Bad Weather on Broad Peak


Courtesy of Polish Winter Himalayan Mountaineering

Weather forecasts aren't good for the Polish mountaineers making their way up Pakistan's 26,400-foot Broad Peak this week. “The beginning of the summit attempt doesn't look too well,” reported team member Rafal Fronia from base camp on March 7. “Weather conditions on slopes of the mountain have changed dramatically.”

Winds blowing at more than 60 miles per hour have destroyed tents at three camps and are expected to continue for the next few days. Expedition leader Artur Hajzer wrote that both tents in Camp Three were blown away yesterday evening, forcing him and three others to sleep in what was left of the salvaged bivouacs. The five other climbers descended to lower camps for the night.

If successful, the expedition will be the first winter summit of Broad Peak. The five previous attempts — beginning in 1988 — were unsuccessful. Although the weather doesn't look promising, the team is optimistic. Fronia writes: “The motto of our expedition is hope freezes last.”

–Whitney Dreier