K2 Expedition #6 -The Daily Moraine 201516 July 2015
Pushing closer to the summits...
Bo climbing up to K2 Camp 2 with Broad Peak in the background
Today the 16th of July is proving to be a busy day, and hopefully will be successful in pushing closer to the summits of K2 and Broad Peak. At 04.00 Shinji, Woody, David, Brook, Alec, Naoki, Semba, Sergey, Herbert, Rochelle, Rene and Valdis left BC to start their climb to C2 on K2. They will all stay there for tonight and will then go to C3 tomorrow to spend the night before returning to BC. They also carried oxygen cylinders in their loads. Yesterday the 9 Nepal Sherpas went to C2 and at 02.00 this morning 6 of them set out to the previous high point to continue fixing rope towards C4. The remaining 3 Sherpas left C2 at 04.00 to take tents up to C3 and build the camp. Meanwhile on Broad Peak, Nick and Billi along with 2 of the Pakistani HAP’s went to C2 yesterday, and today they left at 05.15 to go up to establish C3. They are supported by the other 2 HAP who left BC at 04.00 to go to C2 today. That leaves Doctor Dick and myself at BC supported by 6 cook staff, and of course Artif our LO (who is looking forward to the end of Ramadan in another 3 days), so we should not go hungry. In fact we are taking this opportunity of having nobody in camp to empty the food store tent and to go through the remaining supplies to see what we might be short of. I am pleased to say that it looks as though we have plenty of food to last the rest of the expedition. The weather is once again clear, hot and sunny but with a light valley breeze that keeps temperatures at a reasonable level. Higher on the mountain it is also hot with little wind which is the reason for all the early starts.
Climbing towards Camp 2 on K2
The last few days have seen various setbacks. A small trough of low pressure moved over the area and we were stuck at BC with bad weather for 3 days. It was predicted to clear during the fourth day so I sent the Sherpas with loads to C2, however by the time that they reached C1 the weather had not cleared as I had expected, so they elected to dump their loads there and return to BC. By the time that they returned to BC the weather had in fact cleared up, so maybe we should have persevered a little more. But I also do not want to put my Sherpa staff in danger.
Camp 2 on K2
View from Camp 2 on K2
Rochelle, Iqubal and Bo at Camp 2 on K2
The following day the Sherpas requested a rest day, so it was not until the 14th that the Sherpas again went back on the mountain and picked up the loads from C1 and took them to C2 with the intention to stay and continue higher on the mountain. However an altercation broke out between the Swiss team and the Sherpas and they demanded to return to BC. This was a big shock and a big disappointment as we have been getting on so well with the Swiss team. Upon the return to BC it became apparent that the Sherpas were actually not keen on climbing anymore. With discussions various small problems were presented to me, most of which had nothing to do with the climbing here on K2. After much discussion and again with the help of the LO it was agreed that really these problems were very small and did not warrant all this unneeded fuss. But I and all the members were shocked at this over reaction, not to mention that we had lost another valuable fine weather day.
Yesterday and today the Sherpas were back to their normal helpful cheerful selves and were pushing so hard on the route, something that we have always seen from this team of young lads.
The weather forecast is for more fine weather and then another small trough of low pressure that is expected to bring high cloud but not too much precipitation, so we hope that we can get the C4 equipment up to the camp site and can also get oxygen up into C4. The members will return from C3 to BC which is the final part of their acclimatisation program.
Repairs to kitchen
Tents on standing platform
Now I am back to rebuilding the kitchen tent platform. With this fine hot weather it has been a constant process of rebuilding tent platforms as the ice melts around our tents.
Onward and upward