Our almost obsessive consults of the weather forecast have
finished. Our friends from AEMET and Victor Baja seen to agree in a little
windows of relatively good weather for the 22nd. It will not be an easy day
for the summit, because the wind will be strong, but is the best we have in
the entire period of time we have ahead.
There will be no rain and the wind will be weak just that
day. We will take advantage to sneak by this little hole and reach the
summit in the first hours of the 22nd. We are not going alone. There are
more climbers that have opted for this option, especially because we know
that after some days without snowfalls, the condition of the snow will be
very good. If a strong snowfall would have closed the route, things would
be very different and our options low.
So, we will only depend on the wind close to the summit. We
have prepared everything to leave tomorrow, 19th, to camp 1. So, camp after
camp, we will get closer to our appointment with that cold early morning
that waits ahead. A little nervous in these final moment, but with a strong
spirit and the conviction that it will be our opportunity. We are all going
to fight for this summit of Gasherbrum II and we will begin tomorrow our
glorious climb to the highest point.
Good luck everyone.
GHULAM, MY FRIEND FROM PAKISTAN
One of the good things in this business is to meet different
people and cultures, through these relatively long trips. In Pakistan, I
don’t know why, they have always made me feel at home. They are hard and
noble people, in general, friends of few jokes, but sincere and with an
unusual sense of loyalty and honor. I suppose that the territory marks the
character in a special way and these people live in a hard and savage
country. Land, stones, heat and cold at the same time, are part of their
daily life and they have adapted to this environment in an spectacular way.
Baltistan, the zone of Pakistan where we are, is a terrain
full of mountains, arid and with any kind of luxury at all. Out team of
assistants, here in the mountain, are all from this zone. Ghulam, my cook
in every expedition I have made to these mountains is from a town close to
Hushe, a relatively big town in this region. During summer he is dedicated
to this work of support to expeditions and the rest of the year he takes
care of his 5 sons and uses his abilities as hunter for the hunt season of
the Ibex (a high mountain goat) common in this zone. His view has no
comparison to any of ours. He sees what we cannot see with binoculars and
cold or heat is no problem for him.
Always with his worn clothing and sandals, tireless, he is
ready to anything we need. He calls me brother and I feel the same too. He
knows what I think, what I need and he makes whatever is possible to do it.
He consoles me when I am pessimistic and he makes sense in his poor
English. We talk about his life, about mine, of his dreams and my dreams.
I love him for what he is, my brother from Pakistan. I feel safe with him,
I know he would kill for me and I have helped him and will do what I can for
him. I am proud to have someone like him close to me and I feel privileged
that someone so strong and special takes care for me in this hard land.
It doesn’t matter if I get over with all the mountains here.
I will always have the need to visit my brother Ghulam, to share a rancid
tea sitting on a stone and to share with him things that I would not be able
to talk with anyone else. I wish there were more people like him in our
perfect and advanced first world. Ghulam would be a good example of valor,
honor and friendship to many people with false values in our little
environment. I will always be thankful to Ghulam. Thanks for what you have
taught me of life.
We have been at base camp for a week and we made a giant step in our
expedition to Gasherbrum II. Excited because of the nice promised weather, 3
days ago we climbed with a lot of load up to camp 1, where we mounted our
little tent for the 3 of us and we spent the night there. Not too cold, not
much room, but we made it.
On the following morning, the 12th, we climbed by the steep Banana
ridge, a snow blade between the sky and earth that leads to the small Col at
6,400m, where camp 2 is installed. We got there tired and after digging a
platform in the snow for our tent, we spent the second night there. Higher
altitude, more exhaustion, but we made our objective. On the following
morning, we went back to base camp
without losing time.
Three days of hard action, but with the satisfaction of doing what we
intended. We installed two high altitude camps and we slept on the 6,400m
mark. We cannot ask for more, because the acclimatization process has been
Now to rest at base camp and to wait for a good weather window for a summit
attempt. It looks like a few days of bad weather are coming, so we will take
it easy, we will relax and prepare our bodies and minds for this great final
battle we still have to face. We did a lot and are very very satisfied for the
moment. Personally, I am very
proud of the work of my teammates. Everything goes well. Now to
PAUNER REACHES BASE CAMP AFTER A LONG DESCENT
By carlos pauner
The group of climbers is in perfect conditions at base camp after a
long and hot descent. They spent the night in good conditions with a
temperature of fifteen degrees Celsius below zero and at 03:00 (Spain time)
they left to base.
It took them seven hours to get to the 5,100m of base camp; Pauner said it was
very hot and the snow was soft. “We had to rappel and cross crevasses on the
Gasherbrum glacier; we ran out of water very quickly because it was very hot,
but we are at base camp. Now we have to drink a lot of fluids, eat and rest. I
am happy of the work we have done so far”, said the climber from Aragon.
Now Pauner will rest a few days at base camp and will wait for the
coveted window of good weather that lets him climb directly to the
summit of GII.
PAUNER SEES THE SUMMIT FROM CAMP II
By carlos pauner
After seven hours of ascent, Carlos Pauner and his two teammates has reached
camp II at 6,400 meters of altitude. He left from camp I at 03:00 and they
reached the tents at 08:00 (Spain time). The climber said they have good
weather, they even were hot during the
ascent and that from camp II they can enjoy the view of the coveted summit,
which is planned for the end of this same month.
From camp I to II they climbed by the Banana ridge which is vertical
and a little hard; also at the end of the day the snow was softer and a little
However, they reached the 6,400m without problems; they will now eat and drink
fluids to hydrate and they will spend the night at that
altitude, which will be another step in their acclimatization process.
Tomorrow morning they will descend to base camp in a descent they
expect to last four hours; from there they will discuss the next trip
to the high altitude camps.
CAMP I IS INSTALLED AND THEY ARE GOING TO II
By carlos pauner
During a telephone call Carlos said he is at camp I after almost eight
hours of ascent. It was a very slow trip, because they were carrying
a lot of loads. They started at 00:30 (Spain time) and ended at
6,000m of altitude at 08:00h (Spain time).
The long trip was made by Carlos, Raúl and Adrian. Gonzalo García
(cameraman) stayed at base camp. During the ascent they found many crevasses,
because they had to go across the Gasherbrum Glacier to reach CII.
They will spend the night at CI and during the early morning of Tuesday they
will leave again, this time to CII. Once the second camp is installed they
will sleep, advancing in their acclimatization process to they go back down to
Pauner said there are a lot of climbers on the mountain that will try
to get to the summit during the morning of the 13th or 14th of this
We will keep posting as more news come from Carlos.
BEARING THE SNOWFALL AT BASE CAMP
It has been 2 days since we got to base camp in Gasherbrum II, at 5,100m of
altitude. During the whole trip the weather was magnificent, which let us
enjoy the whole trek. Now things have changed a bit and the snow covers the
whole place. The group of trekkers that came with us went back home, happy of
what they lived up here.
We have installed the entire base camp and placed everything in its place. We
don’t mind the bad weather because we still had to rest a
few days anyway, before staring the climb. The forecasts look good from the
11th, so we have our plan. We will climb that day to camp 1 (6,000m), very
loaded and with the intention of sleeping there and
continue on the next day to camp 2. We hope we can and once that camp is
installed we can come back here with a great part of the work already done.
Dreaming is not bad, but it looks like the weather is going to be nice
and we have a chance that this dream comes true. For the moment at base camp,
resting, with nice food from our land and very excited. It all goes well and
that is important.
We are in Paju, at 3,300m, a small
oasis in this arid and mineral world that has brought us here. A small number
of trees give us shadow and comfort and we take this advantage to take the
only day of rest in our entire trekking.
The porters gather food and wood for the
trip across the glacier and we have tried to rest, to shake away some of the
dust of the trip and to prepare, like everyone, to enter the icy world of the
Baltoro glacier. From now on we will walk on this ice river during the 4 days
that take to reach base camp at Gasherbrum II.
So far, everything is wonderful and we
are enjoying our trek over these high lands of Pakistan. The views, despite
the messy weather we have, start to be spectacular. Towers of red granite are
everywhere, as a hint of we are about to see and enjoy.
We are about 80 km away from our
objective and for the moment we have not met many groups. Tomorrow we will see
Trango Towers, Paju Peak, a quick glare of the summit of K2 in the horizon and
the endless moraines of this hallucinating glacier. We will continue excited
to the sanctuary of these large mountains of Karakorum.
Translated from Spanish by Jorge
Our trip to the heart of the
Karakorum goes without problems. In Islamabad we did all the necessary
paperwork in a couple of frantic days. Smothered under a heat of more than 46
degrees Celsius, we found our old friends of Pakistan, Nazir, Ghulam, Nadeem,
good people with whom we have lived good moments in previous expeditions to
From Islamabad we took the
bus to travel on the Karakorum Highway for 32 endless hours. The condition of
this semi-road is deplorable and as the hours go by it gets worst. Finally, we
reached Skardu yesterday, the entrance gate to the world of large mountains in
this region. It is a calm village, with a crowded bazaar and is located on the
edge if the Indo. We spent the day here checking the loads, organizing
everything so that it will be easy to assign each load to the porters later.
Tomorrow we will go to Askole, the last place we can reach in a vehicle,
through an arid and mountainous terrain that will lead us to that location.
There we will hire our porters, around 60 and we will start to walk to the
In all this trip we have the
company of eleven friends who wanted to know these places and how an
expedition is organized from the beginning. They are enjoying it and don’t
stop getting surprised of this special world they are discovering.
Everything goes well so far.
Everything is going as planed and that is reflected in the group. Raul,
Adrian, Gonzalo and yours truly are satisfied and excited with what is about
to come. We make a good team and, in fact, we are enjoying this expedition. We
will soon get into the mountains and we will start to see the spectacular and
mythical summits like Gasherbrum IV, Masherbrum, Trango Tower and finally the
king of this place, K2. How many memories come to us and what a privilege to
be able to watch all this with the company of good friends. I cannot ask for
more for the moment.
Translated from Spanish by
FIRST NEWS ABOUT THE EXPEDITION
By carlos pauner
As usual and with renewed strength, there is news about the expedition that
left yesterday from Barcelona to Pakistan.
So far they are fine and doing the pertinent paperwork to start the
expedition. They are immersed in bureaucracy with the Ministry, the helicopter
company, last shopping…
Carlos said everything is calm despite the problems in Islamabad, the capital
They will leave day after tomorrow to Skardu by bus and it will take forty
eight hours to travel.
By carlos pauner
The group of climbers led by Carlos Pauner and the group of people who will do
trekking in Baltoro have finally reached Skardu (2,300 m.)
They reached their destiny by bus after thirty two hours (more than expected)
because the road was in very poor conditions. Now they will organize the loads
and the carriers and they will leave to Askole day after tomorrow.
Although Pakistan is now in a difficult situation, Pauner said that everything
is calm around him.
As things are going, it is expected that they will reach base camp around July
6 or 7.
We will keep posting as news arrive.
translated by Jorge Rivera
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