Altitude: 8,047M/ 26,400ft Location: Karakorum, Pakistan
June 10 to July 31, 2013 & 2014
USD$11,250 in 2013
BC services only USD$7750 in 2013
Base camp support, helicopter, medical and approach support (with or without permit inclusion) is also available as a separate option for experienced (only) independent teams – please contact us for details.
All services Islamabad – Islamabad
12 positions open
Named for her substantial breadth, Broad Peak lies in a spectacular and remote region of the Pakistani Karakorum directly opposite K2. While there is no doubt the peak is a demanding undertaking, our experience has shown that gaining her highest upper slopes has been straightforward and attainable. On both our previous trips, members on their first 8000m ascent readily made the summit snow fields or the false summit at just over 8000m, at a rate in excess of 60%.
FTA and Broad Peak
We have climbed this peak in 7 seasons (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012) with members reaching both the true summit at 8047m, and the ante (false) summit at just over 8000m in 2003, 2004, 2006 & 2011. In 2005 and 2009 our team battled difficult conditions to reach the false summit during summers which few or no confirmed summits.
Our expeditions (both to Broad Peak and G2) are in fact the lowest costed and highest value options for alpinists heading onto 8k peaks in Pakistan, and our success has heralded a new era for climbers seeking out cost effective methods for tackling the Karakorum Giants.
The members that went on to the ante-summit typically had prior high altitude experience, though in 2003, 2004, 2006 & 2011 members did in fact reach the true summit (at 8047m) who were on their first 8k climb. In essence the results indicate the sound conclusion that in clement weather the prospect for reaching the magical 8k mark on Broad Peak is very high, regardless of the climbers previous 8000m experience.
This is a professionally organized and led expedition, that is partly guided. In that respect the leader provides the general support and maintains the logistics and safety support for the team, however it is required that all team members be self sufficient at least on the low to intermediate slopes, and be able to undertake movement between the camps unsupervised. Those members that wish to undertake their summit bid in the company of the leaders will generally be able to do so, while more experienced climbers retain the flexibility to move independently.
This methodology allows those with the capacity to move faster, to do so, while retaining an elemental level of support for slower or less experienced members of the group, and thereby giving them an equitable chance of using resources and gaining the summit.
To be an eligible member on this expedition you must be competent, self confident, and posses the necessary stamina and experience to be a contributing player in the ascent.
Ideally you would have at least one summit under your belt at or above 6,000m, and preferably exposure to heights in excess of 6000m. You must be competent in the use of ice/snow belays, and fully conversant with all aspects of technical rope work and mountaineering. You will need to be superbly fit, committed, and determined.
No other operator has the recent experience or history that we do on Broad Peak, and our expeditions have proven her to be a good first time venue for aspiring 8000m alpinists, with reasonable summit rates if the weather is clement. This program has been priced to give climbers an affordable opportunity to test their skills and endurance on a big mountain. If you aspire to climb a classic Himalayan 8,000er, in a remote and stunning setting, and with quality back-up and expert leadership, then we invite your application for this affordable 8000m expedition.
The West Ridge Route on Broad Peak
Reaching the route
Leaving base camp the first obstacle to reaching the route is an hour-long, wild meander among soaring 20m ice fins and along glacial rivers. After a few passages the trip becomes familiar and allows for taking in the staggering views of K2 which rise up in front of us the entire way.
After following a rocky and awkward spine we reach the bergschrund–the second obstacle to gaining the lower slopes of the west ridge route proper. Early in the season this crevasse is cross able by a snow bridge but becomes more exciting as the snow melts and either an exposed climb through the ice fall or short rappel into the bergschrund itself is necessary. As the crevasse will be equipped with a fixed line, it has proven to be an
exhilarating and fun part of the climb for all involved.
To Camp 1
The slopes leading up to Camp I range from deep snow in June, to rock and ice by the end of July. The constantly changing nature of these slopes during each day necessitate early starts to take advantage of the firm round conditions. We will take considerable care to have fixed lines in several exposed sections, in particular the final slope leading into camp.
After nearly 8 hours of effort the platforms of camp I at 5300m are a welcome sight. Perhaps the most exposed and dramatic camp on the route, it is here that we have the first opportunity to enjoy lolling about in our tents high above the glacier below. In the warm midday hours the melting snow above camp runs freely nearby and can be gathered up for a refreshing drink.
Reaching Camp II
The climbing above Camp I requires extreme care as we encounter some of the steepest climbing of the expedition. Nearing camp we climb several rocky steps with fantastic exposure, but with the security of fixed lines.
Above the steps the ground levels out and provides an almost flat camp site, with stunning views down the Baltoro Glacier and across to K2.
To Camp III and IV
We leave Camp 2 following the crest of the ridge and gaining our first close ups of the uppermost slopes of Broad Peak. We ascend the ridge over mixed ground of rock / ice before reaching the couloir which empties out onto a broad snowfield. We ascend the snowfield to regain the crest ridge and follow it to the summit slopes. At the base of this slope, with the summit rocks in clear view, we establish Camp 3 at about 7200m.
The summit may be attempted from camp 3 but in some years it is prudent to place a camp 4 closer to the col to make the summit day shorter and provide a safe haven on the descent.
The Col & Summit Ridge
It is here that the most exciting and demanding climbing will begin. We head for the prominent col between the Central and Main summits on 30deg ground, working our way through ice steps and seracs. The final 50m of fixed rope to the saddle at 7800m is on steep ground of around 50 degrees.
The summit ridge meanders steeply to the south, after about 90m the angle eases but small rock pinnacles still need to be negotiated (fixed ropes are usually in place) before a final short and level walk to the summit. The usual experience of summiteers is that summit day takes anywhere up to 14 hours for the round trip from Camp 3.
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