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 GI and GII 2009: Bulgarian Expedition report


Peter Atanasov

Nikolay Petkov

Dear Sirs, My name is Boyan Petrov and this summer I was a member in the Bulgarian team for climbing Gasherbrum-1 and Gasherbrum-2 as a part of Jasmine Tours shared permit. I am type 1 diabetic with previous experience in the Karakorum Mt (2001- Bulgarian Broad Peak Expedition up to 7300m and 2005- Polish-Bulgarian K2 Expedition up to 8150m).

With the present letter I would like to clarify some details of my accent to Gasherbrum-2, which I did on 1st August 2009. 

Gasherbrum-1 (26th July 2009)

As a member of the Bulgarian team led by Mr. Nikolay Petkov, on 26th of August 2009 all four members from our group (together with Veikka Gustafsson and Kazuya Hiraide) reached the summit of G-1 between 10:40 and 11:25 AM.

On 27.07.2009, all four Bulgarians descended to Camp 1 (5960m), where I decided to try solo Gasherbrum-2 in the following days.  

Gasherbrum-2 (27th July – 2nd August 2009)

27.7.2009- I climbed directly to Camp 3 (6950m) where I slept in the tent of the missing Spanish climber Luis Barbero after taking the permission from the leader of his team, Mr. Carlos Soria. 

28.7.2009- After two unsuccessful attempts (in 1AM up to 7100m and in 5AM up to 7250m) in worsening weather conditions in 9AM I decided to go down. I reached Camp 1 about 1PM that day. 

29.7.2009- Rest day in Camp 1.

30.7.2009- Again without support from any other climbers I broke the trail from Camp 1 to Camp 3.

1.8.2009- I started alone for the summit at 3AM. Breaking the trail in the soft fresh snow on the traverse beneath the summit pyramid was the most challenging part of this climb. In about 12:15h was at about 100m below the summit ridge. I was not fully prepared for climbing G-2 right after G-1 and did not read the description about the last part of the climb. I was unable to estimate where the true summit is and decided to climb straight up in the middle of the ridge. I reached the sharp, corniced ridge in 1:10PM and broke the cornice to see Broad Peak, K2 and beyond (Picture 1). Then I realized that the summit of G-2 is actually to the left of me at about max. 40m (Picture 2).

Picture 1: Broad peak (in the clouds) and K2 on the back as seen from the summit ridge of Gasherbrum-2, 1.8.2009, 13:14h, B. Petrov

Having only one ice axe and a stick I started traversing towards the summit from the Pakistani side. Beneath the fresh, powdered snow I stepped on a very hard ice and in a fen to twelve meters horizontal traverse I felt twice for 2m. Then I decided to quit. Thus the highest point reached by me is actually at about 30m horizontally from the highest point of the Gasherbrum-2’ ridge and about 5-7m lower.

In 5:10 PM I reached Camp 3 and found the Spanish Sechu Lopez and the Iranians Mohamed and Hussein. All of them have planned to push for the summit in the next morning and I decided not to disturb them. After a short break I continued to descent and reached Camp 1 in 8:05 PM.

2.8.2009- I packed all the gear and the tent from Camp 1 and safely reached the Base Camp. 

Picture 2: The summit of Gasherbrum-2 (the highest part of the snow ridge to the left) as seen from the Chinese side of the mountain, 1.8.2009, 13:15h, B. Petrov

6.8.2009- While crossing Gondohoro La pass I fell 13m in a deep ice crevasse. I was rescued by the Spanish Andres, Luis and Jorge with the help of several porters. 

18-29.8.2009- I passed many medical urological, neurological and endocrinological examinations, tests and other checks to verify the health consequences due to all disorders I have suffered after the fall in the crevasse.

From 30.8.2009 I am resting with my family at the island of Thassos in Greece.  

Please consider all facts and the enclosed pictures in this letter in order to include me or not in the list of G-2 2009 summiteers. 

With my best greetings, 

Boyan Petrov

2nd September 2009, Thassos, Greece.

History of the Hidden Peak

1889-1929: The Gasherbrum-group is surveyed and photographed by Britains and Italians. The British explorer M. Conway introduced the names 'Hidden Peak' and Gasherbrum II. 

1934: A big international expedition, organized by the Swiss G.O. Dyhrenfurth, explores both peaks. Two climbers get to a height of 6300 meters.

1936: A French expedition gets to 6900 meters.

1958: An American expedition, headed by Clinch and Schoening, climbs the summit for the very first time. On the way crossing the south spur, they use short ski and snow shoes. Pete Schoening and Andrew Kauffman get the summit on July 4th 1958.

As a 2-man-expedition with only twelve sherpas to the base camp, R. Messner and P. Habeler get to the summit on a new route (northwest route)(2nd. ascent). One day later, they are followed by three Austrians on the same route (3rd. ascent).

 

 
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