Sunday, 03 August 2008 00:00

Rolf Bae, We are in shock.

0.28 AM 3rd August.
It is with great sadness that I have received the news from Dave Bolger in Norway that our good friend and climbing partner Rolf Bae has been taken in a tragic accident on K2.

One of the worlds top explorers, have been taken from us, Rolf was climbing with his wife Cecilie Skog and died tragically while descending on K2 yesterday. He will be a great loss to the adventure world and as a friend. May he rest in peace.

Picture on a recent trip to South Georgia as guide on our trip across South Georgia in honour of our Irish polar explorers. Shackleton, Tom Crean, Forde, Keohane and the McCarthy brothers.

It’s at time like this that you just cant take in such a loss.

Sympathy to Ceicilie his Family and friends.

Pat
Saturday, 02 August 2008 00:00

Summary updates on rescue from K2

Summary of updates on K2

From explorers web http://www.k2climb.net/news.php?id=17458

It is now past midnight on K2’

Summary.

Stranded Climbers have now been about 8000 meters for 3 nights and family and friends are becoming more concerned. There is many confusing reports from the mountain but here in Ireland we are optimistic that positive news will be had on Ger in the next 24 hours. Cross fingers and lots of prayers for Ger’s safe descent.

Marco Confortola has been located in camp 4, where he is cared for by high altitude staff. Today, a climber in an orange suit has reportedly been spotted moving slowly between C4 and C3 on the Cessen route. (hopefully Ger) Cas and Pemba are moving down from C4 and will try to catch up with him.

Yesterday, a satphone call made from the peak by Wilco was tracked via a GPS position acquired from Thuraya. The position put Wilco between camp 4 and camp 3 on the mountain.

The Norit website crashed but a mirror site has been set up for updates. The stranded climbers are too high up for an aerial rescue. Helicopter rescues can be made of climbers from camp 2 and below, and an aerial sweep of the mountain could help as well. Teams are coordinating such efforts with the local tour operators.

Missing at this point are Dutch Wilco, Irish Gerard, French Hugues, Norwegian Rolf Bae, several un-named Koreans and high altitude porters. A group of un-known climbers are still reported stuck in the bottleneck. In position for a rescue attempt (camp 4 and above) in the Bottleneck are reportedly Korean climbers and a number of high altitude staff.

Confirmed dead: Serb climber Dren Mandic (Vojvodjanska Expedition) in a fall on the Bottleneck during the August 1 summit push.

Latest tentative location details compiled from several international reports and the Dutch Norit home team:

Bottleneck: 6 climbers were spotted motionless in the area yesterday. 2 high altitude porters were reportedly headed up to the group, who appeared to have suffered an injury to one of the climbers. Identities of these climbers in the section is unknown, but they are likely some of the missing Gerard, Hugues, Rolf Bae, Korean climbers and high altitude porters.

In camp 4: Marco Confortola. Un-named Sherpas and Pakistan high-altitude porters, possibly second Korean climbing team.

Between camp 4 and camp 3, descending: Unknown climber in orange suit, Cas and Pemba.

Between Camp 3 to BC, in place or descending on both routes: Cecilie Skog and two Norwegians, Singapore expedition, Mike Farris-led international team, Serbian Vojvodjanska Expedition, Mark Sheen, Jelle, Sunny Expeditions (Georghe Dujmarescu).

Wrap-up of events

On August 1 at 1 am local time, Norwegian, Dutch, French, Italian, Serbian, Korean, Pakistan and Nepali climbers started their summit push from camp 4. Going well ahead of schedule, a few hours into the ascent a Serbian accident held the Dutch up somewhat.

The Norwegians and French Hugues d’Aubarade reportedly summited before the Dutch and Irish Gerard (it's unclear yet who used supplementary oxygen) and were coming down at the time of the Dutch summit at around 8 pm. Italian Marco Confortola was reportedly behind Wilco at summit time.

On descent, a big chunk of ice fell from the serac below the summit, taking a large part of the fixed lines with it. About 12 people, including Wilco, Gerard, Marco and Korean climbers got stuck either above the traverse or above the Bottleneck.

Rescue efforts

Cas and Pemba Sherpa downclimbed to C4 without fixed ropes, where Mark Sheen was holding for a summit bid.

Dutch Norit Base Camp manager Roeland hurried to the Korean expedition tent organizing a joint rescue effort. A group of at least six climbers were supposed to climb towards the Bottleneck with rope.

K2 BC could see 5 people climbing down the Bottleneck and 2 above. Wilco and Marco were located in a bivouac above the serac at 8300 meters above the Bottleneck, which they left at around 11 am local time. The group of people descending the Bottleneck came to a halt, reportedly due to an injury suffered by one of the climbers. Two HAP's were sent up to assist from camp 4.

Cas - who descended without fixed ropes with Pemba earlier - intended to move back up with Mark Sheen and two Americans, but the climbers were forced to descend.

The missing mountaineers are very seasoned, most are Everest summiteers (Wilco, a skilled polar explorer did Everest without oxygen) and this was their second, even third attempt on the mountaineers' mountain
Saturday, 02 August 2008 00:00

Some good new Breaking from K2

Good News Marco Confortola is 'found' and at camp 4 , 2 Sherpas are there giving him oxygen and medicine. This information is from his climber partner who is now in K2 base camp. Fredrik Strang is one of the climbers up high helping. He is on Mike Ferris's expedition , he is reporting that all of his eight team members are safe.
Saturday, 02 August 2008 00:00

Report from K2 Base camp 23:00

K2BC NL 23.00 K2-time. (time changes with every update)

Touroperators are working together with K2BC to organise more help from helicopters. K2BC coordinates.

K2 BaseCamp (Roeland) can see a person in Orange suit between C4 and C3 at the Cessen route. That person is slowly moving down. Cas and Pemba will descend from C4 towards C3 and try to locate the lonely climber. More news to follow as soon as we hear something.

Maarten K2 Base camp

WE are hoping this may be Ger cross fingers......

Pat
EMERGENCY UPDATES ARE HERE (2 August)

K2BC NL 14.50 K2-time. (time changes with every update)

We now know why climbers halted in the Bottleneck. One of them fell and broke Arm or Leg. He is assisted down. That’s slowing it up.

WE NEED SOMEBODY WHO IS IN C3 ON THE CESEN ROUTE. IF ONE OF YOUR TEAMMEMBERS IS THERE PLEASE SEND EMAIL TO This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

You can open this article in full by clicking the title.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES FROM GERARD.
GERARDS SATPHONE IS NOT WITH HIM. Pemba is usin g that satphone on his rescue mission.
We still do not know were Gerard is.

If you are a family member and you want to communicate something very important please use the following emailadress This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

ONLY TO BE USED FOR HOME TEAM MEMBERS MARCO, GERARD, HUGUES, or somebody I mistakenly forgot

Members of Hugues d’Aubarede home team please send email

They did allready so now we have the information!

STATUS AS FAR AS WE KNOW

The latest weatherinformation was send to Rescue coordination in K2BC.

K2BC can see 6 people standing still in the Bottleneck. Two HAP’s are on their way up.
ROELAND in K2BC
CAS en PEMBA (rescueteam, and we are in contact)
WILCO just called Heleen. We are still searching for him.
MARCO left Bivouac whereabouts unknown
MARK (rescueteam We are in contact with him!)
JELLE has been seen in C2 from K2BC.
GERARD unknown
HUGUES unknown

Explorersweb (thanks tom) is asking thuraya for the positions of the last 5 calls from the satphones from Wilco . We found Gerards phone. As soon as we receive that information it will be send to K2BC Coordination Centre

K2BC NL is in direct contact with:

Italian (Marco) Home team
Explorersweb (satphonenumbers)
French (Hugues) Home team
K2BC coordination centre

Norwegian home team members
PLEASE USE FOLLOWING EMAILADRESS This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
OR PHONENUMBER 48012723 (Thanks Bjorn Sekkesaeter!!!)

Report Maarten Base camp K2 NL team.
This is the new article on the organisation of the ongoing rescue attempts at K2. In this part of the screen you will find NEW and IMPORTANT messages. At the end of this article an up to date list of people and whereabouts is published. You can open this article in full by clicking the title. IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES FROM GERARD. GERARDS SATPHONE IS NOT WITH HIM. Pemba carried some stuff down from the summit In it is GER?s satphone PEMBA is using Ger?s satphone during the rescue. PLEASE STOP SENDING MESSAGES!!! to that satphone. TO GER?s family: This would explain why we are not able to contact him or why he is not able to contact you. It might well be that he is one of the climbers stil on descend from the Bottleneck. If you are a family member and you want to communicate something very important please use the following emailadress This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ONLY TO BE USED FOR HOME TEAM MEMBERS MARCO, GERARD, HUGUES, or somebody I mistakenly forgot Members of Hugues d?Aubarede home team please send email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it We don?t have any contactinformation from you in case we need it at the K2BC Coordination Centre. Thanks! STATUS AS FAR AS WE KNOW The latest weatherinformation was send to Rescue coordination in K2BC. K2BC can see 6 people standing still in the Bottleneck. Two HAP?s are on their way up. ROELAND in K2BC CAS en PEMBA (rescueteam and we are in contact) WILCO just called Heleen. We are still searching for him. MARCO left Bivouac whereabouts unknown MARK (rescueteam We are in contact with him!) JELLE on its way down to K2BC GERARD unknown HUGUES unknown Explorersweb (thanks tom) is asking thuraya for the positions of the last 5 calls from the satphones from Wilco . We found Gerards phone. As soon as we receive that information it will be send to K2Bc Coordination Centre K2BC NL is in direct contact with: Italian Home team Explorersweb (satphonenumbers) K2BC coordination centre Norwegian home team members PLEASE USE FOLLOWING EMAILADRESS This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it OR PHONENUMBER 48012723 (Thanks Bjorn Sekkesaeter!!!)
Friday, 01 August 2008 00:00

The are on the Summit!!

2000 K2 time

The candles really worked. Wilco, Cas, Gerard and Pemba are at the summit of K2!
All the way back to the source!

It is a very late at K2. We said it before and repeat it again. Now the most difficult part will start. The summit is only half way ! Light a fresh candle. We at K2BC Netherlands will start celebrations only if they are back safe in C4.

This was Wilco’s third attempt to reach the summit of K2. It’s Cas second time. Gerard just became the FIRST Irishman to become a K2-summiteer. This is Pemba’s first K2 summit.

I will take a short moment to take my breath and wipe some tears from my face.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Maarten
K2BC Netherlands


1600 K2 time - 1100 Irish time report

Cas picked up radio contact with Roeland in K2BC. Cas is the last in a row of approximately 17 climbers. They only have to go 400 meters to the top. Wilco is in front. Gerard and Pemba are both there. One or two Italians. Hugues is there and two Norwegians. The weather is perfect.

1145 K2 time report

Much to my regret I have to inform you that early this morning an accident occurred in the Bottleneck. The messages are erratic and chaotic but as far as I know now a (supposing) Serbian Climber fell several hundred meters down the Bottleneck.

I understand from Roeland that the Norit K2 team assisted in the accident, but are again above the Bottleneck and proceeding towards the traverse. At the moment I don’t have more information, because the communication is a bit chaotic on K2. We all have to wait for more information.


0600 k2 time report

Norit K2 members are complaining about cold feet, but it’s a fact they are moving much faster then expected. In fact they are ahead of schedule by two hours. Cas is observing some clouds in the valleys on the Chinese side of K2 and is wondering if they may become a problem. I think it’s a type of fog caused by condensation from the cold air down in the valleys. I will ask Ab Maas, our meteorologist and give him something to do tonight. You will find the original timetable below with all the major landmarks on the route to the summit of K2. Times will be given in K2 –time and NL-time.

(take in to account the accident with these times, prob 2-3hrs behind)

C4 start
NL-23.00—–K2-03.00

Bottleneck
NL-04.00—–K2-08.00

Top Bottleneck
NL-05.00—–K2-09.00

Traverse
NL-06.00—–K2-10.00

Start last climb
NL-08.00—–K2-12.00

Summit
NL-10.00—–K2-14.00

Back to C4
NL-16.00—–K2-20.00

Images available from the www.noritk2.nl website or www.beyondendurance.ie website
Thursday, 31 July 2008 00:00

K2 Summit Attempt tonight 0100hrs K2 time

Maarten Van Eck reports to us from the expedition headquarters in The Netherlands

Yes It’s on ! Tonight at 01.00 hrs K2 time they will ascend to the summit of K2.
The Norit K2 team : Wilco van Rooijen, Cas van de Gevel, Gerard McDonnell, Jelle Staleman and Pemba Gyalje Sherpa.
The weather looks brilliant ! No clouds and an expected wind speed of 4 meters per second.

Together with them are climbers from Italy, Norway, France, America, a few Koreans and one ore two Serbs. They are all in C4 right now and resting and preparing the final summit bid.
I will be up all night long and will publish every time I receive news.

Regards,

Maarten van Eck
K2BC Netherlands.
Thursday, 31 July 2008 00:00

Norwegian couple on K2 Summit Bid

Rolf Bae and Cecilie Skog


Report 29th July 2008

From Camp 2 on Abruzzi route

Well it went as we thought, the wind continued throughout the night and morning, so when we are at rest up here and wait. We take it as a rest and gather forces before we are to embark us up to C3, hopefully tomorrow. It is not really so much more to say, we relax and are by well-targeted. As soon as the wind turns and we will put in motion again to the top.

Cecilie Skog

(translated from Norwegian from her blog at: http://www.vgb.no/32091)

Rolf Bae and Cecilie Skog, latest reporting from C2 on July 29, are well known in polar adventure. In 2000, Rolf Bae did a spectacular Antarctic traverse together with Eirik Sonneland and some years later, Bae returned to the ice with Cecilie, when it took the couple and a friend only 119 days (82 days on the ice) to reach both poles back to back, without airdrops and kites.

Rolf is a guide, trainer and expedition leader. We have worked with him in Norway, South Georgia and Greenland.
The last telephone call is from 4 o’clock in the morning (NL-time). Wilco reports that all Norit K2 team members are fully dressed and waiting in their badly damaged tents. They consider abandoning the summit attempt. I ask for a little thinking time. I will study the weather forecast and satellite images again and in the meantime Wilco will try to contact other expeditions on K2. The weather forecast does NOT show any signs of bad weather. The nearest precipitation is 300 kilometres to the south of K2 and the winddirection is North East. I send a SMS message to Wilco’s satphone and try to contact Roeland van Oss who is in K2BC. Roeland is trying to find out what happened to Hugues, the Frenchman who climbed towards the shoulder yesterday. I just received a SMS that Hugues spend the night just below the shoulder and moves on to reach C4 on the shoulder of K2. No sign of Nick Rice who might have descended to C3 on the Abruzzi route. The wind decreased and the Norit K2 team decides to climb to C4 on the shoulder of K2.

It will be become a very special summit attempt. At the moment the climbers will reach the summit of K2 a total solar eclipse will take place north of the K2 location. At that moment in time the sun will be covered by 73% at the K2 location. NO effect is expected for the weather and the amount of available light will slightly decrease. For your information we publish a map where you can track the path of the total solar eclipse and the amount of shadow on different locations.

If all works out well and the Norit K2 team will reach C4 on the shoulder of K2 a final summit bid will take place this coming night. Base Camp Netherlands is fully prepared. The PC and telephones are charged. BRING IT ON !
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