From Gasherbrum II in the Karakoram several summit successes of commercial teams are reported today. The Nepalese operator 8K Expeditions announced that five team members had reached the 8,034-meter-high summit – presumably all with bottled oxygen. Among them were the two Nepalese Dawa Ongju Sherpa and Pasdawa Sherpa as well as their Norwegian client Kristin Harila. For them it was already eight-thousander number ten this year.
Eight-thousander collector Grace Tseng from Taiwan also stood on the summit of Gasherbrum II with her Nepalese companions Nima Gyalzen Sherpa and Ningma Dorje Tamang, according to reports from Pakistan. Following information from her operator Dolma Outdoor Expedition, Tseng did without a breathing mask, as she had done previously on K2 and Broad Peak, while her Nepalese guides used bottled oxygen. Also at the top was 20-year-old Pakistani Shehroze Kashif. For him it was the eighth eight-thousander (with breathing mask). On Manaslu, he had not reached the “True Summit” in fall 2021 and declared that he would have to return once again to the mountain in western Nepal to make up for it.
Meanwhile, a video showing a littered Camp 2 at around 6,700 meters on K2 is causing displeasure on social networks. It brought back memories of images of Camp 4 on the South Col of Mount Everest. The two highest mountains on earth are converging in terms of commercialization, including the problems it creates.
The queen asks to dance
How refreshing compared to this is the attempt of a Czech expedition on the 7.821-meter-high Masherbrum, once called K1 by the British. Marek Holecek, Radoslav Groh and Tomas Petrecek are attempting a new route in alpine style on the north-facing side of the almost eight-thousander near the Baltoro glacier.
The trio has estimated five days for the wall and two more for the descent on the other side of Masherbrum.
“Will the Queen (some locals call the mountain the Queen of Mountains) allow us to climb over her snow skirt, rock corset, then over her proud neck, up to her blonde hair? Can we do it stylishly, technically and will the weather hold us?” asked Marek on Facebook yesterday before heading up the wall. “Now the answer is upon us, also in the stars and who knows, maybe even a blessing from the royal court must come. The ball has started, where Rada, Tom and I will try to cheer up, dance and soften the Queen.” I’m curious.
Update 9 August: Tomas Petrecek has to turn back from the foot of Masherbrum because of severe toothache. This leaves only Holecek and Groh to climb the wall. “The expedition is not over yet, the guys are moving on. So let’s keep our fingers crossed for them that the climb goes smoothly,” Tomas writes on Instagram.