Avaricious for the peak and blinded by an unusually good weather window, Denis Urubko and Don Bowie are probably taking a risk with stakes too high. It’s been more than two weeks the team has been toiling upward, gaining altitude, setting camps, digging out old ropes and hauling supplies on 8,047m Broad Peak.
Denis and Bowie decided to launch into their first summit bid starting yesterday soon as the weather started to settle down. Realizing that they have short weather window given the fact that they have to climb all the way from base to the top and that they still have to setup Camp-3 above the Icy plateau, the duo moved with speed to reach camp-2. Today, Denis and Don fought up to 6950m above Camp-3 and finally retreated to Camp-2 to spend the night.
Their most probable strategy right now would be to set up Camp-4 tomorrow somewhere around 7550m and spend a night, launching a summit push the very next day i.e. on February 1st. If everything goes well, they will start their descent on February 2nd while the weather still allows another day of peace in the frigid Karakorum.
The only shortfall they seem to encounter right now is the lack of proper acclimatization. Denis, Don and Lotta have spent two nights in Camp-2 at 6400m before they descended to the Base Camp to wait out the bad weather, marking the highest acclimatization altitude the team has achieved during this rally.
“Smiles all around. Why?” Bowie wrote on his Instagram two days ago. “Because the weather seems to be opening a little- and we are heading up in the morning to work the route again and… and… and maybe see if the summit winds abate enough to take a shot at going all the way. Keep your fingers crossed. I’ll update you in a day or so”
Bowie might be relying on his Go2 Endurance Device which he has been using on test basis and which claims to increase VO2 Max by 4.1% and Endurance by 5.8%. The device has been tested by number of sports persons around the world with mixed reviews. Denis, however, is relying entirely on the little acclimatization he has achieved so far and tons of experience in the Karakorum.
Their inside thoughts of not having spent a single night at 7000m must be overwhelming at the moment.