While the poles were retreating wounded and stricken on the north, International Team led by Gerfried Goschl were also locked up in a withdrawal from the Gasherbrum-1 summit push on the new route on the south.
Both teams started off their first summit push of the 8.080m peak in the deadly Karakorum after receiving a green signal from Karl Gable. The six members of the International team were hoping to make an ascent and traverse of the peak for the first time in winter.
The whole six members were reportedly missing till 2100hours on February 27 and while the Pakistani authorities kept in contact with the Base Camp on G-1, there were rumours of a possible wipe out of the whole team.
The Pakistani Liaison Officer reported, “Until now (21.12 clock) time, there is no news from Hidden Peak team! Current attempts by Pakistan to establish telephone contact with base camp, as the remaining kitchen staff can make radio contact with the climbers. We hope that information as quickly as possible!”
Goschl and his team members finally arrived at the BC at 2230 hours and messaged the coordinating camp in Paiyu about their safe arrival.
“I'm back at base camp," the message read."We have, through the fresh snow used for a long time to 6700m. The Verfixen the last 100 meters in pimples hard ice lasted hours, we would have to rise in the darkness of a further 200 meters to tomorrow a realistic chance at the Summit. We do not want to take that risk.”
The team barely managed to reach Camp-2 before they were forced to abort in wake of deteriorating weather. Spanish Carlos Suarez had already descended to Camp-1. According to Carlos, they were eventually forced back down due to bad weather and, in a phone-call home one hour ago, he reportedly could see his mates descending below C1. News is expected soon on the team's safe arrival in BC.
“In the meantime, all climbers are at base camp”, said Goschl. “What happens next remains to be seen in the next few days”.
The International team is likely to make another attempt after the heavy forecast provides a small window for another summit push. This attempt, if it ever takes place, will probably be the last attempt of both Poles and the International team to scale the peak for the first winter ascent. The climbers are likely to exhaust the designated time of a winter climb in the Karakorum.
They may have won the battle but the war is still The Polish team is back in the Base Camp after a failed attempt on the Gasherbrum-1 (Hidden Peak) on February 27th.
Artur, Adam, Janusz and Shaheen left the Base Camp on February 25, after receiving encouraging reports from Karl Gable in Austria and although the winds were anticipated to be higher than within the comfort zone for the climbers, they hoped to make a final summit push in case there is a wind drop on the night of 28- something which never happened. Agna remained in the Base Camp, monitoring and coordinating with the climbers in Camp-1 6400m.
The team managed to reach the already fixed ropes at Japanese Couloir but were denied further ascent as the wind speeds soared to an unexpected 100km/h. Temperatures dropped to a range of -35 Celsius and the sheering winds increased the chances of severe frostbite even under the thick protection of astronaut suits.
Agna reported from Base Camp, “We set off from the base camp on 25th February, because there was a chance to attack the summit on 28th February. Upon leaving, we were aware that on 26th and 27th February the wind speed could reach even 100 km/h at 6,000 m and 7,000 m. We assumed that perhaps the wind would not be so strong and we could somehow reach camp 3. Unfortunately, we failed to do so. We turned back upon reaching the Japanese Couloir, i.e. 6,650 m above sea level, at night on 27th February; we returned to the base camp exhausted and fatigued”.
Wounded and stricken, the team has not lost hope and will make another summit push after March 4 as another storm is brewing in the deadly Karakorum. There were incidents of Crevasse falls and several hundred metre slips in the quintessential ascent but all team members have reached the BC safely.
“As the proverb goes, an old fox is not easily snared.” said Agna. “Well, it seems that we are not that old yet as we have made a clear false start, we are preparing for another storm, forecasted to hit us around the 4th of March. Then, when the next weather window opens, they will try again”.
The Polish team along with the International team led by Gerfried Goschl, are left with little time to make a final attempt for the G-1 first winter ascent as the designated time for a winter climb in the region is already running out. Both teams will now be pitched in second and probably final attempt to scale the 8000er in the dead of winters.
The International team also called as the ABC team, led by Gerfried Goschl left the Base Camp early in the morning on Sunday, 26th and have reached Camp-1, 6200m. The six member team comprising of Goschl, Alex Txikon, Darek Zaluski, Nisar Hussain, Cedric Hahlen, and Carlos Suarez are trudging along the South Face of the Gasherbrum-1, for the first winter ascent of the 8000er.
The team is aiming for a new route on the second highest 8000er in Pakistan and are hoping to climb down from the normal route, thus pulling in the unprecedented first winter ascent and traverse of an 8000er in the history of Mountaineering.
Alex said via Transmitted message from Base Camp, “Today began the good (and hard) in the winter issue of Gasherbrum: output to top.They got up early and often, all have been heading up to Camp 1. The day has gone perfectly and smoothly, and so at noon were already in the field 1 (6.200m). Tomorrow the plot thickens considerably. Up to 6,800 meters the route is also equipped, but from there will have to open the way for nearly a hundred feet high technical demands to the end of the wall”.
The team is expecting some high winds on 27th but are hoping for a fortunate weather window on 27th to pitch for the final push for the summit.
Goschl has also indicated giving further elevation to Camp-3 and the team is likely to move it from 7000m to 7200m to facilitate the final push on the night of 27th.
Poles receive severe pounding by raging snow storm before finally leaving for the summit push of G-1 first winter ascent
The Poles have left for Camp-1 at 6400m on the Gasherbrum-1 for the final summit push of the 8,080m peak. The team comprising Adam, Artur, Janusz and Shaheen left the Base Camp early with the break of Dawn on Saturday, 25th and reached Camp-1 somewhere during the afternoon, safe and sound.
Agna is alone in the Base Camp for the moment and will be reporting and coordinating the teams bid for the final summit push, likely to happen on 28th midnight.
Agna reports from Base Camp, “Today at dawn the entire team, i.e. Adam, Artur, Janusz and Shaheen have left for camp 1 and reached it in the afternoon. Wind in camp 1 has been stronger than predicted in weather forecasts, however the guys have managed to put up a tent and they are going to spend a night there. Currently, all weather forecasts inform about a weather window on 28th February, however on 26th-27th February the wind is supposed to be strong. If the wind is not an obstacle in reaching camp 3 on 27th February, the teams plans to attack the summit on 28th February. The international team of Gerfried plans to set off tomorrow at dawn. The base camp becomes desolated again”.
The Polish team survived the worst of the poundings of the deadly Karakorum on February 22nd when they remained steadfast under a fierce snowstorm with wind speeds soaring to 200km/h. One of the tents was completely leveled while the mess tent encountered damage and Agna had to jump in for a neatly done sewing job to get it back in shape. The team reports that the intensity of the storm actually moved the MI17 helicopter wreck to some 20m.
Agna said, “Another highlight was a somersault performed by Janusz Gołąb and his tent – full turn in the air at a distance of 4 meters. It happened at 8:00 AM, right after waking up, Janusz was still in his sleeping bag. He performed the somersault with his entire tent. While landing with the tent, Janusz instinctively grabbed a big stone and saved himself from falling down from a moraine into glacier’s pocket”.
Both International Team and the Poles have already decided to summit the peak in collaboration. If successful, this will be the first winter ascent of the Gasherbrum-1 also known as the “Hidden peak” in the Gasherbrum Massif and the second winter 8000er in Karakorum.
Poles and International Team all set for the summit push for the first winter ascent of G-1 on Sunday Feb 26
The day of the supreme glory is closing in as the two teams buckle up for the final summit push on Gasherbrum-1 on Sunday, February 26.
The sturdy Poles and the International team led by Gerfried Goschl have been wrestling inclement weather for the past almost two months and have now announced that they are all set for the summit push.
Following the normal route to the summit, the Poles led by renowned Artur Hajzer, have already completed their acclimatisation drills a few days before hand but were held back by the full-force hurricanes in the dreaded Karakorum.
“The weather changed from bad to worse”, the Poles reported on February, 20.“Moreover, one of our porters, Ali Sadpara, has been eliminated from our operations due to the second-degree frostbites. Thus, Agnieszka has kicked in. On 18th February, Agnieszka together with Shaheen Baig went with a deposit to camp 1 and returned on 19th February to the base camp. It was the last moment to do it, because on 20th February a hurricane is supposed to start. Wind speed at 6,000 m above sea level (and also in the base camp) is supposed to reach over 100 km/h and at 8,000 m above sea level even 160 km/h”.
Goschl and his team are attempting a new route on the G-1 and possibly follow the descent from another route on the south, thus pulling in one of the rarest feats, an ascent and a traverse of a 8000er for the first time in winters.
But this would be anything than easy as it may sound. Karl Gable has predicted a small weather window on Sunday, amid fierce storms on the proceeding days. An ascent going wayward at any point of the summit push, can cause serious chances of causality which both teams have successfully been able to avoid so far.
"If we finally go for the summit, Artur's and my group will try to reach the top on the same day, and thus share the first ascent's date," Gerfried confirmed, "this is something we agreed on long ago”.
Janusz was reportedly dragged 20 ft by a violent gust while inside the sleeping bag in his tent. "Mine, on the contrary, is looking good and sustaining no damages," Cedric Hahlen joked, "Swiss Quality!"
"I have never seen something like this," said Gerfried. "Not even last winter, when we had some pretty strong storms. The only familiar with such a gale are Darek and Artur, veterans of seven winter expeditions!"
Stay tuned for the latest on the Gasherbrum-1 first winter ascent on Pakistan-explorer.com.
With just a short time span of one long weekend both K2 and Nanga Parbat teams abandoned their summit. Messages are only flowing in from only peak left in the game. The Polish Team on the normal route are ready for a push; while as per the International Team one more round will be required.
The Polish team is all set to push for the summit in a few days to clinch the unprecedented winter climb of the Gasherbrum-1 in the Gasherbrum Massif, Karakorum, Pakistan.
The two competitors, the Poles and the International team led by Gerfried
Goschl, are locked in a fierce battle to summit the 8,080m peak for the first winter ascent and apparently Poles have now completed their final acclimatisation drills and are heading for the final push for the summit. The International Team has still some considerable work to do to catch up the mighty Poles.
"Both the route and us are ready for the summit attempt," the Polis team stated earlier this week. "We have already been 4 times on the mountain, established three camps and we consider the acclimatization process finished."
The Transmitted Message Said:
“We have established camp 3 and we are ready for summit attempt. However, for 7 days we have been sitting in the base camp and we already know that weather conditions are going to be unfavourable for the next 7 days. Wind blows with 100 km/h at 7,000 m above sea level. Most likely the conditions will not change till the end of February. We have to arm ourselves with patience – it is not easy – and wait this situation through. If weather forecasts change, we will let you know”.
The Poles, accompanied by one of the local Mountaineer, Ali Sadpara, have survived some deadly descents from Camp-3 but all of them have remained unharmed.
Adam Bielecki, Janusz Gołąb and Sadpara have accosted severe frostbites and are currently under treatment by the expedition Doctor. Adam reportedly also burned his toe from warming his foot over the stove.
Meanwhile Goschl has reported that the team still needs another round of acclimatisation before they will pitch for the final push. Karl Gable, the weather guru in Austria, has not given any encouraging news regarding the weather conditions in the coming week and the two teams will have to rely on the short weather windows they may come across.
Goschl’s team has been working on a new route on the giant peak. Alex Txikon's home team mentioned that the Spaniards would try to carry some gear to C1 today.
"They won't even try to spend the night there, weather conditions are too rough - they'll just leave the stuff and run back to BC. That is, if they can reach C1 at all."
Teams were shivering in BC over the weekend and it is getting colder day by day over in Pakistan: following the K2 Russians, now the Polish on Nanga Parbat are leaving premises.
They say patience is the key to success, but Simone is getting impatient.
"Waiting, killing time, gathering patience, keeping the desire to climb Nanga Parbat, avoiding a thousand excuses to throw in the towel, resist the urge to be heroes (idiots) and go up at any price risking beyond any reasonable limit..," he fumed in his dispatch.
"Karl Gabl's weather reports are not that encouraging," Simone posted yesterday. "Tonight, the roar of the wind at high altitude has accompanied the sound of soft flakes of snow on the tent. We are resisting .... but we are also considering." Denis looks at the bright side: "health and good feelings are still letting me hope for success," he wrote.
The two climbers scouted up to C1 on the normal route this morning in case they need it on descent. Turns out the mountain is all theirs:
"Back in BC, we said good-bye to our Polish friends," Denis wrote. "They went down to valley – their expedition is over."
The Spaniards, (Alex Txikon and Carlos Suarez) in Gerfried's international team, have just returned after completing the task of fixing ropes to 6,700 meters - 100 meters below the target due to the unpredictable conditions. "Time flies," Alex reflected. "It's been a month since the expedition started!"
On the normal route, Camp 3 was created last Thursday by Polish Adam and Janusz before heading back to BC due to the storm.
There is glum in the wind and sadness among the rocks. After the fast transportation of Russian mountaineers out of K2 base camp, climbing on the other peaks remains limited by high winds. Instead, fabulous imagery from Karakoram takes center stage.
Finally, yesterday Pakistani Army aviation managed to make their way to K2 Base Camp. The Russian team along with their gear and staff were airlifted to Paiju without any further dalay. Accompanying the remains of Vitaly Gorelik, the Russian climbers were then transported to Skardu and then to Islamabad today.
Gerfried, Cedric, Darek, Tamara and Nisar spent Wednesday in C1. The tent was suspended on a narrow edge, thus climbers had to sleep tied in.
"As predicted by Charly Gabl the next day we had a wonderful sunrise and a cold but sunny, windless day," Goschl reported. Fixing of ropes up to 6650 meters was carried out by Goschl, while filming was done by Darek and Tamara. Alex and Carlos substituted them in the camp yesterday with plans to work their way up to 6,800m today.
As per the latest reports C2 was set up on the normal route by the Polish team they were safely back in BC after completing the task.
A huge landslide washed Nanga's slopes at dawn yesterday leading to a beautiful morning for Denis and Simone. "At such bright sight, one can't help feeling optimistic," Simone wrote. As per the fresh forecast, there will be snowfall from tomorrow and hurricane on the peak, so a summit push is not possible at all. The Polish team had plans to place a stockpile at 5,550m.
Full moon shots were photographed by Matteo in bitter cold (-23ºC), rarely visited in winter.
Check also out the team's video from a previous acclimatization trip:
The deadly K-2 has struck yet again, claiming another victim, Vitaly Gorelik of the Russian K-2 Winter Expedition and the attempt has been called off altogether.
Known for their resilience and immense mental strenght, the gigantic Russian team better known as the "Ice Warriors" have been forced to abandon the attempt to tame the mighty K-2 in winters, and the mountain remains virgin for the first successful winter ascent. The news broke the headlines earlier in the afternoon on February 6, when the Russian team reported the tragic demise of Gorelik in the Base Camp.
_ The transmitted message read:
"Today at 11:30am Vitaly Gorelik has passed away in BC. Condolences to Vitaly's family and friends from all members in the team."
Gorelik had been severely frostbitten for the last two days and had been waiting evacuation by the Pakistan Millitary choppers. The evacuation, however, could not be carried out as the deadly Jetstream pounded the Karakorum the whole weekend.
After Gorelik's death, team leader Viktor Kozlov has decided to abandon the expedition and said, "The expedition is over. All members Base Camp are preparing to head down. We've ordered a helicopter to airlift Vitaly's boby, but the chopper is grounded due to bad weather conditions: a wind and snow storm."
_ Earlier, the team had already reached 7,200m and were now locked head-on with the "Death Valley" amid fierce weather and -40 below freezing temperatures.Gorelik had made the deposits in the past two days at Camp-2 and Camp-3 and had suffered severe frostbite on fingers of both hands. While the team doctor did whatever he could, an evacuation was the only refuge to save Gorelik's life. The deadly grasp of the Karakorum, however, did not allow that.
Pakistan-explorer.com expresses its deepest condolensces to Gorelik's family. RIP
Russian National Team Expedition for K-2 First Winter Ascent, have now successfully reached 7,200m amid fierce weather and wind speeds soaring to Hurricane levels. The team will now be picthed in the most difficult climbing area better known as the " Death Valley" on K-2. They have already gone past the Black Pyramid and will gradually climb their way up the 400m "Bottel Neck".
Following the Cessen route, often touted as The Bask Route, the team leader Victor Kozlov is leading from the front and the group comprising of Nick Totmjanin, Valery Shamalo and Vitaly Gorelik lifted next gear to 7000 m via fixed ropes. By February 2nd, Trio Iljas Tukhvatullin, Andrew Mariev and Vadim Popovich reached 7050m and fixed ropes for the ascent ahead but could not fix the tent due to steep slope and lose snow.
All the team members have now reached the Base Camp as the the weather guru Karl Gabl has warned of bad weather ahead. Vitaly Gorelik is the next victim of frostbite after Vladimir Belous, despite being clad in astronaut suits, especially designed to fight piercing snow storms on high altitudes. He has acquired frostbite on both hands and will have to wait for the evacuation as the Pakistan Military Liason Officer has apologized to call in airlift in wake of deteriorating weather
Karl Gabl from Innsbruck reports, "In the next days the Jetstream will get further north directly over Karakorum. It will be very stormy in higher regions. In 8000m wind speed will reach hurricane force. Also some snowfall will appear.
Wind Situation: European Model
-----------2.02. --- 3.02. --- 4.02. --- 5.02. --- 6.02.
-----------THU --- FRI ------- SAT --- SUN --- MON
7000m SW50 SW70/90 SW115/90 SW100 SW 100 kph
8000m SW70 SW90 --- SW125 SW125/140 SW125
Temperature in free Atmosphere
7000m -29 -32 -35 -35 -36 њC
8000m -37 -41 -42 -41 -42
Snowfall from today in the next days, probably till the 7th of February. Some models show only light snowfall, one model shows about at least 50 to 60 cm of fresh snow". Gabl is the only meterologist in the world who is heavily relied upon by the mountaineers in the Karakorum and Himalayas and provides accurate hourly predictions. His predictions in the past have led to several successful attempts both in winters and summers.