Iñurrategi repeats Broad Peak traverse

Posted by Lindsay Griffin on 19/07/2010
Broad Peak massif from K2. Bruce Normand

The Basque mountaineer Alberto Iñurrategi has just completed a committing traverse of all three Broad Peak summits, beginning with a new route to Broad Peak North.

The complete traverse of the three Broad Peak summits, North (7,550m), Central (8,011m) and Main (8,051m) had only been achieved twice previously.

In 1984 the legendary Polish mountaineers Jerzy Kukuczka and Wojiech Kurtyka, in alpine-style and with no previous attempt, climbed the difficult North West Ridge of Broad Peak North and continued over the Central to Main summit in four and a half days.

This was only the second time that both the North and Central summits had been climbed.

In 1995 the same route was taken by Japanese, Toru Hattori, Toshiyuki Kitamura and Masafumi Todaka, who also climbed in alpine style and completed the round trip from base camp in seven days. Todaka was actually on honeymoon with his wife, who remained at base during the ascent.

On the 9th July Alberto Iñurrategi, Juan Vallejo and Mikel Zabalza reached the summit of Broad Peak North after climbing a new line up the west-facing glaciated slopes leading directly to the 7,350m col between the North and Central summits.

The weather was very windy and they spent a rough night back at the col after a short ascent of the South Ridge of North Peak. Next day they were faced with the hardest section of the traverse, the ascent of the North Ridge of Central Peak.

Receiving a weather forecast that confirmed these strong winds would continue to prevail for the next two days, the three decided to return to base camp.

The Basque trio set out again on the 16th, regained the col on the 17th after a bivouac at c6,300m, and the same day Iñurrategi repeated their previous ascent of the South Ridge to the summit of Broad Peak North.

Next day they left at 3:00 am, expecting that it would take 11-12 hours to reach the summit of Broad Peak Central and descend to a bivouac on the 7,800m col before the Main Summit.

They were wrong. Although they climbed the first 400m of the ridge in two hours, it took another 10 to finish the remaining 300m, and then two more to negotiate the summit ridge.

Snow conditions were abysmal and at one point they took five hours to gain only 50m of elevation. All declared it was the worst snow they had ever experienced.

By the time they got to the 7,800m col, they had been on the go for 17 hours, were exhausted and, having travelled very light, were completely out of food. As it was nearly dark, they decided to descend to Camp 3 at 7,100m on the Normal Route.

After just seven hours rest, only Iñurrategi felt like getting up at 3:00 am and going for the Main Summit. It took him six hours, in an exhausted state and suffering from stomach pains, to reach the top. The saving grace was that he was able to follow the track opened by other climbers on the Normal Route several days previously.

He regained camp in just over four hours. As testament to the outstanding ability of this climber at high altitude, his time was faster than most fresh and well-provisioned mountaineers would clock for this section when reaching the top via the Normal Route.

In 2002 Iñurrategi became the 10th man to complete all 14, 8,000m peaks, but only the fourth to do so without supplementary oxygen.

The photograph shows the Gasherbrum (left) and Broad Peak groups from K2. Broad Peak North is the rocky pyramid in the lower half of the picture, with the Central Summit rising behind and the Main Summit behind again and to the right.



« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 263 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Get alpine hut discounts with a Reciprocal Rights Card
2
Get alpine hut discounts with a Reciprocal Rights Card

The Reciprocal Rights Card gives BMC members discounted rates in alpine huts.
Read more »

Galvan and Zerain disappear while attempting second crossing of Mazeno Ridge.
1
Galvan and Zerain disappear while attempting second crossing of Mazeno Ridge.

Hope of finding the noted partnership of Argentinian Mariano Galvan, and the Spanish-Basque Alberto Zerain, who were attempting an alpine-style ascent of Nanga Parbat's Mazeno Ridge, has now faded after an aerial search on the morning of the 1st July.
Read more »

New Alpinists booklet: your first steps to alpine climbing
1
New Alpinists booklet: your first steps to alpine climbing

People of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can enjoy alpinism, but if the prospect of learning new skills in a harsh and complex environment seems a little bit daunting, then our new booklet will help to guide you along your first steps as an alpine climber.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
0

There are currently no comments, why not add your own?

RELATED ARTICLES

Get alpine hut discounts with a Reciprocal Rights Card
2

The Reciprocal Rights Card gives BMC members discounted rates in alpine huts.
Read more »

Galvan and Zerain disappear while attempting second crossing of Mazeno Ridge.
1

Hope of finding the noted partnership of Argentinian Mariano Galvan, and the Spanish-Basque Alberto Zerain, who were attempting an alpine-style ascent of Nanga Parbat's Mazeno Ridge, has now faded after an aerial search on the morning of the 1st July.
Read more »

New Alpinists booklet: your first steps to alpine climbing
1

People of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can enjoy alpinism, but if the prospect of learning new skills in a harsh and complex environment seems a little bit daunting, then our new booklet will help to guide you along your first steps as an alpine climber.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »