Mladen Dankov, Gavin Vickers and Alex Gavan came down to Broad Peak Base Camp (4950m) yesterday morning, within the acclimatisation process. Although the initial plan was to only set Camp 1 (5500m) and spend the night, they spent two nights over there and, feeling in good form, they climbed up to Camp 2 (6240m) for a third night, to further help their acclimatisation.
Finding perfect snow/icy conditions on the mountain, Alex climbed unroped all the way up from Base Camp to Camp 2:
"I had one of my finest climbing hours at high altitude while going up with Mladen to Camp 2. He was great company! For me, there were some of the best snow/ice mountain conditions I had ever encountered on an expedition. Because of this and feeling confident, we climbed unroped. Although the climbing was not difficult, the exposure was fair enough, for one slip would have meant taking the shortcut to the Base Camp and arriving just in time for breakfast.
Saying beforehand Broad Peak is easy gets handy with someone reading a marketing brochure promising a fixed line to the top. And not even then. I think this mountain deserves a lot respect and to date it had only showed me his mild side. Nevertheless in the next three days we are expecting bad weather and we'll use this time to rest in preparation for the next stage of the expedition: setting up Camp 3 (7100m). And for lots of reading and photography...”, Alex Gavan said, via his satellite phone.
Yesterday afternoon, Alex got a wonderful surprise visit from his longtime partner Pawel Michalski, part of the Polish National Team of Winter Himalaysm, now climbing neighbouring K2.
Alex met Pawel back in 2006 on their first Himalayan expedition on Cho Oyu (8201m) in Tibet. They climbed together in 2007 Gasherbrum 1 (8068m) in Pakistan in what was also the First Romanian Ascent of the mountain. They further teamed up together in the subsequent years for attempts of Gasherbrum 2 (8035m) in Pakistan and Kangchenjunga (8586m) in Nepal. We couldn't really find out the topics of their long chat, while sitting on a boulder and looking at the mountains, but we can fairly reckon that future climbing plans were included.