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  The Playground Friends HiMountain Gasherbrum II Expedition 2006 Moving back up!

The Playground Friends HiMountain Gasherbrum II 2006 Expedition - CAMP 3 7/19/2006: Today - 19th July - team consist of Krzysztof Wielicki, Robert Jucha, Rafal Fronia, Pawel Podsiadlo set up Camp 3 on 6970m. They will sleep here tonight and plan come back to BC tomorrow. "Whole team is in good condition. It is windy and cloudy, we see some tents of others expeditions damaged" - reported Wielicki today afternoon local time.

Ryszard Pawłowski and Marek Chmielarski are on C2 on 6530m. The others expedition members resting in C1 and some of them at BC.

We are in C1 7/18/2006: Almost all of us - we are in C1. Ryszard and Marek, after their last adventures, resting in BC still. Ewa and Barbara are in ABC. The weather is fine - sunshine - even to hot. There are 20 tents in C1 - not so many as last time :-) - but we are not sure if is due to storm "work" or due to other reasons. Tomorrow we will continue to climb as high as possible to C2 or even C3 on 6700m.


We are in C1 7/17/2006: Almost all of us - we are in C1. Ryszard and Marek, after their last adventures, resting in BC still. Ewa and Barbara are in ABC. The weather is fine - sunshine - even to hot. There are 20 tents in C1 - not so many as last time :-) - but we are not sure if is due to storm "work" or due to other reasons. Tomorrow we will continue to climb as high as possible to C2 or even C3 on 6700m.


Update 1: On June 27th the Krzyszof Wielicki, Ryszard Pawłowski, Janusz Majer - the playground 3 friends expedition left Poland for Gasherbrum II.

They arived to Islamabad without problems. They plan to colect cargo and visit Ministry of Tourism tomorrow then the expedition should start to Skardu the day after tomorrow. They should be at BC July 10th.

Update 2: The Playground Friends HiMountain Gasherbrum II Expedition - old troupers caught with their trousers down? 7/05/2006

After landing in Islamabad, nobody cared much at first that the expedition cargo was not there yet (it was due to arrive the next day). Things were going according to plan. The expedition briefing and departure to Skardu by bus were planned. The next day, the atmosphere became tense when it appeared  the cargo had not arrived. Only the briefing went according to plan, the rest was pure improvisation.

However, the briefing itself was a kind of a novelty. It was not held at the Ministry of Tourism, as it had been so far, but at the premises of the Pakistan Alpine Club which had been trying for a few years to “take over control” of the climbing traffic in Karakorum. It is apparent now that the “takeover” has succeeded and that some quality changes may be expected in accessibility, logistics and infrastructure in Karakorum in the coming years. This is rather good news for the Himalayan mountaineers – it seems that the Pakistan Alpine Club is closer to the problem and understands better the modern nature of climbing expeditions; we may hope that the funds raised from charges for climbing permits will be better used and more will be spent on development and protection of the region, in addition to “rescue” needs.

After the briefing, however, the expedition leaders, puzzled by the absence of their luggage, decided not to delay any further and the expedition left Islamabad in the hope that the cargo would catch up with them. Climbing up, they were inundated with telephone calls from both Kolex, a freight forwarding company in Warsaw and British Airways. In Skardu, when it became clear the cargo would arrive in Pakistan as late as the 2nd July, they decided to split up. Ryszard Pawłowski stayed in Skardu. The rest went by jeep to Askole  from where they set off on foot on 3rd July, heading for the Baltoro glacier and the base camp. "Problems are our speciality; we haven’t got sleeping bags for camping or trekking boots for walking but we’re improvising and somehow we manage”, reported Janusz Majer. “Tomorrow, in Paj, we may organise a rest day, we’ll install the began and send you more details”, he added.

Update 3:

The Playground Friends Expedition to Gasherbrum II - We’re counting ourselves - We are 12

Now that we are having a break from Paju, we can slow down and count ourselves. Our group is quite big, we met at the airport and not everybody really knew what the make up of our party was. The speed at which we travelled and the fact that we lost one member of the group in London did not make things any clearer.

1. Zbigniew Zimniewicz

2. Rafał Frona

3. Michał Kobylecki

4. Robert Jucha

5. Agnieszka Adamowska

6. Paweł Podsiadło

7. Ewa Dumańska

8. Barbara Skarżyńska

9. Marek Chmielarski

10. Krzysztof Wielicki

11. Ryszard Pawłowski

12. Janusz Majer

We also share the permit and base camp costs with two other teams that will carry out individual, independent mountain activities. One team is composed of two climbers from the Czech Republic and the other one is a pair of climbers from Poland, Paweł Mitura and Bogusław Chamielec. Generally speaking, and from the formal point of view (according to what is written in the Pakistani documents), there are 16 expedition participants.       

Update 7/14/2006: Ryszard and Marek managed come down to BC

The weather is really very bad. Ryszard Pawlowski and Marek Chmielarski, after two nights in C1, managed to come back to BC today, on July 14, however it was difficult and dangerous. The crevasses are unnormal large, there is a lot of snow and visibility is zero. So, there were a lot of adventure to go down. Fortunately, the team was supported by two Dutch climbers (Frits Vrijland and Court Haegens), who gave up their summit bid and turned back from high camps. They called two HAP, who came to ABC and helped with the further truck to BC. Ryszard and Marek spent 5 hours to get from C1 to ABC. At C1 there is a big storm at the moment. 3 tents flew out high to somewere (not our exp.) and next 3 ones had been caught by Ryszard and fixed in very last moment before their leaving . Now, whole team is back in the BC and having a party together with Anka, Darek and Tamara from Hidden Peak Exp. If the weather is good starting Sunday, then it will be possible to climb again, but not earlier than Tuesday 19th July.

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