From Stu in the USA office
August 4, 2010
I have been on the phone with both Chris and Fabrizio today and have lots of news to report!
K2 Summit Push in C3!
On K2 the second summit push is now in C3 at 7100m and everyone on the hill is safe and sound despite a day filled with significant rockfall. Meagan decided about half way to C3 to turn back to C2 as she was feeling very poorly. She is safely in XC2 at this time and heading down to BC tomorrow very early, perhaps 5am, to avoid rockfall in the cooler hours of the day. Our two HAP’s Aziz and Farhad are in support at this time and will be helping her to bring here gear down. Fabrizio is in C3 in a tent that is pockmarked with holes from rock fall and has several backpacks stacked up against the side of the tent for safety.
The rocks falling from above may even be quite small but when the accelerate and spin they can create a very dangerous falling object. Anyone who has been caught in a couloir during warm days knows the ominous whine of a rock cutting through the air. The days are so warm right now that rocks, which have been securely glued to the icy slopes, are releasing all over the hill. Apparently the teams on the Abruzzi are also having similar challenge dodging rockfall. By tomorrow morning they will be above the rockfall and can enjoy the relative safety of C4 on K2! They hope to arrive by 1 or 2 pm and then rest and hydrate until a midnight departure for the summit.
Fabrizio has left an audio dispatch with all the news. Enjoy!
Fabrizio calls in from the rock bombarded C3 with the latest! Headed to the shoulder tomorrow and the summit that night!
Field Touring Alpine Audio Dispatches
Meanwhile back in Skardu!
Chris checked in from Skardu to let us know that all members who have left BC recently are now either safely in Skardu, Islambad or en route home. Ed and Tom are exiting by land to China and left a few days ago. They will have some rough travel ahead but looking forward to the adventure! Garth has already made his way our to Islamabad and caught a plane home. Luis, Tshering and Lakpa are in Islamabad and catching a plane to Kathmandu on the 5th and Katrina is back in Islambad and sorting her flights out.
Brian and Chris are back in Skardu and doing well. Chris is working on eating and regaining weight after losing quite a bit in the last week with his GI illness. Hi illness compounding the normal weightloss experienced when attempting 8000m peaks, Chris is pretty skinny just now! He has a month or so the pack it back on before returning to Nepal for our Autumn climbs and spending most of his day in the restaurants and walking around with hunks of cheese!
Our guides are winding up our fantastic summer in the Karakoram and we are already booking trips throughout the year ahead to keep them busy! We have trips of every level and welcome you to contact us to let us know how we can help you with a trip. At this time we have the following planned for the year ahead:
• Join Chris for Tharpu Chuli in September or October as well as Island Peak and Ama Dablam Climbs. Fabrizio will come back to lead our Cho Oyu Expedition in September and then be guiding on Island Peak and Ama Dablam through to the end of November.
• In November, December, January and February we have trips running to Ecuador Volcanoes and Aconcagua (Falso and Polish). This will mark our 9th straight season on Aconcagua where we have guided three routes on the hill a total of more than 15 times. We have renewed our efforts in Ecuador after a few years away and are excited to have had two great trips last year and have three planned for this year.
• In March we have trips to Pokalde and Island peak with Sam, Kilimajaro with Sean
• In April and May we have expeditions to Makalu, Cho Oyu, Tharpu Chuli & Singu Chuli, Cholatse, Island Peak, Ama Dablam . We also have treks to Makalu BC, Cho Oyu BC, Everest BC and to the Annapurna Sanctuary.
• Next summer we’ll have Broad Peak, Nanga Parbat and G2 along with Muztag Ata (July), Spantik (August) and Elbrus (June & August).
• We are helping with a Denali trip in late May/Early June which at this time will only be open to FTA alumni and be an unguided cooperative adventure. We have many members who have had enough experience that they no longer need to be guided on a climb like Denali and we have a core of 7000 and 8000m tested alum gathering themselves for this trip. Climbers joining the group will be arranging all matters independently but sharing common costs like, flight to the mountain, tents, rope etc. Some members are thinking of West Buttress and others of the West Ridge as well as acclimatizing on Mount Hunter. If you are an FTA alum and have been thinking about Denali, let us know and we’ll help you get connected.
• 2012 Spring will see us visit Everest for the first time with Fabrizio and Stu managing the trip. We are making plans for the north side and welcome all applicants at this time. We are likely to have a team coming from the South side as well and will have more details in the year ahead.
Exciting trips ahead and we hope you’ll join our crew for a great trip to a remote destination!