5 Participants on the Summit of the Spantik

5 Sep 2017
by Andreas Neuschmid

Spantik: Ready for the Summit

The last few days in the Base Camp brought snow, rain, wind and sleet with them. However, we did establish Camp 1 and Camp 2 beforehand and we spent a night in each of them. Meanwhile, the weather forecasts are looking good up until 1. September. We decided that we will skip Camp 1 during the summit attempt in order to directly go to Camp 2. In order to increase our chances of successfully reaching the summit, the establishment of a Camp 3+ is on the plan. Camp 3+ will be established about 400 metres above Camp 3. If everything goes right, we will be in Camp 2 on the 28th, in Camp 3 on the 29th, in Camp 3+ on the 30th and on the 31st we will stand on the summit, Insh' Allah.

Text: Jonas Salzmann & Friends

Spantik 2017 - Summit!

After a successful acclimatization with overnight stays in Camp 1 (5,000 m) and Camp 2 (5,400 m) and three resting days, we made our way, shaved and having showered, towards the summit. This time we skipped Camp 1 and stayed in Camp 2 for the night. Camp 2 is at the foot of a 40┬░ steep slope which we secured with about 600 meter of fixed rope. We established Camp 3 on a crest with an absolutely amazing vista at 6,200 metres. The plan of establishing a fourth high camp had to be dropped due to snowfall the next day. We endured 24 hours in our sleeping bags during which 30 cm of fresh snow amassed outside of the tents. In the late afternoon the weather cleared and it became serious. Around midnight the summit aspirants formed three roped parties and started their way towards the summit in the icy cold of the night. The beginning was rough: during the first two hours three participants had to turn around due to diverse health issues. After hours of trudging through the knee deep powder snow we experienced the blue hour in the Karakorum: wild, cold, lonely and at the end of the world. When we were met with the first rays of sunshine something akin to hope starts to grace your toes and the new day starts with a one of a kind existential idiocy: The knowledge of painfully sinking into the snow with every step, that is interrupted by milliseconds of hope that the surface of the snow might hold your weight. After 11 hours we finally stood on the summit of the Spantik at 7,027 metres.
The descent was very unspectacular in comparison. We spend one more night in Camp 3, the condition of the high carrier Ali, who was suffering from altitude sickness, had worsened drastically the next morning, so that we then connected him to an Oxygen bottle and filled him up with medicine. Even though, it was not the optimal solution, it at least made him feel good enough to stand on his feet. The following downhill run down the 600 m slope on our behinds together with the mountain guide was not suited at all for followers of sophisticated rescue techniques and it was even less suited for the faint of heart. The fact that the mountain guide during the trip back to Camp 1 sank into the snow in an interval of about every 100 metres became sort of a joke at supper back in the Base Camp. Mehdi and the kitchen boys were waiting for us at Camp 1 with tea, sprite and cookies. The setting sun and the coming night was welcome, because it hid the roughness of the way we had to carry back Ali to the Base Camp from the eyes of the faint-hearted.

Ali, the high carrier survived. And our goat did survive as well by the way. We didn't stay in the Base Camp long enough. The day after tomorrow we will bring her (the goat) back, with the help of a leash, to Arandu, over the Chomolungma glacier.

On 31. August 2017 these participants stood on the summit of the Spantik: Anna, Astrid, Stefan, Rainer and Jonas. They were accompanied by the two Pakistani from Satpara: Fidali and Nazri.
They were also accompanied by the mountain guide from Triol: Andreas.

Greetings from Baltistan,

Andreas Neuschmid
Mountain Guide