Tuesday, August 23, 2011

K2 Summit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They did it, fingers crossed for a safe trip down!!!!!!! They are AMAZING!

"time 16:35
Gerlinde has reached the summit ridge together with Vassiliy. Maxut and Darek come afterwards."
This was on Gerlinde's website, they are doing it!!!!!! Not long now I am sure Amazing, I wish them the safest return to base camp as possible!!!!!!!
Congratulations congratulations!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

North Side going for it tonight?

Update 22/08/11: From Gerlinde's website it says they want to fix some rope today above C4, then try on Tuesday for the summit....good luck to them up there, I hope they find good conditions!!! They are strong as anything!!!!!!!

Well, I am not sure, I dont have direct contact with them, but Explorersweb.com and National Geographic's websites say that Max, Vasily, Darek and Gerlinde are all in camp 4 at 8000 meters on the north side of K2 as of this afternoon, so they just might be up and cooking as I write this - it is just about midnight Kathmandu time, (they are about an hour behind). I really hope they get the conditions and are up to the summit tomorrow, and back down safely. I want it so much for them.

Funny to be sitting here reading about it all and not be up there. Now I know how all my friends feel, time and time again each year.

Good luck up there, I wish you all the best!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


So nice to be back in Kathmandu - pizza, beer, ice cream and rain! The rain is good too because it is not so hot. Off to see my very good friends at Cho Oyu Trekking to discuss plans for the next season of guiding as well as Everest for next spring with clients....more on this later.

I have spent so much time in Kathmandu over the past 15 years that it does feel like a relief to be back here. Karachi was too hectic and hot, Islamabad was at least a great dinner at Kabul Restaurant - with a ton of grilled meat, but overall it is nice to be back here. Having said all of that, I hope to be able to spend some time in Europe or North America in the coming weeks before things kick off at the end of September for me in the Khumbu.

Thanks so much to everyone who wrote nice emails and messages via my athlete page on facebook during the K2 expedition. I was sad to read on exweb about the guys on the north side having trouble with snow and avalanches the past few days, I really hope they can go to the top and down safely!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

K2 2011: Off the Baltoro

Out from the Baltoro and infact in Islamabad already. I took a trip up to camp2 and conditions had really gone south with the heat the few days after the summit attempt, hard ice and unconsolidated snow with a bit of rockfall to spice it all up. The conditions on the Basque route reminded me of the descent from the second summit push last year, very dangerous. Upon comparing metoexploration.com and Dr. Karl Gabl's forecast it looked best to just call it quits. I am happy to be off the glacier.

We trekked out in 3 days, then one internetless night in Skardu and a cancelled flight later we started the 2 day drive to ISB. Flights tonight get us out of the country very very quickly!!! On the other side of the mountain it is reported that our friends are heading up again. I wish them all the best and hope they are able to summit!!!!!!!

Thanks so much to my partner Kinga, Mr. Ali and Suckawhat - our base camp staff and Ghulam from Blue Sky Treks and Tours who really put on a first class show for us!!!!!!! In the end we are healthy and happy because of them.

Photos form the trip to follow.......

Now it is time to answer emails from clients about guiding the Autumn in Nepal and Everest guiding next spring....oh yeah and plan next year's return!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Post summit attempt wrap up

August 08, 2011 – Update from base camp
We made it down to base camp late on the 6th – around 8pm, directly
from the shoulder. Another trip to the shoulder, many for me now. I
cannot say I did not see it coming. We really should have tried for
the summit on the 4th, both Kinga and Christian's forecast – both from
Meteoexploration.com which has been very very accurate this season
suggested it as the best summit day, a bit of rough seas at c2 and c3
the previous days, but would have been worth it as winds below 10km at
the summit here are hard to find. There was alot of discussion the
last days of July and the teams climbing with oxygen were just not
ready for the 4th, and thought that 30km winds were acceptable. We did
not take a bold enough step and leave with the intention of the 4th.
August 02 say all 14 people leave for C2, we loligaged a bit on the
way up as it was decided I had broken enough trail and should take it
easy. We arrived in sunny conditions and all was well.
August 03 others set off first again and finially we caught up with
the main group at the edge of the snowfield above the towers, and then
I sped up to pick up 200m of rope deposited last trip just below low
C3, to fix into C3, arriving just before 2:30pm in the real C3. I
again took another 200m rope, which another member carried from just
below low C3, and fixed another 100m of rope across the 100 meters of
steep ground above C3 while everyone else nestled into their sleeping
bags, returning to camp at 6:30pm. Enough work for one day for one
person – especially given we were now 14 people moving up.
August 04 Again others took off first and immediately after the steep
ground I had fixed the day before found very deep snow. In an amazing
display of tenacity and strength Luis Stizsinger – with skis on his
back and TLT5s on his feet – led a long traverse in very deep snow to
put us onto a better course. At this point we reached old rope fixed
last year by a Russian member of the Polish team. A quick rotation
started and Kinga and I deemed it too slow going – regardless of how
hard everyone was trying and trust me everyone was trying. Reaching
the shoulder after 6pm, with 30km winds forecasted seemed a bad idea
to us. A bit of radio time with some attemps to convince some to
return to C3 and continue the next day to C4 yielded nothing so we
descended. Some made it to the Shoulder, but just after 6pm. Others
slept at an very creative bivy 200m below and others at the low C4 –
75 m below the Shoulder.
August 05 We rebroke 75% of the trail to the shoulder, arriving at
6:05pm. Luckily those that had arrived on the shoulder had found our
tent from last year in a deposit, and very very very kindly set it up
for us. The winds had picked up considerably around 4:30pm, so we just
ducked into the tent. A bit of radio comms again and we decided to
start at 2:30am for the Bottleneck. At 1:30am we heard no talk, just
wind, wait another hour. At 3am people started talking about the wind.
Luis and I decided it was too windy, wait til 5am, at 5am it was just
too windy. Everybody went to sleep, By 7am people were leaving the
Shoulder for lower camps or BC. Around 8am – after depositing stuff
for another attempt we said Have Fun to Luis who put on his skis and
started to make turns. Amazingly he skied to close to C3 and then the
Lower half of the Kukuczka route – super effort and great fun to watch
someone who is a master at their sport! We arrived into BC around 9pm,
to the best chips and a most warm welcome from our two cooks MR. Ali
and Sukawat!
August 6th we slept, and slept and slept. In the afternoon Chris,
Sammi, Luis and Alix came over for coffee and cakes and we all chatted
away in a our dining tent while outside it snowed. It was nice to be
with close friends and warm and safe.
August 7th FTA and Christian and Bruno depart BC, sad to see friends
go, only one other team left in BC, they leave tomorrow. First in last
out. We will give it another go if the weather will give us a chance
in the next 10 days. K2 is a tough nut to crack.
Sorry for not updating more, hope you are having a great summer and
thanks for following along!!!!!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Summit push starts tonight!!!!!

I have worked hard this season,and am very proud of the fact that I
have opened the route from the bottom to the start of the snowfield
below camp 3. The 400 meters of trailbreaking from the bottom of the
snowfield to C3 was done by 3 others. I again fixed the last two
hundred meters of rope to C3. The division of labor has been set for
the rest of the route during our push – I will fix the first 300
meters above C3 through the steep ground and then onto the right path
that leads to the Shoulder. I am slated to lead the Bottle Neck and
Traverse as well. Kinga and I would like to say thanks to Christian,
Gerfried and Bruno for the support and work on the last push carrying
rope and trailbreaking on the snowslope below C3.

Tonight, 2am K2 BC time we will all start for the summit from base
camp, hoping to summit on Friday – what will you do this week while we
work up and up on K2?. I have been through this night many times
before, I love the feeling of starting a summit push!

We will be a total of about 15 starting tonight that have joined in
the last few days.Wish us all luck, in the end all that matters is we
all come down safe and sound, but let's hope for a summit this time,
the snow might be too deep, but we will give it our best try.....stay

Fabrizio from base camp