Climbers getting ready to leave Camp 1 on K2 to climb to Camp 2 on July 1, 2016. Broad Peak and the Godwin Glacier are in the background.
Negotiating the ropes, ice and snow (not to mention the highly changeable weather) between Camp 1 and Camp 2. The red rope is our new rope that was installed by our Nepalese sherpa team. All the other ropes are from previous years and can’t be trusted. Weather and UV rays break down the ropes and reduce their strength leaving them a too dangerous for use.
Climbing from Camp 1 to Camp 2 on K2.
On the climb from Camp 1 to Camp 2 we climb on ridges as much as possible to reduce our chances of being struck by snow and ice avalanches and rock fall.
The climb to Camp 2 is extremely steep and rugged with frequent changes in weather conditions.
The route involves a lot of very steep rock, ice and snow sections.
Climbing ropes from previous years. In front of my hand is my yellow and black ascender (or jumar) which is a ratchet device that climbers use to ascend (go up) fixed ropes as aid for climbing steep mountains.
Some of our Pakistani high altitude porters have a break just before the Chimney section. These porters have years of experience working with expeditions on K2.
Climbing towards the Chimney section of K2, between Camp 1 and Camp 2. A climber is heading into the Chimney section ahead of us.
Climbing up the steep Chimney section on K2.
Looking down the Chimney section with a climber coming up.
A Pakistani high altitude porter waits at the top of the Chimney section to insure everyone is doing well.
Climbing up from the Chimney section towards Camp 2.
Garrett Madison our expedition leader stops to talk to our Nepalese Sherpas on his two-way radio. The Sherpas are installing fixed ropes further up on K2 between Camp 2 and Camp 3.
Two climbers make their way up through fog, wind and light snow to Camp 2. The weather is notoriously changeable on K2. Being prepared for the extremes of K2’s weather is a challenge, especially at higher altitudes.
Arriving into Camp 2 on K2.
Camp 2 on K2. It’s way steeper than it looks! At Camp 1 and Camp 2 climbers need their boots, crampons, and harness and be clipped into a fixed top or a tent in order to walk around camp. One simple mistake in these camps and a climber will fall a few thousand feet. Broad Peak, the Godwin Glacier, Concordia and the Baltoro Glacier are all in the background.