While the poles were retreating wounded and stricken on the north, International Team led by Gerfried Goschl were also locked up in a withdrawal from the Gasherbrum-1 summit push on the new route on the south.
Both teams started off their first summit push of the 8.080m peak in the deadly Karakorum after receiving a green signal from Karl Gable. The six members of the International team were hoping to make an ascent and traverse of the peak for the first time in winter.
The whole six members were reportedly missing till 2100hours on February 27 and while the Pakistani authorities kept in contact with the Base Camp on G-1, there were rumours of a possible wipe out of the whole team.
The Pakistani Liaison Officer reported, “Until now (21.12 clock) time, there is no news from Hidden Peak team! Current attempts by Pakistan to establish telephone contact with base camp, as the remaining kitchen staff can make radio contact with the climbers. We hope that information as quickly as possible!”
Goschl and his team members finally arrived at the BC at 2230 hours and messaged the coordinating camp in Paiyu about their safe arrival.
“I'm back at base camp," the message read."We have, through the fresh snow used for a long time to 6700m. The Verfixen the last 100 meters in pimples hard ice lasted hours, we would have to rise in the darkness of a further 200 meters to tomorrow a realistic chance at the Summit. We do not want to take that risk.”
The team barely managed to reach Camp-2 before they were forced to abort in wake of deteriorating weather. Spanish Carlos Suarez had already descended to Camp-1. According to Carlos, they were eventually forced back down due to bad weather and, in a phone-call home one hour ago, he reportedly could see his mates descending below C1. News is expected soon on the team's safe arrival in BC.
“In the meantime, all climbers are at base camp”, said Goschl. “What happens next remains to be seen in the next few days”.
The International team is likely to make another attempt after the heavy forecast provides a small window for another summit push. This attempt, if it ever takes place, will probably be the last attempt of both Poles and the International team to scale the peak for the first winter ascent. The climbers are likely to exhaust the designated time of a winter climb in the Karakorum.