Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer Climbs 2015: Update on Broad Peak Avalanche

On Monday I posted the news that an avalanche had claimed the life of a climber on Broad Peak, and injured at least two others. At the time, the story was still developing, and there weren't a lot of details to be had. Since then, we've learned a bit more about the situation, and we now know more about the mountaineers who were involved with the accident.

According to reports, the avalanche occurred at about 11:00 AM local time on Monday morning. A group os seven climbers were moving up the mountain near Camp 1 when the accident occurred. The avalanche swept down the mountain and hit the group, claiming the life of a Pakistani high altitude porter in the process.

As it turns out, there were three climbers who were injured in the accident as well. One is Japanese, another is Chinese, while the third is a Nepali sherpa who was helping lead the team. The nature of their injuries isn't clear however.

The incident took place following a night of heavy, wet snowfall that has made for unstable conditions in recent days. That poor weather has persisted in the days that have followed, making it impossible to evacuate the injured climbers from the mountain. Hopefully things will improve soon so that these men can get the attention they need, and the mountain has time to settle before summit bids begin. We're now approaching late-July, which is traditionally when teams start to look for an opportunity to summit both BP and K2. But unless the weather improves, it could be a really dangerous time to be high up on either mountain.

My condolences go out to the friends and family of the fallen Pakistani climber. Hopefully the rest of the summer climbing season will pass without further casualties.

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