Battered and disappointed, the two expeditions resurfaced today after three days of continuous storm, howling winds and extreme temperatures. Just as predicted the teams have been brought back to ground zero and they are now just as good as the day they reached the base camp. Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger who have been working diligently for the last two weeks have been left in a quagmire losing all their tracks and markings. The only hope they now have is to follow the global positioning via the Garmin gadget, and all this to reach the point from where they can restart their struggle to grasp the high plateau on Gasherbrum glacier.
Worst part of the day came when the duo escaped a near-death accident. In their search to retrace their previous tracks, they stepped on the delicate snow precipice covered by fresh powder left by the storm. The delicate bridge caved into a small crevasse and though thankfully no harm was done but it was enough to remind them of the gravity of danger they have at their hands.
“After about an hour or so after we left the base camp and some typical noises of snow subsiding under our feet (the classic VOOM!)” Simone narrated the whole ordeal on his Facebook page. “We have caused a very dangerous detachment that, although not enormous in size, could have been fatal. We were downstream in a channel and the whole slope above us collapsed and slid towards us stopping practically at my feet. A clear warning! Had we been above one of the many slopes of the summit glacier, a gap like that under our feet means sliding down to the edge of the crevasse and then falling down into the crevasse and buried by the snow plate. Forced to u turn, back to base. Winter is not a ‘game’ for those who dare more but for those who have more patience and wisdom”
This echoed Simone’s famous quote he said during an interview to Pakistan Explorer at Diamir Base Camp January 2016. “I want to live for a dream and not to die for a dream”. Surely there aren’t many men who can claim to surpass the wisdom of the maestro when it comes to winter climbing.
For Tamara, who is not been feeling well since the start of the expedition, this event was probably too much to undertake. “Today disappointment was really big” Tamara says on her Facebook page. “The whole track is completely gone 😓 and so we will wait (even days) to be able to go up again in safety, guided by our Garmin watch, so that we don’t have to find another possible way again! Going down I let myself fall in the snow and I screamed (which is a good cure for anger, and here at least nobody can hear you 😅) but as Simone said: ‘stay calm, we must be patient here. The mountain doesn’t need us and we don’t need the mountain!’ Analyzing this from a point of view from the outside of my fairy tale world he is probably right 🤷🏽♀🙄
God, please help us a little bit, thank you 🙏🏼 ❤”
The Broad Peak team is also recovering from the jolts of the big storm which has left some of their tents shattered and broken.
“Wind speeds in camp hit 120km/h last night and estimated 240km/h at the summit” Don Bowie wrote on his Instagram on January 14th “The extreme summit winds create this constant, low roar coming from the summit that sounds like 20 freight trains crashing into an erupting volcano. Our shower tent is shredded. The kitchen is tent battered and hastily tethered with ropes and straps and huge boulders to keep it in place. Happy to report that our @mountainhardwear Trango 3 & 4 base camp tents have taken on the storm without breaking a sweat. Big thanks to @mattburbach and team for hooking us up!! –”
It is still to be seen if their gear at Camp-1 which they have arduously established after rigorous hauling the whole week, is still intact.