K2 WINTER POLISH EXPEDITION
21 February 2003
K2 is still in front of us. It awaits us in the fog and the blizzard.
The climbers have established almost four kilometers of ropes on the
northern slope, along with four camps equipped with sleeping bags, carrimats,
cookers, food, first-aid kits and climbing equipment. The route has
been secured up to 7,630m, which has taken the climbers 43 days of mountaineering
efforts. After that, they had to descend to the base and wait passively
for the hurricane frenzy that had broken out to calm down. Krzysztof
Wielicki says that you cannot leave now without checking out if anything
is left of the great effort put into this whole undertaking. The climbers
are waiting below at the Chinese and intermediate base for the head
of the expedition to summon them back to the upper base and further
- onto the slope. Wielicki is so determined to finish the work that
has been started that he even declared himself ready to stay with a
small group of the strongest mountaineers, waiting as long as it is
necessary for better conditions to attack the summit, and then to chase
the rest of the expedition returning with the caravan. For the moment,
as soon as the wind strength will allow continuing the climb, one has
to find the answer to the most important question: have the camp tents
survived? Is it impossible to start the expedition from the very beginning?
Krzysztof wants to use all chances in the expedition. The small group - he, Marcin and Denis - is going to try the summit push, if the weather will permit. The other small group is preparing to the reconnaissance and preparing camps... "Krzysztof and Marcin hadn't acclimatized, but they would be able to summit with oxygen," - wrote Denis Urubko.