After a few months tackling Broad Peak and K2 Field Touring Alpine have decided to call it quite for this year. Expedition leader Fabrizio Zangrilli and the 2 porters will soon leave the mountain. The conditions on K2 have become harder than they were earlier in the season. The terrain is more difficult because the compact snow has gone on the lower slopes. Instead there are more loose rocks which have proven to be a hazard. There is hard ice to climb on instead of the firm snow earlier in the season.
Also many of the ropes have been torn by the falling rocks. Fabrizio said that from camp 2 80 percent had to be climbed without rope. This slowed down progress and made it less safe. Also on Broad Peak, he noted, there had been a lot of snow and ice that has melted on the lower slopes. Below camp 2 there it was all rock with little snow. He believed that the climbing season for the Karakorum this year is coming to an end as a result of these conditions.
Fabrizio Zangrilli and the porter went up to camp 2 to collect FTA’s gear. They left at 2: 30am. He was hoping that it would take them 4 ½ hours to get up there and 1 hour down as it had earlier in the season. But in the end it took them 10 hours in total, nearly twice as long as they had expected. It was a serious climb throughout.
Field Touring Alpine first went to Broad Peak this season and then to K2. They did not manage to summit either peak. They did come close on Broad Peak though but only turned back on summit day because of potential avalanche conditions on the top of the mountain.
In other news, Meagan McGrath has arrived at Skardu. She is waiting to go to Islamabad from there. There are delays getting from there because of the conditions of the roads from the flooding. Chris and Brian for FTA have already gone to Islamabad.
The itinerary for Field Touring Alpine is as follows: Cho Oyu in September, and Ama Dablam and Island Peak in October and November. Island Peak is considered quite an easy peak to climb.