Maryland climber eyes weekend for summit attempt

Annapolis resident Chris Warner seeks to scale K2 in Pakistan

2005 K2 expedition

August 02, 2005|By Baltimoresun.com Staff

Like tea leaves, just about everyone has examined today's forecasts in hopes of finding either a summit window or an excuse to head home. The best two days are, arguably, Saturday and Sunday. One forecast shows summit wind speeds ranging from 17 to 11 knots per hour. A second forecast shows winds at 35-40 knots per hour. All the forecasts show some very cold temperatures.

While everyone is wrestling with their options, Tao and I have decided to try to climb to at least the "Shoulder" of K2. The route on the SSE Ridge, has been climbed to 7,300 meters. Above that the Czechs turned around due to poor snow conditions two weeks ago. We want to see if the route is even climbable beyond that point. If it isn't, we will switch to the Abruzzi route. If it is climbable, we want to string some ropes a bit higher and hopefully at least tag the Shoulder at 7,900 meters.

We are planning our climb, so that we can be in position, on the Shoulder, in case the winds die and the temperatures increase on Saturday. If that happens, we will make a summit bid. If not we will return to base camp and wait for a window.

We will depart base camp at 3 a.m. on Aug. 3, climbing directly to C2 (6,400 meters). On Aug. 4 we will climb to C3 at 7,000 meters. On Aug. 5 we will try to reach the Shoulder. And on the 6th, we will either return to base camp or play a little higher on this hill.

August 2, 2005, 9:12 AM EDT

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