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  K2 2008: "The situation is frightening"

Copyright© Billy Pierson

First the weather, the window is still open, but things are going to get worse. On Monday evening, wind will increase becoming westerly, triggering cloudiness/snow for short time. Mon/Tue will be hard.

Good News

Marco Confortola is "found" and at camp 4 , 2 Sherpas are there giving him oxygen and medicine. This information is from his climber partner who is now in K2 base camp.

Fredrik Strang is one of the climbers up high helping. He is on Mike Farris's expedition , he is reporting that all of his eight team members are safe.

Bad News

A climber fell in the bottleneck, breaking an arm or leg...

Gerard, the Irish climber is "missing". Gerard McDonnell is 37 years old originally from Kilcornan. He is oil company employee who lives in Alaska and is part of the Dutch   international team.

One report claims 6 peoples still standing on the bottleneck...

Hugues is "missing".

A third climber has died in camp 4.

The list of missing is variable....

Other Updates

Singapore climbers with 2 Sherpas were asked by Dutch to stay in camp 3 [but not go up]. It will be the third night there, they will need to down very soon... They are sharing what food, fuel and oxygen they can spare for the rescued climbers and rescuers.

The Singapore Team's update: Our team okay

An avalanche above Camp 3 has wiped away the fixed ropes above Camp 3, leaving some 12 climbers stranded. There were also reports of at least 3 deaths. Our team woke this morning to a request from BC to stay put at Camp 3 and to gather food, fuel and oxygen for the rescued climbers and rescuers. They are in contact with BC every two hours, standing by to help n the rescue if needed. They will be spending a third night at Camp 3 which will surely leave their bodies even more debilitated.  Their expedition now hangs in the balance, but that is the last thing on their minds, as lives are at stake. If you are so inclined, please pray for everyone on the mountain."

Earlier: Things are real bad on K2. The Koreans, we are told, are sending their Sherpas up to try to rescue climbers. What remains of the Dutch teams at camp 4 is expected to go up with a couple of others. If the fixed ropes are really gone, then ....

At least one climber "hopes" that the fixed ropes are not gone and that those coming down just missed the point.... Who knows at this point.

One unconfirmed report states as many as 7 climbers could be seen up high...

We are not going to release names at this point, see below (way down) for information on climbers who people believe to be down.

At least one climber believes it is time to try to send everyone possible who is at camp 3 and above up that can help...

Hard decisions that might result in more lost of life...


Earlier: One climber was still seen going UP at 8.30pm local time last night. Some summited at 6pm. The weather is almost perfect for K2. So... We are told 2 died on the way up...

We are being told as many as 12 did not yet make it back to camp 4 yet. The Koreans DO have a group who were planning to try to summit tonight. They are going to run into a mess .... The Korean will have oxygen, but probably not much more than they will need. Taking themselves off oxygen could result in death for their members.

A hope and a prayer. The weather is almost prefect... No one could ask for better conditions...

A report that a big chunk of ice took out part of the fixed lines is unconfirmed.

Rescues attempts from base camp to rescue someone at the bottleneck would seem impossible, according to past K2 Summiters we have talked to.

The fate of many are in the hands of the themselves to will their way down with the possible help of the Koreans...

Stay Tuned...

Earlier: A Serbia climber fell from the bottleneck. His family we are told have been told, but we will hold the news for 24 hours... A porter also is believed to have died...

Other reached the the summit ... but late.

The Dutch team summited: Cas, Gerard and Pemba, and Wilco... It was Wilco's third attempt.

Norwegians and Hugues, the Frenchman, summited

The Italian climber (Marco Confortola) was still going up very late.... His parent turned around early and it assumed safe.

At 8.30 pm local time, 3 headlights were seen going down up around the shoulder... Unclear where everyone is at right now...

Gerard has become the 1st the FIRST Irishman to become a K2-summiteer.

If you believe, then prayers .....

Others: It is believed Eric the doctor and his Sherpa turned around and it back in camp 3.

The Koreans summited first with oxygen and are believed to be the strongest...

Mark Sheen did not attempt the summit.

Jelle Staleman is down to camp 3.

The last few meters seemed to take hours to reach....

The Singapore team made a good call and turned around. the report is below...

August 1: The Singapore Team set off today from Camp 3 and headed towards Camp 4. They reached the tip of the shoulder from where they could see the bottleneck, before turning to return to Camp 3. They will return to BC tomorrow to recover and wait for their summit window.

An exhausted Robert said they were climbing about 20 % slower than he Koreans and Americans who had been on the mountains far longer. He and Edwin are not as well acclimatised as they would have liked, having arrived late at BC.




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