Camp I on. A long, split at the end very rich ascent, where we asked ourselves how often we are likely to rise even through the rough glacier up. Good thing we had with the break-even waited a day. That day went by from the intense sunlight countless avalanches and the snow could sit well.


Early the next morning we climbed through the knee-deep by now very familiar to us Einstiegscouloir upward over the snow ridge to the rock spurend shoulder and continued to perform very strenuous hours to the site of Camp II, where we arrived after 11.5 hours. On a large rock we had deposited our tents that we had dug out and quickly erected. To compensate for the fluid deficit, we melted snow until late in the evening.

Clock early at 5.00 am the following day we sang a birthday song for something short of breath Darek, who are then a piece of cake! his mother handed. We packed up our gear and sprint with heavy backpacks with fantastic weather and a scenic view up to the place of Camp III, where again the tent up and then the snow melts in the forefront. It has given us a beautiful, very impressive evening, as was often during this expedition. We discussed the current situation and tactics for the next day.

Maxut and Darek rose the next morning after L II subsequently furnished to other ropes, while Vassiliy, Tommy, and we climbed to Camp IV towards the route to find and attach to the necessary passages of fixed ropes. Our time limit was not too late to clock 15.00 to our tents at 7300 m to return, because the fluid intake and rest at high altitude is more complex. We were happy with our next round of the day. The next morning we wanted to ascend to stay one night at Camp IV planned. We waited for the sun’s first rays, which appeared shortly before 6:00 clock on our tents. A promising day ahead of us.

In our thick down suit packed (it was freezing this morning), we climbed with our fully loaded backpacks by combined ground up. Tommy got off to camp I, because he his down suit or not there had. (This first summit attempt, he wants to take high).

During the day it went perfectly and it began to snow heavily in the late afternoon. At about 7900 m we found a narrow ledge, hidden all the luck to both of our tents is ideal. Meanwhile, it was snowing so hard – we had been away not even 100 meters from the planned Camp IV. Brittle, rock-strewn, steep terrain would not allow it, that we in the “White Out” continued to rise. Still we were very confident that we can continue the next morning our plan. However, the snowfall the night was over and all the next day. Again and again we discussed the situation and making calls via satellite phone with Charly Gabl in Innsbruck, which are predicted for the second night late snowfall and clearing up.

We melted snow as much as possible, sleeping in between, shoveling again from our little tent, talking about God and the world, hoping that Charlie would be right with the nice weather for the next day. At 21.00 clock was finally no longer hear the snowflakes trickle. It actually cleared up and the temperature dropped below minus 20 degrees.
What are our eyes the next morning offered is hard to put into words. When we opened the zipper of our tent, we saw some mountain peaks from a dense cloud cover sticking out, a sight we may even see very often. We were almost totally 8000 m above the clouds. It may sound cheesy and worn, but once again we could not and would only say THANK YOU to be able to experience the here. Even the usually hard-looking and Darek Kazakh friends were just fascinated by this spectacle of nature.

Max, Vassily and I broke with fixed ropes on packed snow-covered rock in order to find the route continues up and where necessary secure. Ralf Darek and dismantled the tents, packed up everything and went on with the material. We reached a small, snow-covered ledge at about 8000 m, where we stay for the next ascent, and from where we then want to try the Summit. An ideal, this incredibly impressive place, “” Camp IV “. From here, the summit has been very close. Approx. 70 meters further, we climbed to explore entry into Japanercouloir. Then we roped off to 6600 m, where we spent another night. The snow kept us going in some places up to the hip (in flat terrain), the steep passages, he went with the sun in the form of loose snow avalanches.

The next morning we were all five glad to be able to descend into the advanced base camp. Starved, very tired and completely satisfied, we met the next afternoon in our team tent. Abdul and Tommy had been worried and were very relieved that we were healthy after eight days back.
When dinner was not a “Fuzerl” back on the plates, and already at 20.00 clock was absolute silence has returned to our tents and in our small base camp.

Now we need a few more days of rest and, as so often, we hope to get it with luck, a good weather window …
How come everything, this expedition is in any case a very great asset, not of lived up to now days to miss, we would like.

Please have a little patience and keep your fingers crossed that we will get a real chance for a summit attempt. The next few days as we are in front of the last climb in the chines. Base camp to spend. Before we set off again, we’ll get back again.

Until then, best wishes and very lovely, sunny summer days, we want you.

Gerlinde and Ralf

© TEXT G.Kaltenbrunner/R.Dujmovits

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