The three remaining winter expeditions on the eight-thousanders Broad Peak and Mount Everest are entering a potentially decisive phase. At the 8,051-meter-high Broad Peak in the Karakoram in Pakistan, Denis Urubko announced yesterday via Facebook that he would be setting off for his last summit attempt this Sunday – solo and without bottled oxygen. He said he would try to climb to Camp 3 at about 7,000 meters in one go and then reach the summit on Monday. After returning to base camp he wants to finish the expedition. The weather forecast predicts sun and wind speeds between 30 and 40 kilometers per hour for the planned summit day.
A week ago, his teammates Don Bowie and Lotta Hintsa had been flown out of base camp by helicopter. “Each night my lungs became more congested, my coughing fits more frequent and violent,” Don wrote on Instagram. In Skardu, doctors diagnosed bronchial pneumonia.
Oscar Cardo flown out to Kathmandu
Also the team of the Spaniard Alex Txikon at Mount Everest has become smaller due to illness. Oscar Cardo was picked up by helicopter from Camp 2 at 6,400 meters and flown to Kathmandu. He had shown symptoms of high altitude sickness, Alex let us know on Facebook. As Txikon’s GPS tracker showed, he ascended today in the Lhotse flank to an altitude of almost 6,800 meters and then returned to Camp 2. In the summit area of Everest, wind speeds close to 100 km/h are expected for tomorrow.
Two weeks ago, Txikon’s team member Jonatan Garcia had already had to abort the expedition after he fell into a crevasse in the Khumbu Icefall and suffered rib injuries.
Kobusch: “Sexy is something else”
Meanwhile, German solo climber Jost Kobusch has returned to base camp from another exploratory climb towards Everest West Ridge. He had reached an altitude of about 6,400 meters. He had been “exploring a route option in the west shoulder,“ Jost writes today on Facebook. “The result: yes, it is possible, but sexy is something else… There was a lot of hard blue ice, in a terrain where every mistake is fatal. There must be a better option.” Kobusch had announced that he wanted to complete his expedition before the end of the calendrical winter on 29 February. So he has just under two weeks left.