Sunday 25 july 10
Today’s call came from 7100 meters elevation or camp three. Trey and Frippe sounded solid, coherent and motivated. Our conversation was brief to save satellite phone costs but they gave me the low down on their day’s climbing.
The route from camp two, a snow filled ledge about 3 feet wide, to camp three starts with a short steep section around some rocks then follows an unrelentingly long ridge to the steep slopes of camp three. The wind blew at about 60 kph or just this side of being too strong to stand up for most of the day. The temperature was manageable but both climbers opted to wear their warmest 8000m gear to fend off the wind chill.
As they neared their day’s objective, the wind eased off. With any luck they were afforded the stunning view down to base camp, across to Broad Peak and past Concordia to the haunting slopes of Chogolisa. Most conversation about (rightfully so) K2 revolve around the challenges of climbing this peak but the views are truly magical.
At this point our climbers have gone from 5000m at base camp to 7100m at camp three. Tomorrow they will move from three to camp four to gain the coveted altitude of 8000m, with about 600m remaining to the summit. With any luck the winds will not have deterred the Abruzzi Route teams and there will be enough strong climbers to help make the summit as a team. It isn’t possible to see from Trey and Frippe’s route to the Abruzzi so they will not know until tomorrow’s arrival at the convergence the two routes, the ‘Shoulder’ , how things are going on the Abruzzi.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for moderate winds and temperatures with some clouds. The terrain is steep snow but if it remains scoured and consolidated the altitude alone will be the challenge. Rolf and Gerlinde, Fabrizio, and Kinga are camping at camp three with our boys and plan to move to four tomorrow.
Pakistan is about 10 hours ahead of the US (Central Time) and 3 hours ahead of Chamonix and Sweden. The best time to cheer for the summit from Texas will start at 2:00 PM on the 26th (assuming a midnight departure on the 27th) and the best time in Chamonix and Sweden will start at 9:00 PM on the 26th. Pretty much from here out send everything positive their direction possible.
All the best amigos, DS