22 July 2006
The green light is on for the summit attempt:

The hardest section is coming up so we will be all tense for the next 2 to 3 days as the lads make their decision to go or not to go for the summit. After the next camp, which will be camp 4, the lads will move up to 8000 meters and into a place known to us climbers as "Death Zone".

Despite all the planning and the logistics, the most important aspect of all is the decision making process of taking calculated risks - and calculated is what they have to be. There is now no room for error, positive attitude, self belief and technical ability will be called for.

Over 8000 meters the mountain becomes a different place. It has no mercy on the weak, or those that don’t take the mountain's changing moods seriously.

All climbers that move into The Death Zone know the risks, as do their families and friends. Our thoughts are with the boys.

Pat Falvey

For the best of Irish mountaineering news and comments, www.patfalvey.com
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006
Friday, 21 July 2006 00:00

Team now at camp 2 and pushing up

Update Dispatch Friday July 21st. From Wilco Team Netherlands.

I lost 4 pints of Guinness because I made a bet with Wilco that the weather forecasts would be true. Yesterday they doubted the weather forecast because it was still snowing and the wind was very strong. This was as predicted but the climbing team lost a bit of confidence. Later in the evening the clouds slowly disappeared and the wind became less strong. This morning they left Camp 1 and climbed to Camp 2 at 6643 m. The climbing went very well and they prepare for tomorrow. The Italian expedition is over. They had a lot of material in Camp 2 but they foud out that everything was lost during last weeks strorm. Antoine the Frenchman tried to climb to Camp 3 but was forced back by the wind. He joined Ryan, Gerard, Mick and Wilco in Camp 2 and will climb together with team 1 tomorrow to camp 3.

The picture above is taken from camp 1 and shows the route to Camp 2. (Courtesy of Ryan Waters)

For the best of Irish mountaineering news and comments, www.patfalvey.com
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006
Friday, 21 July 2006 00:00

Banjo update confirmed

Banjo at Base camp getting ready to leave.

Banjo has lost gear in the avalanche that struck the high camps on K2 earlier this week. He is down two tents, sleeping bags, socks and other vital gear. However, he stated today that he is hopeful his cache of gear at Camp 3 is intact. If this is the case then he will still be able to pursue a summit bid. In an effort to join up with Mick and Gerard, Banjo will leave Basecamp at three or four am on Friday and hopes to be at Camp 2 on Friday night. He will then sleep at camp two and attempt to reach Camp three by saturday or sunday. If all goes well and the summit gear is in place at camp three; Banjo and the others will attempt a summit bid on Monday night.

For the best of Irish mountaineering news and comments, www.patfalvey.com
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006
Friday, 21 July 2006 00:00

The Irish on K2

1998 Irish K2 Attempt
In 1998 the first Irish Expedition attempted to climb K2. But the six man team led by Calvin Torrans Had bad luck with the weather. They did manage an Irish first ascent of Broad Peak with Eddie cooper reaching the summit and Ian Rea within 200m of the Top.

K2 2005 Banjo Bannon attempt
The Irish K2005 team have given thanks to the K2 1998 Team that went before them however due to bad weather on the mountain the summit attempt was abandoned. Banjo Bannon planed a return visit for 2006.

K2 and Broad Peak Irish attempt 2006

A team of Irish climbers set out for Broad Peak and K2 Ger McDonnell, Mick Murphy, John Down, Con Collins and John Roche in early June while Banjo Bannon who was on his own when straight to Base camp K2 to start his attempt on K2.
This is the 1st Irish success of an 8000 meter in this area and was achieved by John Dowd and Mick Murphy on the 29th June 2006 on Broad Peak and follow a few days later with the success of Ger McDonnell reaching the sub summit this mountain also.

Ger and Mick continued on to K2 and have been climbing with an international team up to now. However for the summit attempt it is hoped that the Irish will join forces.

For the best of Irish mountaineering news and comments www.patfalvey.com
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006
Dispatch from team Netherlands. Thursday July 20th

Ryan, Gerard, Mich and Wilco arrived at Camp 1 at 5963 m. They only encountered a few little rocks during their climb from ABC to Camp 1. It's a big disappointment that on arrival they saw there HAP's still in Camp 1. They did not climb any higher due to the bad weather situation (high winds and snow). Wilco reports that the Pakistani expedition stopped there ascent because they lost almost all materials in camp 1 during last weeks bad weather period. The Italian team and the one remaining French climber from the french/canadian expedition moved up to camp 2.

Irish Banjo Bannon: Camps destroyed; explorers web

Banjo Bannon has found his camps 1 and 2 flattened by the storm, according to his home team. He is currently waiting for news on the state of his C3.

Picture Camp 1 before the storm C Wilco

For the best of Irish mountaineering news and comments, www.patfalvey.com
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006
Wednesday, 19 July 2006 00:00

Other teams on the push for the summit

Thanks to explorersweb.com for keeping us posted.

French Hugues: Joint summit push on Sunday

Hugues, teaming up with Antoine, Qudrat and Shaheen will set off from BC tomorrow at 5:00 am. They hope to reach C4 on Saturday in time to rest some hours until midnight, when they will leave for the summit.

The Italian team (Nives Meroi and Romano Benet) will depart from BC on Thursday, expecting to join the rest in C3 on Saturday morning, so that everyone goes up for C4 together.

Hugues’ main concern now is the gear he left in a cache at C2, including essential stuff such as his down suit. For now, he'll climb in several layers of clothing stuffed inside his gore-tex shell.

Picture Ger now on summit Push. (c) Pat Falvey
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006
Update dispatch Wednesday July 19th
After a long discussion early this morning the team decided to move from BC-K2 to ABC-K2. The discussion was about the weather. At the moment they wanted to start it was snowing and a strong wind was blowing. Not the weather you would normally prefer at the moment you start a summit push. The weather forecast shows a good weather window starting Saturday. The team has to start in poor conditions to be at the right place at the right moment for the last part of the summit push.
Ryan, Gerard, Mich and Wilco have now arrived at ABC at 5344 meters after crossing the Icefall.. The wind is still blowing very strong and they are looking towards the glacier they have to negotiate tomorrow. The first part is full of huge Seracs. One of this huge Ice columns is crashing down with a enormous roaring sound at the moment we are talking to Wilco. ABC is set on a safe place right next to the glacier. HAP’s are already in Camp 1 and are not very happy with the wind :-)

Thanks to team Netharlands for updates.
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006
Serguey Bogomolov: Mystery climbers in camp 1

Russian climber Serguey Bogomolov reported to Mountain.ru that 5 Russians and one Irish climber have reached C1 on K2. Bogomolov said all but three tents in camp had been flattened by the recent storm.

Picture Ice Route from Base camp(c) Ryan Waters Base camp K2
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006
Message from Irish lads on K2; They are now on the move to camp 1 today.

After our success on Broad Peak (8051M), we are now well established at K2 Base Camp. The weather has not been favourable with high winds high on the mountain and fresh snow, which resulted in a few avalanches. Tents have been damaged and lost at camp 1 and 2. The current goal is to leave for ABC and camp 1 tomorrow morning (July 19, 2006). Our first wave of climbers includes Mick Murphy and Gerard Mc Donnell along with Ryan Waters and Wilco van Rooijen.

Once moving up the mountain they we will move continuously toward the summit to limit exposure to rock fall and potential deterioration of the weather. Hopefully, we will be in position to reach the summit early next week.

Gerard Mc Donnell and Mick Murphy.

They pass on their thanks to all their supporters here at home in Ireland and throughout the world.

Thanks to Maartan, Base camp Netherland

Picture (c) Base camp Netherlands.

Picture shows Gerard, Wilco and Mark Sheen being inteviewed after Broad Peak

For the best of Irish mountaineering news and comments www.patfalvey.com
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006
Contact update:
I have been onto Maarten van Eck from team Netherlands base camp k2 manager and like to thank him for forwarding our messgages to our Irish lads on K2.

I have asked him if its possible to contact Ger and Mick to let us know how their getting on and feeling.

He has replied with e-mail below. I will also try and find out information on Banjo Bannon and where he is on the mountain. Pat

Reply from Maartan.


I will do my best, but this is the last day at BC-K2. Tomorrow morning they will climb to Advanced BaseCamp. The only means of communication will be the satphone. Of course we will be very prudent with using that connection because of the battery energylevels. We want to keep as much energy reserved for the summit push. The idea is that the summit push will take place early mondaymorning 01.00 hr. It will then take 17 !! hours to go to the top and return.

I forwarded your request to Wilco and now we have to wait for the response. If i get any reaction i will forward it to you.

Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006
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