Tuesday, 25 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006


All the Irish are back at base camp for a rest. Ger Mc Donnell, Mike Murphy and Banjo Bannon.

We will now need to sit back, relax and wait for the green light again for a summit attempt by the lads.

I believe that it will at least take between two to three days before a decision will be made before they will try to go back up for a summit attempt and this will be pending a good weather forecast.

Pat Falvey 11:00 July 25th

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Picture Italian Nives Meroi base camp K2

Monday, 24 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

Basecamp Netherlands update Monday July 24th

Team 1 is back in Base Camp-K2. They had a terrible night last night. Three were awake all night because they continually had to vomit. That’s not a good start if you consider the task that lay before them. They still had to establish Camp 4 and afterwards had to secure the route above Camp 4 towards the summit. That proved to be too big a problem. For a little while they considered waiting for reinforcements. After giving it some thought they decided to abandon their summit push and return to Base Camp K2.

Gerard and Mick will try to transfer their climbing permit to Banjo’s permit. They still have time to consider another summit push. Wilco is considering the same thing. He will try to transfer to the Russian permit. Of course there is more to organize if he decides to stay a bit longer for another summit attempt.

On the way down Ryan was hit on the knee by a rock. Nothing really bad happened but it will mean the end to his expedition. Another member of the FTA expedition Michael (Dell?) was hit by another bigger rock in the chest area. Again nothing really bad happened but he is suffering more and is in pain.

All are back in BC-K2. Except an Italian expedition who today climbed toward Camp 3. Also the large Russian expedition is on the move.

Picture Wilco at base camp;

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Monday, 24 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

The weather is holding good until Wednesday/Thursday then it is to change with jet stream winds heading for K2.

If this happens it will put severe pressure on all of the expedition teams on the mountain.

All the summit teams that have been pushing upwards for the last few days are exhausted after descending to base camp and will rest for a few days before making any decision on new a new summit attempt.

Keep posted for further updates.

Updated comment Pat Falvey

If the weather worsens it will put a severe stress on the team as they try and hold a positive attitude on a summit push. The weather forecasts will play a crucial part in the decision making process on the team to go back up for a summit attempt.

Each forecast they will now receive will be dissected over and over again and will form the main discussion amongst team members. The longer they stay now on K2 the weaker all climbers will become from a stressful base camp life of sitting and waiting. At rest they will dream of nice steaks, pints of Guinness, hot showers and of their partners and family at home.

17:00 24th July 2006
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Picture Karakorum Range Including K2 and Broad Peak. (c)google earth

Monday, 24 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

Have been on to Maartan from team Netherlands and Simon Scott from Banjo's team, I can now confirm that the summit attempt has been aborted for now.

As stated yesterday, hard decisions would have to be made after they failed in making it to camp 4 at 7500 meters because of deep snow and not enough man power to push the route through for a final summit attempt from camp 3.

Tiring bodies need to re-energize themselves to make a summit attempt and the climbers are now weakened from the push of the last few days of getting food and shelter to these high camps.

Hard Decisions:
To return to base camp now is a good decision by all concerned, it may however be the end of the expedition for some of the climbers as their permit for the mountain will run out in the next few days.

Mick Murphy and Ger McDonnell have now decided to join forces with Banjo on his permit as his permit extends for a further few weeks, while their permit on the mountain will run out in the next few days. All Irish climbers will now join forces to have another go at the summit.

Comment on how they will be feeling:

Having had to abort the summit attempt in good weather will be a big disappointment for all the climbers. Now more so then ever they will need to stay focused on the objective of the summit if they are going to succeed. This is really going to be a hard time for them as they now have to readjust to the reality of having to spend more time on the mountain then they had expected a few days ago.

Will keep you all posted on the upcoming events as they unfold.

Pat Falvey 14:25 July 24th
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Picture Camp sites on K2 (c)Alan Arnette

Thursday, 20 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

Update dispatch Saturday July 22nd

Wilco, Ryan, Gerard and Mick arrived at Camp 3 (7359m)

It was a very tough climb. It took us eight hours to get here. On the route from camp 2 they first had to negotiate “The Black Pyramid”. This is a technical and difficult part of the K2 ascent. The HAP’s are very disappointing. They should have climbed in front of the team but started this morning at exactly the same moment. Only one Hap has arrived until now and the team has some logistical problems. The Hap’s left a few hundred meters lower, the oxygen for Ryan and Mick, a lightweight tent the team will need in Camp 4 and some climbing rope they will need on there summit push. That does NOT look good.

The French climber Antoine became ill on his way up. He is now in Camp 3 with the rest but will descent tomorrow morning. Wilco and Mick suffer from a light form of diarrhea. With enough fluids and medicine this should not be a big problem.
Wilco reports knee deep snow. That will be a problem tomorrow when they will climb towards camp 4. This will be their last camp before they will start their summit push on Sunday night 0.00 hr.

Thanks to team Netherland and Wilco for keeping us posted.

Report from Banjo's web site

Banjo has arrived at camp 2 - 22 July 2006

Speaking with Banjo this saturday morning he is currently at camp 2 - he has retrieved some gear at camp 2 and will continue up to camp 3 to assess how much of his camp and gear now remain there.

Lets hope that his gear is still intact. Pat Falvey

For the best of Irish mountaineering news and comments www.patfalvey.com.


Sunday, 23 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006


Summit Push update Sunday July 23rd from team Netherlands.

We got a visit from Hans van der Meulen who was the first Dutch climber (together with Ronald Naar) to summit K2. At the same moment Hans arrives at BC-Netherlands we receive a telephone call from Wilco. The whole team is back in CAMP 3. This morning they started without any HAP. They are all gone. The team of five climbers (Antoine feels better and joined the team) divided all necessary equipment and oxygen in backpacks and started their ascent towards camp 4. Camp 4 should have been build just on top of the shoulder. They did not reach that point. It was too heavy. Knee-deep snow and top-heavy backpacks and the very difficult glacier terrain made that impossible. They buried the equipment just below the shoulder and returned to camp 3. Tomorrow morning they will start all over again. They will try to establish camp 4 and continue their summit push Monday night.

At this moment there are six climbers in camp 3.: Wilco van Rooijen, Ryan Waters, Mick Murphy, Gerard McDonnell, Antoine and Banjo Bannon who has just arrived in camp 3.

Comment: Pat Falvey
Lets hope they can break through to camp 4 tomorrow, the longer that they spend up high on the mountain, the weaker they will become. It is impossible to gain strength at this altitude as the body screams out for oxygen in the thin air.

It is great to see all of the Irish Climbers now at camp 3.

Having 6 people at camp three will make a difference as they will be able to share the breaking trail of the route to camp 4 especially if they have to cut through deep snow.

For now we play a waiting game to see if the mountain will allow the lads through. The frustration will start now if they will have to remain at camp 3 for any longer then tomorrow and there will be hard decisions to make for the team.

For the best of Irish mountaineering news and comments, www.patfalvey.com.


Saturday, 22 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

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 8,000 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 8,000 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.


Friday, 21 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

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)

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Friday, 21 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

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.


Friday, 21 July 2006 00:00
Published in K2 BroadPeak 2006

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.