Extreme weather at K2 halts progress of mountaineers

Faizan Lakhani
Mountaineers climbing K2. — Lakpa Sherpa
Mountaineers climbing K2. — Lakpa Sherpa

KARACHI: Extreme weather conditions on K2 have halted the progress of mountaineers who were aiming to push for the summit on Thursday.

Several mountaineers, including Abdul Joshi of Hunza, had to abort their summit plans, however, most are still determined and eager to summit the mountain once the weather clears.

Naila Kiani, Samina Baig, Wajid Nagri, Steffi Troguet, Sirbaz Ali, and Kristin Harlia are still on Camp 4 and were waiting for ropes to be fixed and the weather to get better.

They’re likely to push for the summit on Friday morning.

“Our fixing team, along with other agencies, is aiming to fix the line to the summit of K2 by today (July 21).”

“All other climbing members are steady at camp for the summit push. Unstable wind, some gusts, foggy weather and breaking trail over fresh snow is challenging. However, the fixing team is dedicated and working hard,” said Chhang Dawa Sherpa of Seven Summits in a post on Thursday evening.

Pakistan’s female climber Kiani, who is aiming to be the first Pakistani female to summit K2 along with Baig, confirmed her location and wellbeing while speaking to Geo News via satellite communication.

“The weather doesn’t look great, not sure if there will be any summits tonight,” Kiani said.

There are also reports of the death of an Afghan climber due to high-altitude sickness but that could not be confirmed by any official.

Meanwhile, Nepal’s famous climber Sanu Sherpa has achieved the unique feat of scaling all 14 eight-thousanders twice.

The 47-year-old stood atop 8,035m world’s 13th highest peak GII in Pakistan at around 8:17am on Thursday completing his double ascent of the 14th 8000er.

He has scaled mount Everest 7 times, Manaslu, Nanga Parbat and Lhotse three times each and other top peaks twice each in his career.

There was also an SOS call by a French climber from Broad Peak who is reportedly stuck after being unwell. Local administrations are making arrangements to rescue her.