Monday, August 07, 2017

Summer Climbs 2017: It's Over in the Karakoram

It has been a long and busy summer in the Karakoram with some outstanding achievements in the big mountains there. But, this past weekend marked the end of the climbing season in Pakistan at long last, as the final climbers descended from Broad Peak and began preparing to head home. Over the next few days, they'll depart Base Camp and start the trek out, marking the end of one of the most successful summers in recent memory.

As noted last week, the Dreamers Destination team completed a late summit push on Broad Peak to nab yet another 8000-meter mountain in the Concordia region of Pakistan. You may recall, a week before that they also summited K2, claiming the first successful climbs on that peak since 2014. The team was led by its intrepid leader Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, who posted an update to his Facebook page over the weekend. That update reads:
"Finished my 11x8000m peak. Broad peak is my 10th 8000m without oxygen. All safely arrived back to camp3. Congratulation to all my team member. 
John snorri became first Icelandic, Ali reza made twice(on 27july and 4aug), Dawa Gyalje Sherpa, Tsering pemba sherpa completed 11x8000m, Mingma nuru sherpa, Ngima norbu sherpa( both k2 and broad peak without oxygen)  
Liu yong zhong completed 11x8000m and Dong hongjuan completed her 10th 8000m. fedrick from sweden also made it but he is not part of our expedition. Summit videos will be posted tomorrow. Thanks for following us"
As you can see, John Snorri Sigurjónsson was amongst those who summited, adding a third 8000-meter peak to his resume this year alone. In addition to climbing Broad Peak and K2, he also summited Lhotse as well.

Additionally, the "Fredrick" that Mingma references in his update is Fredrik Sträng, who tagged along with the final summit push to finally get his summit on Broad Peak as well. Technically he wasn't part of the Dreamers Destination team, but they worked in conjunction with one another on the way up. It was a very long season for Fredrik as well, who thought that his chances of nabbing a summit were over when all of the other squads abandoned the mountains there. Fortunately for him, patience and persistence paid off, and he was able to get a late season summit of his own.

And so, the curtain drops on the Karakoram for another year. There will of course be a few teams o follow there in the winter, most notably a Polish squad looking to make a winter ascent of K2. But for the most part, it will be quiet until next summer, when teams will arrive in larger numbers again. Look for Mingma and Dreamers Destination to be back, and leading the charge in 2018.

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