Winter Broad peak ascent
Simone Moro. 2008
March, 9 2008 Simone today: " This time the expedition is really over in a "strange" way: we arrived very very close to the success but:247 meters remained to climb: I arrived at 7800 meters and Shahenn very close to me. Qudrat stopped some hundred meters below due a cold problem to his feet. The weather was fantastic, low wind, sun but: at 7800 meter my watch show 2:00 p.m::. too late to continue. To go to the summit I had to climb 2 hours more and to be on the Broad Peak summit at 4:00 p.m in winter, is a suicide: Impossible to resist and organize a bivy on the way down: So it had been very very difficult but reasonable for me to stop the action and realize that I have to turn back and go fast to my last camp before the darkness came. So I did it: The summit was so close and my physical condition still good but I have to use the brain and not the muscles:
We started around 6,30 a.m from Camp 3 (earlier was still windy and cold). I found so many unexpected crevasses and it took me a lot of time to find the way to cross them. We didn't find any old fix ropes and we did all our climb without safety rope. We used them in the lowest part of the mountain. That's why we spent time to find the safe route and arrive to 7800 m. I always not approved the climbers that climb to the summit in the late afternoon, taking risks and often died for that decision. So for me it had been another situation where I discover that to survive sometime is better to use the brain and not the ego. It had been difficult, very difficult. Since 22 years the best mountaineers of the world are trying to climb an +8000 in Karakorum and to feel so close to succeed could make blind and hide the human reason but thanks God is not happen yesterday:
So now I want to thanks all of you, that followed my action in the last 2 an half months.
I did my best, really I used all my power and mental energy but the full winter I spent here had been very difficult and Is not a problem for me to believe that it had been the worst of last 30 years. Despite that I probably realized one time more that even in a small team and without external support is possible to achieve big and extreme climb. For sure in the short future someone will climb an +8000 in winter here in Karakorum. But I think that I also will be here again next winter:.. (Later I will show some video of yesterday's climb)"
March, 6 2008 The climbing permit expires March 10 and the supplies are almost out.
The latest report is promising though. "I just received the weather forecast from Karl Gabl and it looks that there is a hope, and extreme hope," Simone wrote yesterday. Seems that Thursday through Sunday a tiny window might open up, with the kind of weather the climbers have been waiting for: nice and calm.
With that, Thursday is set for the very final summit attempt. "I want to play my cards to the last second, the last drop of fuel and physical power," Simone says. "If it's true that this winter is the worst in 30 year; it's also true that I'll be the worst."
February, 28 2008 Tomorrow we will start again for another summit push. Today we received the weather forecast from Karl Gabl and for the weekend is predicted a decrease of the wind speed but clouds will come. The lowest wind speed should be Sunday that is our potential summit day. Also light snow falls could arrive but this is not sure. Tour summit push could be the last even we have still 10 days.. We have to see how much energy will be requested to survive the next 4 days on the frozen Broad Peak . So the weather forecast is 50% good and 50% not but we are motivated to try all our best. We will see which will be the final result of our attempt:.
Martina birthdate (Simone's dauther) had been the 22nd february. She's 9
February, 27 2008 Dear Friends, I'm writing you by satellite from base camp of Broad
Peak. Our attempt should start Friday,after tomorrow, to attempt the summit for Sunday 2 March. We are still waiting the last weather forecast. In the meantime I'm proud to inform you that in few week (around middle of march) will be ready my second book. It is a photo book with a 80 pages of written part about the exploration story of all the 8000 meters peaks. It had been a work that took me a lot of years of research and to collect all the pictures during my 36 climbing expeditions and contacts with many other mountainers. The book is in double languages Italian-English and it is the first time that someone show in one single book all the climbing routes along all the faces of all 8000 meters peaks...In attachment I send you the cover of the book.
Ciao and see you soon
February, 26 2008 We came back in base camp to avoid an impressive storm!! But we will try again:The expedition is NOT finished and we still are motivated and in a good shape. Also the second month of expedition in nearly finished but not our energy and hope.
Yesterday we climbed till 6000 meters in a strange bad weaher and I called Karl gabl to ask an updated forecast. The answer had been very clear and severe: "Guys the wind that is arriving on you is so strong that could go over 120km/h ! - OK Karl, we trust in you, we stop and go back had been my answer" Today exactly as predicted there was n hurricane over 6500 meters and we hanks GOD (and karl) that we are here. In Base camp there is no wind but still cold and we organize another attempt in the next days. We have time and energy to continue to hope even we have the last 13 days of time in order to our permits, foods and kerosene. Yesterday the climb had been also difficult due the deep snow fall during the last 4-5 days. So we had to brake trail in a bad weather. Here is still really and totally winter, but this is what we were expecting since the beginning. Karakorum in winter is really, really, really an extreme adventure and exploration..
February, 24 2008 Tomorrow we start:. After 4 days of storm and incredible wind, Tomorrow should come a 3 days of quite good weather but with increasing wind speed that Wednesday should be around 110km/h. If the wind will be so strong we will have to fight hardly and probably loose.. There are 2 months that I left my home and I resisted against many things, bad luck, bad weather, inefficiencies, delays and now I'm ready to play the remaining carts: So starting from tomorrow I will update by sms the blog. Here in base camp we started to be quite short of kerosene, petrol an our autonomy is around 15/20 days: That's all from the 4820 m of the Broad Peak base camp and please cross the fingers for us. Maybe it will help :
February, 19 2008 Another important step had been done. Sunday, in a very bad weather condition we went directly to Camp 2. It had been a very hard day because the weather forced us to resist to go back and when we arrived to our deposit of C2 we had to prepare the platform on very icy surface. The night had been terribly cold. We had -35° C and we didn't sleep well, and only few hours. The day after as predicted from Karl Gabl (our forecast Man) we had a fantastic day. We waited that the un arrived in our tend (at 8:34) and than began our action. We started to climb toward Camp 3 hoping to find old fix ropes but there weren't: so we have to fix out thin 4 and 5 mm dyneema ropes in the most steep parts. We meet many icy slopes with green dangerous ice. We did our best and we arrived at 2-3 hours before camp 3 where the inclination of the slope become less steep. We suppose that we need 100 meters rope more and than we should start easily to walk to camp 3. So we decided to come back directly to base camp, following also the advice of the Karl Gabl that alerted us of the coming strong wind. Now we are in base camp, happy and safe and we know that the most difficult/technical part should be really fixed and done . Now we take rest and wait for the next decisive window of good weather:.
After the night in C2
The ascent to C3
The route part, climbed Feb, 18
Qudrat after the night in C2
February, 9 2008 Last intensive hours at Base camp. Following the weather forecast we decided to start tomorrow for C2 and Monday to establish camp 3 at around 7200 meters. In fact Monday should be low wind and we want to use that opportunity to establish our last and important camp. We will start tomorrow at 9:00 am and we will climb directly to camp 2 at 6300 (1500 meters higher than base camp). The day after if the condition will be as predicted we will climb 900 higher and we will leave there a deposit with all the necessary equipment to organize camp 3. We will not set the tend because we don't want that the wind will destroy our hard work.
This morning, I and Shaheen had intensive and delicate hours. We decided to repair our generator that since 5 days was not working well (worst and worst every day). Yesterday we had to substitute it with a second generator that fortunately I decided to take with me at the beginning of the expedition. But the second generator even working well was "drinking" too much petrol (more than twice than the original and broken generator). That's why this morning we open the "ambulatory" in my tend and I dismantle piece to piece my Honda generator. In 2 hours I and Shaheen did that job and cleaned all the parts. Than we assemble again all the pieces. Final result: the generator is now working perfectly and we are very happy for that. The last problem now is my Inmarsat Modem. Since 2 days is not connecting and thanks God the DSL Thuraya that I also have here continue to work even slower than BGan.
February, 3 2008 We arrived safe at base camp 4800 m. Yesterday it had been a very hard day but finally we arrived till camp 2 at 6200 meters, climbing all the most technical part of the Broad Peak's route. We didn't found even 1 meter of old- good fix rope and we climbed in alpine style till 5800 m. After spent a cold night in camp 1, this morning we started towards Camp 2. It was quite difficult and delicate, just green ice and strong wind, that is why we decided to fix 300 meters of 5 mm dyneema fix rope. At 1:00 pm we reached the easy ridge that in few minutes goes to C2. We decided to leave there all the equipment for C2 and we started to descent. All the day we had -33 C° and the wind was increasing. We descent to C1, than ABC and finally base camp. Now we are very happy. In 5 days 3 camps:..Now we will take a rest and than we want to return to C2 and than establish or last camp in 7200 meters (camp 3). We of course hope to have good weather. We want to wish al the best to our friends on Makalu with whom we are often in touch by sms on Thuraya sat phone