Much like the fight against human trafficking, the quest to summit the world’s highest peaks has been filled with danger, frustration and setbacks. Due to heavy snow and dangerous weather, I and the 6 Summits Challenge team, have left Broad Peak/K2 base camp after a last-chance summit attempt was turned away due to impassable climbing conditions above 25,000 feet. All told, we attempted three summit bids to the top of 26,414’ Broad Peak, but each time we made the wise decision to turn around due to the perilous conditions that, just a few days prior, had produced a devastating avalanche that killed one climber and severely injured two others. My concern for the team’s safety has always been paramount and with unusually heavy snows and extreme avalanche conditions so prevalent, I refuse to put anyone at risk.
Overall, the 2015 climbing season for the K2/Broad peak region has proved to be one of the most difficult in years, with no one summiting K2 and only one person unofficially reaching the top of Broad Peak. In fact, all of the trekking companies at K2 agreed the situation was too dangerous to move forward and have cancelled their expeditions. At Broad Peak, all the climbing teams are packing up and leaving base camp as the climbing is very unlikely to improve. The unseasonably warm temperatures and heavy snow have created a shorter climbing window than expected and the climbing season in Northern Pakistan has essentially ended, much earlier than usual. All expedition teams were blind sided by these atypical conditions.
Never one to give up, my unwavering dedication to fighting slavery continues to drive me to Be Brave. We're currently making our way to Islamabad, Pakistan to consider various climbing options and figure out the next alternatives to keep the 6 Summits Challenge moving forward. We will have more news soon.
Thanks to everyone for so much for your support in our expedition and the fight to end human trafficking. It means more than you could ever know.