I didn’t want to write a lot about the night that followed my successful summit of Broad Peak but looks like some events need clarification. And as a reporter I think it is important to clarify and help to understand the truth.
Together with Hugo and Niels we summited at 3:15pm. Spent around 20 minutes on the summit and started our descending. On our way down we met some fixing team members from Pakistan, Nastya Runova and the Korean team.
At 5:14pm I got a message via inReach from Nastya sent from 8036 m asking me to wait for her. I waited at the Col at altitude of 7850m. After around 2 hours I heard a Hussein (a Pakistani from Korean team) screaming that a women had fallen near the last section before the Col. I left my bag pack and run up. It was Nastya that felt on a snow cornice near last section above the Col.
I hold the rope (later joined by Stefan from Austria) that she was attached to for a couple of hours and the Hussein tried to help her. She finally got out to a safe place at around 10:00pm.
Nastya was mentally stable but with light frostbites on her hands. She lost one crampon and her jumar. We (me, Nastya and Stefan) descended to Col where I boiled some water (I had gas and Nastya an MSR reactor). It was 10:25pm.
Stefan started his descend and we followed (first Nastya, then me). Shortly after we started, Nastya slipped on the ropes (didn’t have one crampon) and lost her head torch. I immediately joined her and gave her my backup one. We descended on an incredibly slow pace until 7650m. At this moment Nastya slided down around 100 m (during her fall she passed the crevasse that we had to deal with two days before). Stefan and me went down as soon as possible and found her lying down. She was in good state but in shock. Again I boiled more water, Stefan confirmed we were good and continued.
After a while we continued. Our descend looked like this: I was going first, then Nastya was clipped to the rope with her carabiner and holding my hand or arm so that I stop her fall. We would stop every 10-15 steps so that she could keep her breath and pace. And also sustains the pain. I just clipped in for last hour because myself I slided down two times. On the way we met Peter from UK, he helped us with his presence and some hot water and chocolate. His porter gave us his radio, we talked with BC and explained the situation and said we would continue. Peter joined us for some time.
Our painful descend (we hadn’t eat anything solid for 27 hours) continued until 5:00am. 100 meters above Camp3 we met the Russian members of Death Zone Freeride Team. I spoke with Vitaly for a minute and continued. Anton helped Nastya going down since then until Camp 3 and me myself I went directly to the tent. I entered it at 5:10am.
Next day people from Belgium and Russia proposed help. Nastya got medicines from the Death Zone Freeride Team. They also gave her one crampon. We started our descend at noon. Niels from Belgium and Hugo from Bolivia helped Nastya on her way to C2. Niels carried her bag pack. From C2 we continued our descend with visual contact until the glacier.
I made it to the top of Broad Peak. This is my first 8000er. No oxygen and in good style. But let’s start from the beginning…
On July 15th I went up directly to Broad Peak Camp2. My main goal was to shoot some K2 images from neighborhood mountain. But on July 16th I felt pretty good so went to Camp3. On 17th early morning we went up in quite a small team following high altitude porters going in direction of summit. But soon enough it turned we had to deal with massive amounts of snow opening trail often with snow till waist. After noon we passed through a huge crevasse but unfortunately climbing in powder snow was impossible so we turned back to C3. After 10 hours of hard work I would never say next night I will be able to go again. But in fact that’s what happened. We woke up in the middle of the night. We used fixed ropes until some point but last hours were quite an alpine style with Hugo (Bolivia) and Niels (Belgium). I made it to the summit at 3:15pm. Without oxygen and with two days of incredible hard work. And I have to say we were the first of the season on this Peak. My return was really hard but today, 19th, I’m safe at Base Camp.
Update July 10th
Last three days were of really hard work. On Thursday 8th I left early morning from Base Camp. 10,5 h later I was in C2 (6660m). The night was extremely tough with strong winds and a lot of snow, but next day I managed to climb up pretty early. Made it in 6h do Camp III (7300m). That’s actually my altitude record, but what’s more important is the fact that I reached it together with a Sherpa fixing team, so the place was intact after winter events. I made it back for the night to C2 and 10th in the morning descended to Base Camp. Now it’s time for some rest.
Update July 1th
On June 30th (day after reaching the Base Camp), six people went up. We reached Camp I (6050 m) in just over 6 hours. Me and a two-person team from Belgium (Niels and Jeff) stayed there for the night. On my way up, I was able to make a lot of footage, but it was also important to take up my personal deposit and get some acclimatization. Besides, I knew that the first week of July would bring bad weather.
Thursday, July 1st, it got cloudy, but the entire Mountain was just for us. In a team of three we went to fix ropes above Camp I. We reached the height of 6250 m. Unfortunately, the weather started to deteriorate, and that day we wanted to return to the Base Camp at daylight, so we decided to retreat. The return went smoothly, but the part from the Advanced Base Camp was a nightmare. An ice maze, small lakes and crevices hidden under a thin layer of ice.
Now we have a few days of bad weather, which means regenerating and organizing our life in the Base.
The trekking itself took us six days. The first two stages passed without major adventures, but in Urdukas (4000 m) we were caught by rain and wind. It caused difficulties on the trail and a one-day break. On June 27th we reached Goro II. It was the easiest section, with great views over Gasherbrum IV and Masherbrum. On Monday, June 28th, we had the longest stage – 20 kilometers from Goro II to Broad Peak Base Camp took us 8 hours. On that day, we suffered from really hot temperatures and a burning sun. The last stage were 4 pleasant kilometers from Broad Peak Base Camp to K2 BC. In total, we walked 70 kilometers from Jhola and reached K2 Base Camp on June 29th.
Getting to Pakistan was quite an operation. First, after receiving my visa, Poland was put on the list of countries banned from entering Pakistan. The ban was lifted 5 days before my planned departure. A frantic search for tickets began, which suddenly disappeared from the websites of all carriers. Ultimately, I was able to find a connection via Dubai with two independent lines.
I landed in Islamabad after 16 hours of travel. Mandatory antigen test at the airport, visa procedure, baggage claim and here I am. Fourth time on Pakistani soil. I plan to return to Poland in early August.