|Gasherbrum II (8035 m), Gasherbrum I (8068 m) and Broad Peak (8047 m) - Karakoram, Pakistan|
Three 8 000 meters Peaks
The summer 2009 Philippe Gatta tried to climb Gasherbrum II (8 035 m), Gasherbrum I (8 068 m) and Broad Peak (8 047 m) without supplementary oxygen. Philippe teamed up with Gorgan Wildberger and Serap Jangbu Sherpa. Serap had only Gasherbrum 1, Broad Peak and Nanga Parbat left to complete the list of 14 8000 meters. Serap, Gorgan and Philippe were sharing base camp services with Altitude Junkies and ATP.
The weather has been very bad with lots of snow and constant high winds in altitude (50 km/h to 80 km/h). In 6 weeks of expeditions, they never had a good weather window for a safe summit bid. When they tried, they had to turn back in storms and avalanche conditions (see the blog for more details). Overall 2009 has been a bad year in Karakoram with very few successes. At the time Philippe left the base camp nobody had summitted Gasherbrum 1 and Broad Peak and Ueli Steck was the only one who succeeded Gasherbrum 2 during an impressive and bold solo ascent.
The conditions improved slightly a few weeks later allowing Veikka Gustafsson, Kazuya Hiraide and a Bulgarian team to reach the top of Gasherbrum 1. Veikka completed his 14x8000ers quest. Later on, Oh Eun-sun and a Spanish team also reached the top of Gasherbrum 1. On Gasherbrum 2, the Iranian team turned back 50-100m below the summit while a Spanish mountaineer disappeared near the summit the same day. Nobody reached the true summit of Broad Peak and unfortunately a few deaths were reported on Broad Peak and K2. On Gasherbrum 6, Daniela Teixeira and Paulo Roxo made several attempts but had to turn back because of poor snow condition and avalanches. For similar reasons, Don Bowie, David Falt, Bruce Normand, Guy McKinnon and Billy Peirson couldn’t reach the top of Gasherbrum 3 and 4. Arian Lemal who was on a Gasherbrum 1 / Gasherbrum 2 expedition has made significant efforts to collect abandoned rubbish at Gasherbrum BC and camp 1, like he did previously on Aconcagua.
Gasherbrum I (8 068 m), Gasherbrum II (8 035 m) and Broad Peak (8 047 m) are located in the Karakoram range (West of the Himalayas) in the Northwestern part of Pakistan, at the borders of Pakistan, India and China. This Range has 4 peaks above 8 000 meters: K2 (8 611m), Gasherbrum I and II and Broad Peak, more than 60 peaks above 7 000 meters and even more 6 000 meters peaks.
Sources : http://www.philippegatta.fr/karakoram2.htm