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GII or broad peak , any thoughts ?

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GII or broad peak , any thoughts ?

Postby Archm » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:48 pm

GII or broad peak for a first 8000er ? Any thoughts ?
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Postby Archm » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:30 am

I've read a few reports that make GII out to be more difficult than it was in the past, and that broad peak was " steeper but more straightforward" ...
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Postby radson » Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:44 pm

Archm wrote:I've read a few reports that make GII out to be more difficult than it was in the past, and that broad peak was " steeper but more straightforward" ...


If you are lucky you might get Damien Gildea's input on your question but otherwise I agree with Archm. The reports I have read recentoy is that there is some obstacles at the very top of G2 meaning very few people have summited in recent years.
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Postby Archm » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:58 pm

Hey Radson ,
I might be wrong here but did I read somewhere on sp that you have gone with field touring alpine on a previous climb?
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Postby radson » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:23 pm

Hey Archm, I have never been to Pakistan. Just read trip reports from Field touring, Project Himalaya and Altitude Junkies. I have been with Field touring to Ama Dablam back in '05
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Postby Archm » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:03 pm

Radson ,

The reason I ask is field touring alpine , run expeditions to GII and broad peak, which are well priced compared to other companies. Would you recommend considering using them ?
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Postby radson » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:21 pm

Archm wrote:Radson ,

The reason I ask is field touring alpine , run expeditions to GII and broad peak, which are well priced compared to other companies. Would you recommend considering using them ?


ArchM, I'm a bit biased as I correspond with the directors of the company on a sporadic basis and I had a wonderful trip with them in 2005.

On the other hand, from second hand reports I think in Pakistan they have recently suffered some criticism as some of their clients compare their more frugal service and corresponding prices with some of the more premium commercial expeditions.

So definately a legitimate company but more orientated towards independent minded climbers than a full service expedition.
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Postby Archm » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:22 pm

Radson,
I'm biased towards the people who I've had good experiences climbing with , but I appreciate your honesty.
I have heard they are more suitable for independent climbers, the expeditions are professionally led etc, no problem with that , but how frugal is a frugal service ?
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Postby radson » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:47 pm

dynamokiev98 wrote:
Archm wrote:Radson ,

The reason I ask is field touring alpine , run expeditions to GII and broad peak, which are well priced compared to other companies. Would you recommend considering using them ?


How much is well priced? I am also tinking about doing 8000M peak in a few years, if I do ok on Denali...after researching I figured Cho Oyo would be a good 1st one..
I heard there are only a few true summits each year on GII and broad peak..

Radson,
I'm biased towards the people who I've had good experiences climbing with , but I appreciate your honesty.
I have heard they are more suitable for independent climbers, the expeditions are professionally led etc, no problem with that , but how frugal is a frugal service ?


To try and attempt at answering both your questions, Alan Arnette has his rundown of the relative pros and cons of various guiding companies at the moment.

http://alanarnette.com/alan/guides.php

I am reluctant to answer anything on Pakistan, as I have never been there and never seen first hand the relative merits of the guiding companies there. I do know that FTA has been operating there for 10 years.

As for 1st 8,000 m peaks, there is basically a choice of Cho Oyu, Shish, G2, Broad Peak, Manaslu and as rank outsider - Dhaulagiri.

Once again the Chinese have shown that Cho Oyu and Shish are problematic choice pre-monsoon. I think this year again, the border has been somewhat arbitrarily closed down until April 10. Maybe not a deal breaker, but I am sure once again, there are a lot of nervous climbers about waiting to see if they can still climb.

Pakistan has it's own political problems of course and hey your choice might depend on when you can get the time off. Not much use considering Cho Oyu if you can only get the northern hemisphere summer off from work.

As for Manaslu, Shish and Broad Peak and now apparently G2, they are all great for 8k experience, but harder apparetnly than Cho Oyu for true summit experience. I guess depends on your objectives.
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Postby Damien Gildea » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:12 am

I can only make suggestions based upon having attempted G1, which shares the G2 route up to C1, and from friends who have summited and/or guided the others. Despite all I write below, I'm not really comfortable giving 'advice' about peaks I have not been on.

Consensus is that G2 is harder than it used to be:
- due to changes in the ridge. ie. steeper and icier, esp in the Banana section
- due to similar changes in the last part of the summit ridge, making it thinner/steeper.

Note that to some extent this 'consensus' must take into account the gradually declining experience and skill of most 8000m commercial clients, and most commercial mountaineering clients in general, particularly on the Seven Summits. This is not necessarily a harsh criticism, more just the current reality that guides and companies are gradually dealing with (prep courses, more O2 use, more ropes, more Sherpas etc). Most of the 8000ers got their reputations 20 years ago, when the climbers on them were quite different from those on them today. Remember that the much-derided initiator of the Seven Summits, Dick Bass, did Everest in 1985 without fixed ropes above the South Col and on 2 litres a minute O2 (normal now is 4).

On G2 in 2007 an avalanche fell from near C2 down the slope beneath it and two people were killed (Amical clients). So now prospective G2 climbers probably need to consider increased objective danger on the route, which was not considered a factor before. Like all things in the mountains, this may change, or not.

ChoOyu is still considered the easiest of the lot, whatever 'easy' means on big Himalayan peaks. Realise that to some extent this stuff is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If lots of people think a peak is easy they will go there, and increased numbers means broken trails, established camps and probably lots of fixed ropes, making the whole thing easier. Doing ChoOyu on your own with just a few mates and no one else on the mountain would be very hard.

Manaslu is technically easy, except for the summit ridge that many do not really finish - but the route has serious objective danger down low from serac fall, and also from avalanche. There is also crevasse danger not present on ChoOyu. The upper plateau is no place to get lost in a whiteout, several have died here. Manaslu was unpopular because of the objective dangers, but this has changed in recent years due to the politics of ChoOyu and the need of commercial guiding companies to have an 'easy' 8000er for clients to do as prep for Everest.

Shisha also seems to be 'easy' but if you can't climb that last corniced ridge or loaded snow slope to the highest point then you're not really climbing the mountain. Hence the drop in popularity of Shisha in recent years, plus the politics.

Broad Peak is a relatively direct route, but with some objective danger. Again, many do not go to the summit, they stop far away at the rocky forepeak, due to the length of the summit ridge, so it is certainly not straightforward. BP is a good example of a peak that got its reputation years ago when its suitors were stronger than today.

Remember also that the Baltoro 8000ers require an 8 day walk in up a hot, dusty then cold valley with no trekking lodges offering apple pie and beer. ChoOyu you drive to BC and go to C1 in hiking shoes.

D
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Postby Alan Arnette » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:20 am

To build on Radison and Damien's comments, Broad Peak is significantly harder than advertised, perhaps due to the strength and skills of today's climbers - including me!

The route starts with a somewhat longish glacier crossing then basically goes straight up. I was surprised at how little relief there was on the route. The final climb to the false summit is dangerous and to the true summit, simply brutal.

Cho Oyu is much easier, although still challenging. No 8000m climb is easy - full stop.
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Postby Archm » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:28 pm

Thanks guys for your input. As mentioned above, I'm confined to taking time off in the northern hemisphere's summer , which rules out cho oyu , which would be my first choice. So if I'm going to attempt to climb an 8000er it has to be Pakistan.
Which is cool, as its a place I really want to visit .

Thanks again guys for the input, and if your interested in Pakistan in the near ( ish ) future, keep in touch
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Postby radson » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:11 pm

Arch, sounds awresome, best of luck and cant wait to hear how it goes. If you havent already check out the dispatches of some of the operators. Great way to learn of what happens up there.


..and Alan, you can call me Brad rather than some kind of mis-spelt hotel chain :p
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Postby Alan Arnette » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:43 pm

radson wrote: ..and Alan, you can call me Brad rather than some kind of mis-spelt hotel chain :p


Sorry about that Bred :twisted:
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