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  Nuno Caetano: GASHERBRUM II 2004 - PAKISTAN

Update 8/14/2004: GASHERBRUM II 2004 - PAKISTAN update 

Weather sending team home

On Saturday, 14 August, the team reported that weather conditions on Gasherbrum II have been too severe for them to continue. Nuno and other climbers who had made it to camp 2 last week were unable to proceed to camp 3 over the past few days due to very heavy snowfall and extremely strong winds. They have since returned to basecamp.  

The team will now prepare to leave basecamp; their departure date is set for 15 or 16 August.

(No word has been received yet as to if the scientists accompanying the climbing team achieved any success related to their atmospheric studies on Baltoro glacier.)

Update 8/9/2004: GASHERBRUM II 2004 - PAKISTAN update: Nuno at Camp 2 and moving up... 

On Sunday, 8 August, the team reported that Nuno is now at Camp 2, along with Frederic Heymes, Regis Vanhasbrouck, Bruno and Claudie Decoret, and Mathias Mougenot. They will move up to Camp 3 today (9 August), weather permitting. Heavy snowfall and strong winds have impeded much of their progress so far. (Earlier, on 28 July, Mathias and Frederic had made it as far as Camp 3, but extreme weather conditions forced their return to basecamp.)

Update 7/27/2004: GASHERBRUM II 2004 - PAKISTAN update

Team arrives at basecamp and moves up; 2 climbers reach summit!

On Tuesday, 27 July, the team reported that they arrived at basecamp last Thursday. Also, after making it to Camp 1 on Saturday morning, Jean-Louis Manesse and Emmanuel Exposito decided on Sunday at 1730h  to make a summit attempt. They succeeded and returned to basecamp, where they plan to stay another 4 days. Their time on top of Gasherbrum 2 was very brief because Jean-Louis was having problems with his eyes.

Other team members have already assembled at Camp 1 and are preparing to push for the summit.

Update 7/25/2004: GASHERBRUM II 2004 - PAKISTAN update

Basecamp is near!

On Monday, 19 July, the weather had already cleared a little, and the team was more optimistic. Over the next 3 days they were able to ascend 1 to an elevation of  4700m. They reported impressive views of mountains such as K2 and Broad Peak around them.

In the latest dispatch (Wednesday, 21 July) the team reported that they were at an altitude equivalent to that of Mont Blanc (4810m) and that they hoped to arrive at Gasherbrum II basecamp the following day. They also mentioned that they were situated at the confluence of two immense glaciers with completely unobstructed views.

Follow along as we follow Nuno Caetano on G2:

Update 7/18/2004: GASHERBRUM II 2004 - PAKISTAN update

Bad weather hits Gasherbrum II

On Wednesday, 14 July,  the team reported that all was well in Skardu and that they were planning to travel a few more hours by Jeep the next day before starting the hike to basecamp. They predicted that this trek should last about 5 days and bring them to an altitude of around 5200m.

On Sunday, 18 July, the team was well and proceeding with their approach, but the weather wasn't good. Other expeditions that are now at basecamp have not been able to go beyond 6700m, and the bad weather is expected to last at least another 5 days. The team indicated concern that conditions could be difficult, and the expedition could be compromised.

GASHERBRUM II 2004 Pakistan

French-Portuguese Expedition

OVERVIEW: This expedition consists of Nuno Caetano, from Portugal, and 10 more climbers and scientists from France. Their mission is to summit Gasherbrum II (8035m/26,260ft) as well as to conduct an original scientific experiment involving the effects of environmental pollutants on the ozone layer, by taking various ice samples from Baltoro glacier. (Glaciers trap air bubbles, and scientists can determine atmospheric compositions from glacial ice samples, not unlike the research done in polar regions.) The team plans on arriving in Islamabad at the beginning of July and returning from their expedition at the end of August.


1. Nuno Caetano, 26, Madeira, Portugal.

2. Jean Louis Manesse, 29, Chalon sur Saone, France.

3. Nicolas Sieger, 35, La Rochelle, France.

4. Frederic Heymes, 28, Vizinobres, France.

5. Thierry Segonne, 29, Megeve, France.

6. Mathias Mougenot, 28, Epinal, France.

7. Pierre Feuillet, 56, Herault, France.

8. Bruno Decoret , 57, Lyons, France.

9. Rigis Vanhasbrouck, 48, Nevers, France.

10. Claire David. 32, Paris, France.

11. Claudie Decoret, 56, Lyons, France.

Expedition to Pakistan July-August 2004
On line from the Expedition

Saturday, 10 July 2004: I just received word from Jean-Louis and Nuno:

All goes well in Islamabad! 50 porters already left yesterday (Friday, 9 July) and the alpinists will leave tomorrow (Monday, 11 July) for Skardu. It will take them two days by Jeep along the famous Karakoram highway, which goes along the Indus River, before arriving at K2 Motel where all the expeditions meet again. Sophie.

History of the Gasherbrum II

1889-1929 The international expedition headed by the Swiss G.O. Dyhrenfurth studies possible ways to the top of the Gasherbrum II and gets to 6250 meters on the south flank. 

1956: First ascent via the southwest spur by an Austrian expedition headed by F. Moravec. Fritz Moravec along with Josef Larch and Hans Willenpart starts from a bivouac at 7700 meters via the east spur to the summit on 7th. 

July 1975: Second ascent by a French group, 19 years after the first ascent. During this expedition, the first victim at the Gasherbrum has to be lamented. In this year, three expeditions get to the summit, among others a Polish women team headed by W. Rutkiewicz. 

1979: A Chilean and a German expedition succeeded in the 6th and 7th ascent. 

1982: R. Messner Summits with two Pakistanis.

1984: During the legendary double ascent of two 8000 peaks, Messner and H. Kammerlander get to the summit of Gasherbrum II and afterwards Hidden Peak. Counting and registration is more complicated during the following years because some illegal teams got to the summit. Both peaks belong to the less frequently climbed 8000 peaks. Per year, only 2 to 3 permits are given.

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