Most climbers are at camp 1 for the night

February 18, 2018

All 6 climbers on the Abruzz Ridge have at least reached C1. Marek Chmielarski and Artur Małek roped all the sections to C2 then headed back to C1 at about 6050m. Joining them from base camp were Janusz Gołąb and Maciej Bedrejczuk who will spend the night there.

Denis Urubko and Adam Bielecki made a curious decision to camp at about 6300m. This is well below C2 and yet is higher than C1. This could reflect a decision to go higher so they don’t have as far to go tomorrow or highlight some of the problems that the expedition has been having.

 

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Six climbers headed up the Abruzzi Ridge

February 17, 2018

Good weather has allowed six climbers to reach the lower parts of the Abruzzi Ridge. Four climbers set off from base camp today: Janusz Gołąb and Maciej Bedrejczuk, and Denis Urubko and Adam Bielecki. They could be aiming to reach C1 today and then rest for the night.

Marek Chmielarski and Artur Małek have left C1 and are headed for C2. They will have to negotiate Houses Chimney on the way there.

The weather is forecast to be good for several days, so they will be attempting to either set up camps all the way up to C4 or make an attempt for the summit if all goes well.

Polish Winter Expedition

Adam Bielecki GPS

Climbers make way to camp 1 despite difficult weather

February 16, 2018

Marek Chmielarski and Artur Małek have arrived at C1. They had to endure difficult weather to reach there. What helped them was the complete roping of all the route to C1 by the high altitude porters.

Tomorrow two more teams leave to go up the Abruzzi Ridge. This will include the climbers Janusz Gołąb and Maciej Bedrejczuk, and Denis Urubko and Adam Bielecki.

Weather prevents more climbing up Abruzzi Ridge

February 15, 2018

Poor weather has stopped any more gains up the Abruzzi Ridge. There has been very strong winds which has prevented them from going higher. At the moment all climbers are likely to be at base camp. Rafał Fronia returned to Poland yesterday.

Denis Urubko had made a progress to 6500m before this. He was climbing to see what ropes there were on the route and thus what they would have to do to secure the line up to the camps. He identified a number of areas where they will need additional ropes. There were areas where ropes from past expeditions were still there. High altitude porters were meant to secure the line to camp 1.

There has been some controversy with this expedition with the accidents and also disagreements as to how best climb in winter K2. Denis Urubko has been complaining for some time about the expedition attempting the Cesen route. He believed that high winds in winter would mean that the route would be dangerous. He thought that the winds would leave little snow and would mean that the route would have more ice than in summer. He attributes the two accidents by rock fall to this reason. Even though he got approval to make an initial climb of the Abruzzi Ridge to see its condition by management, there seems to be discontent with what has happened so far.

Polish Winter Expedition

Denis Urubko Blog

Climbers start their way up Abruzzi Ridge

February 12, 2018

Climbers from the Polish winter expedition to K2 have begun climbing on the Abruzzi Ridge. Leading the way is Denis Urubko who hopes to climb further than C1. Marcin Kaczkan and Piotr Tomala will be setting up some ropes to C1 and possibly to C2 if there are favorable climbing conditions.

Up until now they have been climbing on the Cesen. But there were two rock fall accidents on the Cesen and this was deemed unsafe. Plus Denis Urubko believed that their tactics up until now have not been working.

Rafał Fronia is now in Skardu. He was diagnosed with a fractured forearm.

Polish Winter Expedition

 

Polish winter expedition to change to Abruzzi Ridge

February 11, 2018

After two accidents from falling rocks on the Cesen route, the Polish winter expedition are going to change their route up the mountain by taking the Abruzzi Ridge. Conditions must have been considered to be too dangerous on the Cesen because of the falling rocks. The Abruzzi Ridge is also know for this, but it gets worse towards the end of summer.

To make this transition, the expedition may need an advanced camp that is closer to the route. They will also have to take all the ropes that they have used so far on the Cesen so they can the used on the Abruzzi Ridge. Then they will have to start all over again.

They will also have to deal with know harder parts of this ridge which includes House’s Chimney; Black pyramid above camp 2, and the avalanche danger around camp 3.

The advantage of the Abruzzi Ridge is that it is the best known route and was recently successfully climbed in the summer. It is also less steep than the Cesen.

Polish Winter Expedition

All climbing suspended on Cesen

February 10, 2018

The Polish winter expedition has suspended all climbing on the Cesen route. They said they are doing this for safety reasons. So far at least two climbers have received injuries on this route. Adam Bielecki received a large gash and a broken nose from falling rocks. He has been recovering in base camp. Rafael Fronia received a fractured forearm from rock fall too. He is expected to be airlifted by helicopter back to Skardu.

Presently there are at least 2 climbers in camps on the Cesen. Marek Chmielarski and Arthur Małek spent last night at C2.

They said that there will be information soon on another plan. This could mean that the Abruzzi Ridge could be considered. This was initially not chosen because of some well known difficult climbing spots such as House Chimney, Black Pyramid and the avalanche dangers around camp 3. Rock fall is also a hazard on the Abruzzi Ridge. But this is more pronounced towards the end of summer with the melting of the snow and ice.

Polish Winter Expedition 

Evacuation of injured K2 climber

February 10, 2018

Rafael Fronia is to be evacuated from K2 after an accident near camp 1. Rock fall from near this camp caused a fracture in his forearm while he was climbing up. He is expected to be evacuated by helicopter to Skardu to receive medical treatment. Then he is expected to return home

This is the second accident over the last few days caused by falling rocks. The first was to Adam Bielecki who received a gash  and a broken nose from rock fall.

Weather improves and climbers make progress up Cesen

February 9, 2018

Marek Chmielarski and Artur Małek spent the night in C1. They are expected to goto C2 today. Rafał Fronia and Piotr Tomala will climb from base camp to C1.

Below is a diagram from Deni Urubko’s Facebook which shows the climbing route up the Cesen. The different colors match the different different times that it has been climbed. Even from a picture like this can be seen the steep incline of this route.

If the weather continues to improve then they will be trying to establish C3.

Bielecki suffers minor injury while climbing

February 8, 2018

Adam Bielecki has a broken nose after climbing the Cesen route yesterday. There was rock fall and a rock broke his nose. This occurred about 100m below C1. Two porters assisted him back to base camp. He needed 6 stitched. It is expected that he will recover and be able to rejoin the other climbers in the not too distance.

Rock fall is a genuine hazard on K2. In particular it has affected climbers late in the summer. But it is not surprising it is a danger now also.