September 7, 2016
There is a video on YouTube from Takayasu Semba climbing up the Abruzzi Ridge on K2 in 2016. He was attempting K2 this year but was thrashed like all other climbers by a massive Avalanche that wiped out camp 3 and all hope of reaching the summit, In particular it can be noted in this video just how steep Houses Chimney is. This is just below camp 2 and is a 50m crack where climbers are aided by old and new ropes. Without these ropes and at this height then many climbers would struggle.
Also his video shows the technical difficulties of the black pyramid. This is between camps 2 and 3. There are ropes and ladders but still this area is a test and can be very slow due to the technical difficulties and the lack of oxygen at this height.
He does say in the comments though that the Cesan Route is harder than the Abuzzi Ridge.
Abruzzi Ridge 2016
August 11, 2016
There were no summits on K2 this year despite a large number of permits to climb the mountain. In total there were 112 climbing permits. There were three large commercial expeditions with Sherpas leading the way for their climbers. The highest that anyone got this year was camp 4 where Sherpas setup the camp for their climbing expeditions.
Most climbers though only managed either camps 2 or 3. They were hoping for a final summit attempt but their plans were thwart by a massive avalanche.
No climbers were killed this summer. But this was fortunate as a massive avalanche wiped out camps 3 and 4 with no climbers in them. Had it occurred a day later, then there would have been many climbers in these camps and the likelihood of survival would have been minimal.
July 28, 2016
It appears as if many climbers were lucky to be not hit by the avalanche that wiped out camp 3 on K2. Serge Dessureault has written on Facebook what actually happened and why some of them were lucky to be alive.
He said that the day before the avalanche about 12 Sherpas went up to camp 3 so as to start preparing for the other climbers from their expeditions. However, at some time that day they decided to exit back to camp 2 so that they could talk tactics with the other climbers. That night the avalanche happened and all of camp 3 was wiped out. No doubt everyone in camp 3 would have perished had they still been there.
Also he mentions what would have happened had this avalanche occurred 24 hours later. Many more climbers would have come up from camp 2 to stay at camp 3.
Serge Dessureault Facebook
July 26, 2016
It looks even more likely that there will be no summits this season on K2. There were only a few climbers contemplating continuing on after the avalanche on their last attempt. The handful that were look like they have decided to head home.
Nick Rice announced on Facebook that he has ended his attempt. He had been bitterly disappointed that others had given up after the avalanche. He thought that there was still a chance as long as others remained to help climb. He also thought that some Sherpas were taking down ropes which could have been used by other climbers.
Nick Rice Facebook
Jake Meyer has also said that he will be heading home. He seemed extremely disappointed with how it all turned out. He said that he was feeling extremely strong when he reached camp 3 after the avalanche. One gets the feeling that he thought he was strong enough to make the summit this year. He had previously tried in 2009. He also was hoping that some Sherpas would stay behind and help the last few remaining climbers to reach the summit. But all of them decided to go home, which seemed to disappoint him quite alot. He said that it is unlikely that he will be back. He has a wife and child with another on its way.
Jake Meyer Blog
July 25, 2016
There will be meetings between those climbers left at K2 base camp whether to mount another challenge. The three big paid expeditions are going to be leaving which will leave some not with them to decide on what to do.
If they do try to reach the summit again then this will be in early August. But a number of factors are against them. The avalanche basically destroyed all of the equipment higher up the mountain. There would not be enough of things like oxygen bottles, ropes or tents higher up. Also they will have to assess the weather and whether there is another window.
Controversially, Nick Rice has accused the Sherpas of taking down ropes from between camps 2 and 3. He thinks they might be doing this to sabotage any other groups of getting to the summit, because the Sherpas expeditions are going home. He is hoping though that they only take the damaged ropes down.
From his Facebook account here is what he said,
“I have also heard that some of the Sherpas have decided to take down fixed lines between Camp II and Camp III, making it even more difficult to make any kind of attempt to reach higher camps and reach the summit. This type of behavior reminds me of something a young child would do… something like, if I can’t have it, no one can. I hope their intention is only to remove damaged ropes and that they will leave the vast majority of rope in place, however, based on my experiences thus far with these expeditions, I’m not very confident that’s the case.”
Nick Rice Facebook
July 25, 2016
The season for climbing K2 appears to be over as a huge avalanche destroyed all of the equipment for many of the climbers. This avalanche wiped out all of camp 3.
Serge Dessureault has commented on his Facebook account wondering how there were not many deaths from the avalanche. He says that many of the climbers were to be fortunate at camp 2. Had they left the day before and been at camp 3 then all of those climbers would have died. He said that no Sherpas were going up K2 now and the teams have lost everything.
He has decided, along with many other climbers, to head back home. The window for climbing K2 was tight he said, and time has run out since they have little equipment to do any climbing.
Serge Dessureault Facebook
July 24, 2016
After the huge avalanche at camp 3 on K2 most climbers are considering returning to base camp. Fortunately, there appears to have been no climbers at camp 3 when it struck. But one climber did say it would have been a catastrophe had 50 or 60 climbers been there when it struck.
Everything was apparently destroyed in camp 3. The Sherpas went up to the camp and saw what damage the avalanche did. Oxygen bottles were heard to be exploding against the rocks during the Avalanche. All of the ropes, tents and other equipment were lost. Fortunately, the avalanche did not hit either camps 1 or 2. It appears very fortunate that this struck when no one was in the camp.
There is discussion though between the climbers about whether they might go on. This is only a few. They don’t have the ropes or equipment to climb the final sections though. Most big teams will probably be going.
July 23, 2016
Vaness O’Brien has reported that all of the tents at camp 3 on K2 have been hit by an avalanche. The way she reported it was that they must be destroyed. She did say though that all expeditions are safe. At the moment she has arrived at camp 2 after spending 2 nights at camp 1.
Vanessa O’Brien Twitter
One could follow Jake Meyers GPS tracker and see him go past camp 3 before heading back down towards camp 2.
Jake Meyer tracker
With the tents at camp 3 destroyed then it must throw into doubt many of those aiming for the summit on the present attempt.
July 23, 2016
At the moment there are a large number of climbers who are attempting to go further up K2. Most are at either camp 1 or 2. It has been reported that strong winds have slowed a number of them. Quite a few could not make it to camp 2 and are presently at camp 1.
Also it has been noted that because of the large number of climbers going up this has also slowed down the progress of many climbers. They are still unsure of conditions higher up the mountain and whether the recent snow will have any affect.
July 22, 2016
Many climbers have started the climb up K2. There is a fortunate weather window at the moment and they are hoping that it lasts at least till the 26th of this month. If it does then they are hopeful of reaching the summit.
Some climbers are already at camps 1 or 2 on the Abruzzi ridge. Some others are taking an extra day in base camp before heading up. There have been reports of tents being destroyed in camps 1 and 2 after some wild weather in the last few days. The climbers will not know if their tents and gear are ok till they reach these camps.