Virtually all expedition teams on K2 have abandoned their 2015 summit attempts—and opted to leave the mountain—due to unfavorable weather and a heightened risk of avalanches, the Adventure Blog reported Tuesday. Madison Mountaineering and Himalayan Experience (also known as Himex) had already announced plans to turn back over the weekend, but considered climbing Broad Peak, the 12th-highest mountain in the world. In a blog post published Tuesday, however, Himex guide Russell Brice announced that his team would also be abandoning Broad Peak.
“This is a huge disappointment for everyone, but I must say not totally unexpected,” Brice wrote. “All members and Sherpas have returned to BC, tired and frustrated from this last attempt, but at least everyone is safe.”
Brice noted that the path up Broad Peak, while not as steep as K2’s, still had green ice, small rockfalls, and thigh-deep snowdrifts, which were more likely to slide off the mountain when disturbed by mountaineers. (Earlier this season, Broad Peak’s Camp 1 was the site of an avalanche that killed Qamber Jangjupa, a Pakistani high-altitude porter, and injured Sumiyo Tsuzuki, a Japanese climber who had to be helicoptered off the mountain.)
Other parties who have chosen to put off their K2 summit attempts for this year include the Seven Summits Treks commercial team and Philippe Gatta, who made the announcement on Facebook early on Tuesday morning.