The sturdy Poles and the International team led by Gerfried Goschl have been wrestling inclement weather for the past almost two months and have now announced that they are all set for the summit push.
Following the normal route to the summit, the Poles led by renowned Artur Hajzer, have already completed their acclimatisation drills a few days before hand but were held back by the full-force hurricanes in the dreaded Karakorum.
“The weather changed from bad to worse”, the Poles reported on February, 20.“Moreover, one of our porters, Ali Sadpara, has been eliminated from our operations due to the second-degree frostbites. Thus, Agnieszka has kicked in. On 18th February, Agnieszka together with Shaheen Baig went with a deposit to camp 1 and returned on 19th February to the base camp. It was the last moment to do it, because on 20th February a hurricane is supposed to start. Wind speed at 6,000 m above sea level (and also in the base camp) is supposed to reach over 100 km/h and at 8,000 m above sea level even 160 km/h”.
But this would be anything than easy as it may sound. Karl Gable has predicted a small weather window on Sunday, amid fierce storms on the proceeding days. An ascent going wayward at any point of the summit push, can cause serious chances of causality which both teams have successfully been able to avoid so far.
“If we finally go for the summit, Artur’s and my group will try to reach the top on the same day, and thus share the first ascent’s date,” Gerfried confirmed, “this is something we agreed on long ago”.
“I have never seen something like this,” said Gerfried. “Not even last winter, when we had some pretty strong storms. The only familiar with such a gale are Darek and Artur, veterans of seven winter expeditions!”
Stay tuned for the latest on the Gasherbrum-1 first winter ascent onPakistan-explorer.com.