ISLAMABAD: Much colder conditions in the last two weeks than were expected in January and snowfall have prevented mountaineers from achieving their goals in the Karakoram Range, said the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) on Sunday.
ACP Secretary Karrar Haidri said Denis Urubko, Don Bowie and Lotta Hintsa were back in their base camp after climbing conditions proved difficult.
He said even simple routes become rock hard ice slopes in the winter. The trio is attempting to summit 8,047-metre-high Broad Peak, which is the 12th highest peak in the world.
“In such difficult conditions, climbers have to stand on the front points of their crampons in severe cold, their ascent slows to a crawl and fixing ropes takes much longer,” the official said.
Last week, two Italian climbers almost died after the ground under team leader Simone Moro’s feet collapsed and he fell into a small crevasse.
“Simone Moro might not have survived had he not been roped up with his partner walking some 20 feet behind. It took a lot of effort for Tamara Lunger to pull him out of the crevasse. The fall and then pulling Simone Moro back up gave Tamara Lunger friction burns on her hands,” said Mr Haidri. The duo was attempting to climb the 8,080-metre-high Gasherbrum I.
However, the ACP is still waiting to hear from Minga G and his winter K2 team that passed Skardu over a week ago, the official said.
The expedition seemed to have been delayed by continuous snowfall and after running into problems with the local porters.
Mingma G’s team had to trek through thigh-deep snow to reach the base camp. They finally reached the foot of K2 and took a rest day before continuing to the advanced base camp.
K2 is the only peak in the world above 8,000 metres high that has never been summated in the winter.
Nanga Parbat was scaled for the first time in the winter of 2016. Climbing and conquering peaks have become a more popular trend in the past five to six years, the official said.
Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2020