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  Vojvodinean expedition to K2: Only seldom peeps


Copyright© Billy Pierson

 

20.7.2008.

– Clouds, snow, wind… Every day in BC is the same. And the sun? Only seldom peeps behind the clouds. All of us are nervous. All the days we are in our tents. We go out only for snow-clearance.

18.7.2008.

– Number of climbers and expeditions in BC K2 is on the maximum. From now this number will be smaller and smaller. All expeditions finished their acclimation, advantage camps are ready, and most of us are waiting for favorable forecast to start up. But… It is not so simple. We need 5 days for upsurge and 1-2 days more for descent. Six or seven favorable days are almost impossible on this mountain full of caprices. So we have to have good forecast! Oftentimes we have to start in bad weather to arrive on the top when the window is open. All the day we make comparisons between our forecast and forecast of the others expeditions. We perform phlegm but time goes on. Today is one month since we made BC. Thanks to God we are healthy and jocund still ready to check what is the view from the top of this shamefaced mountain which abscond itself in the clouds. 

16.7.2008.

– There are no clouds over top of K2. Early in the morning we were starting to C2. As first we will poke the snow around our tents in C1 and then in C2. We will sleep there.

Our tents are OK and all of equipment is OK too.

Some minutes after high-noon clouds are on the sky again. The wind is stronger. Leader of our expedition Mico Jovovic arrived from Serbia this morning in BC.

 

15.7.2008.

– Overnight (yesterday evening) in our tent was meeting of leaders of all expeditions in K2 BC. There were Dutch, Singaporean, American, Italian and Korean. We made agreement for collective upsurge to the top. The biggest problem is Betelnik, ice-rock which is about 100 m high.  We will put the rope on it all together. Few next days there are expecting bad weather. When the forecast be good we will meet in C3 and start to K2 from there. It needs to install more 300-700 fix-ropes. 

14.7.2008.

- BC is under snow. We are in our tents. 

13.7.2008.

– It is unbelievable – warm and sunny day here, 15˚C in the shadow! But upon the mountain on over 8000 m Korean Sherpa are in hurricane. The snow is over their girdles. They are trying to find right-way to BC or C4 anyhow.

Here in K2 BC some people are coming and the other are leaving. Our friend Greenlander Nick and one climber from Denmark are going home. They said that the avalanches here are too hurtfully for them.

Pedja and Iso are putting the stones around the tent. Dren was washing himself. One mountain goat arrived here in BC. Does it mean that we have meat for dinner?

 

Earlier: Hurricane night is behind us. The wind has been shaking our tents all night, but we managed to keep them safe from the wind. Unfortunately, the clouds didn’t raise above the top of K2, so our carriers had to get back from the C3 camp. The snow is very deep up there. We headed towards Depot and waited for them out there. Now we’re all in the base camp again. We’re waiting and waiting for the clouds to move away above the mountain.
 
11.7.2008.      
There is no wind, but everything is covered with clouds. The carriers from the C2 contacted us at about 6 am. Three Korean Sherpa and three Sherpa from Italian expedition are with them. We heard from them at about 10 am again. The clouds have moved away a bit and they’re heading towards the C3. The snow is deep. We are at the base camp and we’re going to celebrate Imamat Day with our Pakistani friends.
 
10.7.2008
The weather above K2 is not perfect. Clouds come around, then there’s a hurricane wind blowing, and still there are moments when the sun is shining strongly. In the next three days we intend to carry the oxygen bottles to the C4 (7.900 meters). We hope that the weather will allow us to fulfill our intentions.
 

Earlier: Till we waiting to start climbing time goes slowly.

Forecast is not promising and we have to be patient.
Every moment we use for checking our equipment. This day is time for those things for our heads: under-caps, caps, forehead lamps, sunglasses, oxygen-masks, stop valves and bottles with oxygen. In altitude in the dark we will have not time for repairing but each error may be end for climbing.
In meantime we took some photos.
In the afternoon we have meeting with others expeditions.
 
8.7.2008.
Raining on 5.000 meters is rarely but here in BC it is the second raining day.
We decided to rotate our Pakistan-friends in the kitchen. Dren and Pedja arranged “Gomboce” (it is an old Vojvodinean sweetmeats). The potato is needful for this but here are no potatoes so Pedja and Dren took mash from pocket. At home we always prepared “gomboce” with plums but here are not plums. So Pedja and Dren took strawberry-jam. But all was OK.
 
7.7.2008.
It is cloudy in BC. The glacier is sliding and we made new platforms for our tents all the day. There was rain in the afternoon. It is 7.00 pm now and it is raining also.

 

3. 7. 2008.: There are not clouds over K2 this morning. But the wind is strong. When the sun rises over our tents, we started to C2. Advantage-carriers proceeded to C3. If the case of promising weather we will install C3 today.

2.7. 2008.- BC: One morning without snow finally. Temperature is -8 C˚. At 6.00 am we started to AC1 and arrived about 12.00 am. Our tent was covered by snow. We spend more than 1 hour of digging. But now we are snuggled in it. Advantage-carriers were calling by phone – they are in C2. In case of promising weather they will start to C3 and we will start to C2 tomorrow morning. In the afternoon-hours there were installed 200 m of fix-ropes on the way to C3.

1. 7. 2008. : This morning there is snow in BC again. We got promising forecast yesterday but it is not sunny day today. After breakfast we were going to K2 Memorial Place. There are memorial stones for those people who rested on K2. At 7.00 pm it starts to snow. At 10.00 pm sky was clear again and we have seen the first stars on it.


30. 6. 2008. - BC : It is snow here again.  It is windy and clouds are all around. We prepared oxygen masks and we are waiting for oxygen from Scardu.

Earlier: It is morning on 6.600 meters. We can not to C3 today. Sky is closed, all in clouds.

It is windy and snowy. We are starting to BC and we abandon ropes-installing for some others days. But it is OK with our stomachs.

 

27. 6. 2008.

It is dark in C2 (6.600 m). There are wind and snow. Three of our carriers and four Korean-Sherpa are with us. We were bad-luck today: pains are in our stomachs, one pad migrated down the rock and snow was starting on the way to C2. But the wind is not strong luckily.

 

 

27. 6. 2008.

Calm night in C1 (6.040 m). Some wind without snow. When the sun was up we started to C2. This morning carriers started with equipment from BC to C2. Tomorrow we will install the fix- ropes towards C3.

 

 

26. 6. 2008.

Early in the morning we were started to C1 and it was high-noon when we arrived. Next night we will here and tomorrow we are going to C2.

 

 

25. 6. 2008.

 

Early this morning our carriers removed 600 m fix-ropes and they will install C2. In the same time Korean team will install 400 m fix-ropes more to C2. We are in base camp. Today we are planning day of pause. Tomorrow it will be for carriers.

It is nice day in BC. We are reading your posts on our web site. Thank to all for good wishes and

Encourages.

 

24. 6. 2008.

We came back from  C1 to BC. It seems we are at home. There are smile-faces around and coffee.

And plenty of chatting. We and Korean team togeder installed 1.200 m  of fix-ropes. What this really mean? It means that we can reach C1 in only 5 to 7 hours. And descent to depot lasted 1,5 hour only.

Upsurge and descent was full of surprises. There were avalanche of stones on 5.400 m. We were awed and feel like we were in some kind of video-game. Stones more than 50 kg flitted over our heads.

DREN lay down and put his knapsack on his head. It was salvage for him because the biggest stone shoot over him.

PEDJA budged left-right to evasion the avalanche of stones and ISO sticked to the rock and waited.

We stayed in our tent to sleep and we feel so lonely in little tent on 6.050 m. All the night was snowy.

Tinned chicken and in the morning refresh us and our mood in the morning. After breakfast we made some photos out of tent. Than we affixed on the rope and came to Depot like in an elevator. From Depot to BC we came for 90 minutes. It was our record.

 

 

23. 6. 2008.

Early in the morning (5.oo am) we started to Depot from BC. Morning is clear but very cold – temperature is under -10˚C. We spend more than 2 hours to come on 5.150 m in Depot.  There were 6 members of Korean team who reach Depot yesterday. Together with them we proceeded installing 350 m of fix ropes to C1.

It is very awry, axles are in the rock but ascent is in snow. One avalanche of stones flitted over us but nobody was stricken. At 11.45 am we installed one of tent on 6.040 m. It is our C1. Korean team put their C1 near our tent. Today we will return to BC.

 

 

BC K2 – 22. 06. 2008.

It was good ended last night.

Communication-Officer of one of expedition near us got “something” in his lung. It was some kind of situation and we have descendent him in military camp on Concordia. He could not to walk and our carriers bring him on the barrow for 3 hours (to the half of way to military camp). After 3 hours officer stand to his own legs and proceed to his destination with escort. Carriers came back to BC in prime and they were sick and over strung. God bless them! They rescued one human life.

In the morning some of expeditions (Italians, Pakistan’s, Frances) gratitude to us.

Here in Himalaya repute sacrifice when someone changes his expedition-planes because of helping to someone who is not part of their own team. None of expedition – but our - are not permitted that their carriers waste themselves for helping to “some officer”.

One more day under snow. All of time in the camp. But we made full of things until today: we were very first this year in installing fix-ropes on scarps of K2. We made as we could.

But weather… No one day without snow!

We are satisfied that Mr. Kim Ye So (president of Korean climbing federation) said that we can install fix-ropes and climbing and summit together. We have good experience with Koreans (summit G1 & G2 last years) and it is good combination for us.

 

BC K2 – 21. 6. 2008.

Ultimately sun helps us to go out from the tent. K2 show itself in all of its beauty and proportion. It significant only one thing – we will go ABC.

After breakfast we started. Some pries for luck and success follow us.

To ABC we have over the Godvin Ostin glacier. Way is easy in the beginning, only creeks and stones. Some times after Godvin Ostin glacier shows his really structure -   Cracks and ice-bridges… Finally we arrived under Abruci Rock and stones flitted over us from the top of Abruci. We have to be very careful! Some steps uphill and we arrived on the little gritty flat with ice-towers around. It is ABC!

Korean team installed two tents for food and equipment but it is place for us too.

And than – surprise!

Our carriers suggested that we start with rope fixing to C1 immediately because weather is good and clear. We filled god on 5.300 m. and accepted.

Way to C1 goes aboard one big snowy mountainside and it is fresh streak of one avalanche. It was all the snow from days before today and it is comparatively safely for climbing.

In the beginning scarp is 30˚. Afterwards scarp is bigger and bigger … 45˚… 50˚… 55˚… Easier part we passed together. And than Hussein goes on the top of the rope to lead.

Terrain is easy, snow is good, and we are going after him without rope. Hussein “extricated” some 200 m. Than ISO and I required leading. Hussein said: “If you wish, you can go!”

Feeling was great!

On 5.600 m it was the end of ropes. Rest of ropes we will install some other day.

We started very firs and we hope the other expeditions will come after us.

In BC we arrived some minutes after 3.oo pm. Warm soup and warm words in the tent.

And than some shout outside. Pakistan’s connection-officer was ill – lung! We got him some of medicine and our carriers to escort him down.

I hope he will be safe soon.

PEDJA

..................

 

Earlier: We arrived in Paiyu (3.500 m) and we have beautiful view on Baltoro glacier. Transportation across the Baltoro River valley outlasted 6 hours and passed without excesses but one of mules broke the leg. This pitiable animal will be at supper-table this evening, perhaps. And after that we will drink “Baltoro-deuce” (it means gold-colour water plenty of minerals from the creek which is skipping the dast of ambient).

Pedja says he like it. Withal, it is his birthdyu today and he can what he want. God bless him.

…………………………….. 

JHOLA,11.06.08.

First hiking-day to BC (3140m). It was sunny and dusty.

We haven't any  problems with eider carriers or equipment. Everithing is in order and each thing is on its place.

Our Note-book battery is almost empty.

Best wishes to all.

…………………………………

ASKOLE, 10.06.08.

In 6 jeeps and all of equipment  we arrived to  Askole, the village on the end of the world,

marvelous place encircled by snow-peaks. Today we have had the last bathing for the 50 next days.

From tomorrow we will going across the river-valley and than Baltoro Glacier is waiting for us.

What are expecting from next 10 days? Only several things: 1. That transport to K2 BC prove in acclimation; 2. That we reach it ready for giant challenge; 3. That we enjoy bypass  great peaks which are alignment along our way like for some kind of parade.

………………………………………. 

ISLAMABAD, 06.06.08.

Alter arrival in Islamabad, on +48˚C (in the shadow) we went to Department of Tourism. It was some problems, of course. And we determined them, of course. Ambasy of Pakistan in Belgrade was very helpful, of course.

Tomorrow we will start to Skardu but we don’t know which transport. It is drivers-strike here.

…………………………..

Background and team information below:

Program:

2.6.2008. Day 01 Airort Belgrade, Serbia; Departure
3.6.2008. Day 02

Dubai;

4.6.2008. Day 03 Islamabad, Pakistan;
5.6.2008. Day 04 Islamabad, Pakistan;
6.6.2008. Day 05 Islamabad- Chilas (480 km)
7.6.2008. Day 06 Chilas - Skardu (275 km)
8.6.2008. Day 07 Skardu (2.340 m)
9.6.2008. Day 08 Skardu (2.340 m)
10.6.2008. Day 09 Skardu – Askole (3.050 m) - 96 km.
11.6.2008. Day 10 Transport to Jhola (3.240 m);
12.6.2008. Day 11 Transport to Paiyu (3.368 m);
13.6.2008. Day 12 Acclimation in Paiyu (3.368 m);
14.6.2008. Day 13 Transport to Khuburtze (3.800 m);
15.6.2008. Day 14 Transport to Urdukas (4.011 m);
16.6.2008. Day 15 Transport to Goro II (4.500 m);
17.6.2008. Day 16 Transport to Concordia (4.720 m);
18.6.2008. Day 17 Transport to BC K 2 (5.130 m);
19.6./2.8. Day 18/62 Upsurge to K - 2

C1 – 6.050 m

C 2 – 6.700 m

C 3 – 7.200 m

C 4 – od 7.600 m do 8.000 m;

3.8.2007. Day 63 BC – Goro II;
4.8.2008. Day 64 Goro II – Khuburtze;
5.8.2008. Day 65 Khuburtze – Chobraqk;
6.8.2008. Day 66 Chobraqk – Askole;
7.8.2008. Day 67 Skardu
8.8.2008. Day 68 Skardu

9.8.2008.

Day 69 Skadru
10.8.2008. Day 70 Skadru- Chilas
11.8.2008. Day 71 Chilas - Islamabad
12.8.2008. Day 72 Islamabad;
13.8.2008. Day 73 Islamabad;
14.8.2008. Day 74 Departure from Islamabad (8,30 h)
15.8.2008. Day 75 Dubai (7,30 h) – Belgrade(12,45 h)

Team 

ISO PLANIĆ – Born 5.9.1965.

Member of ŽPK “Spartak”, Subotica from 1994. 

Expeditions: Ararat – 2000; Elbrus – 2001; Akonkagva – 2004; Shisha Pangma – 2004; Maunt Everest - 2005; Gasherbrum 1&2 – 2006; Broad Peak  – 2007;

 

PREDRAG ZAGORAC – Born 12.6.1980. Member of PSD “Poštar”, Belgrade from 1990. 

Expeditions:  

Maunt Blanc – 2006; Grand Paradiso - 4065m, Maunt Blanc de Tekil 4248m, Aghi de Moine 3412m, Den de Zan 4013m; Broad Peak  – 2007;

 

DREN MANDIĆ – Born 13.12.1976. Member of ŽPK “Spartak”, Subotica from 2003.

Expeditions:

Ararat - 2003; Elbrus - 2003; Broad Peak – 2007;

 

 

MIODRAG JOVOVIĆ - Born 1.5.1952. Member of PSD “Železničar”, Novi Sad.

Expeditions:

Elbrus - 1996; Maunt Blanc - 1997; Island Peak– 1998; Barunce – 2003; Shisha Pangma - 2004; Maunt Everest - 2005; Gasherbrum 1&2– 2006;

 

 

MILIVOJ ERDELJAN - Born 21.9.1964. Member of PD “Zanatlija”, Novi Sad. 

Expeditions:

Elbrus - 1989; Ararat - 2001; Uhuru Peak (Kilimanjaro-Tanzania) – 2002; Barunce – 2003; Shisha Pangma - 2004; Maunt Everest - 2005; Gasherbrum 1&2 – 2006; Broad Peak– 2007;

 

 

 

 

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