Tag: hegymász

Hiking gear nowadays

Trekking poles

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork. Not as compact as the aluminum Alpine Carbon FLZ, but it feels much lighter and more durable.


The new discovery is the Norrona Fjora mesh gloves. I’ve used Norrona gloves before and I wasn’t blown away: those were uncomfortable and fell apart quick. The Fjora mesh gloves on the other hand are ridiculously light and unlike similar offerings from Montbell, these didn’t get shredded on the first rocky scramble. Of course they’re not warm, but unless it’s well below freezing, for me it’s enough.


Since 2020 I’ve been using a Mammut Ducan Spine 28-35 for training both in the gym and on the trail. Its rock solid back support system means that I can load it up with 20+kg and (while it does creak from that much weight) it still carries just fine. However, over the years I wasn’t going easy on it, so it’s now pretty much falling apart.

For lighter hikes I discovered K’s Ultralight and I’ve been using a KS40 for 1-2 day hikes. It lacks any support, so I definitely wouldn’t load it up, but with an Outdoor Vitals closed cell pad folded into its back side, it’s a super light option with plenty of pockets.

For longer hikes I use Hyperlite, a Southwest during the summer and a Prism during the winter.


For a good while now I’ve been using Marmot Ascent shirts, both long and short sleeve. They’re extremely hard to find (I get the impression that the long sleeve version isn’t made anymore at all), but they’re super light, they dry in a flash and they don’t get smelly even after 3-4 days of Japanese summer heat. They perform way better than the Montbell shirts I used before—though I still use Montbell short-sleeved shirts in the gym. The Marmots feel so delicate I’d really rather not wash them every other day.

Kamikochi I’m back

Last year I was so depleted financially due to the Karakoram expedition that I wasn’t back in Kamikochi until the end of the season. Since I still wasn’t well off enough to afford another attempt at Denali this summer, I can instead hike in Japan every weekend as I please (or as the weather allows). Naturally that means that I was hiking next to the Azusa river at the first chance.


大子行ってきたぞ!大子を知った経緯は、一昨年那須行ったときに温泉むすめの等身大パネル見て帰ってサイトで他のどんなのあるかなと調べたら大子を見つけた。それと完全に別でヤマップで「茨城ジャンダルム」登った人の記録もみた。どうやらジャンダルムの天使に会うなら穂高だけじゃなく、茨城の生瀬富士のジャンダルムでも会える。そしてさらに、あるSNSは俺に向けた広告はビール、服、ワーケーションばっかり。そのワーケーションの広告で同じ茨城県北のOKUKUJI BASE CAMPというキャンプ場を知った。さらにさらに近くに袋田の滝という、日本三名瀑の一つの観光スポットもある。つまり温泉もあっておもしろそうな山もあって、観光地もあって、日中は仕事もできるキャンプ場まである。行くしかない!

The Baltoro hike

The hike to Broad Peak (and with a little more hiking, K2) base camp is not a joyride. There are no teahouses, the trail can be pretty challenging and there’s not much variety. That’s why I was very surprised when on the hike in, we met some people hiking out with very light gear around Concordia. Turns out they were there on base camp treks. I knew about such base camp treks to Everest base camp or the Annapurna circuit, but it didn’t occur to me anyone in their right mind would want to hike up the Baltoro glacier just for fun.

Sweet base camp

After the unsuccessful summit push, it was time to return to camp 3. Needless to say without the darkness, distances became much smaller. At the same time, people (especially those of us climbing without oxygen) were getting very tired. For some of my teammates, climbing down the rocky “chimney” back on the snowy slopes took maybe even longer than climbing up did. While I’d have preferred to use a figure-8 to safely descend at that point, the ropes were such a tangled mess that it wasn’t an option. So I just rolled some of the ropes around my arm and climbed down as quickly as the altitude allowed. Personally I found that the easy part.

The long, snowy descent back to camp 3 was really hard for me. It was the soft, unstable snow. Basically every step meant sinking or sliding with the snow, making it a very frustrating challenge to go down in (needless to say it was an extremely exhausting challenge to climb too). Even with my trekking pole set up for snow, it was hard to take a step without losing my balance. This quickly drained the last of my energy reserves, so I was getting slower and slower, and I reached camp last of the team. The first thing I did (after reporting in) was collapsing in a tent to sleep for three hours or so (I think I didn’t even turn off my GPS tracker, making some people worry—sorry!).

To the summit of Broad Peak

Multiple people have commented on the trail how tight our summit push is. We didn’t have a third rotation, nor did we get a chance to sleep in camp 3. This is because we were there at the mountain early in the season, but had to sit on our hands for almost ten days due to snow (and then some more snow) and logistics issues. At the same time those of us who got up to camp 3 were fit and strong, ready and eager to go for the summit. Having some more leeway would’ve been nice, but with bad weather incoming, we had limited options. Being a commercial expedition means that we can’t just stay for three more weeks waiting for the next window.

Up, up, up!

After the second rotation on Broad Peak, I hoped we’d get a day rest. Resting a day in base camp after sleeping in the high camps helps a lot with acclimatization. Not to mention on the way up a rock rolled under me and I hurt my left knee. Luckily it got better after the rest in camp 1, but it’s still not good. Letting it recover would’ve been nice.

Except the weather forecast had other plans. There wasn’t enough time anymore to waste: snow was coming, and probably to stay too for weeks. Which meant we only had this one chance to move for the summit. Those who wanted a rest in camp 1 would start the next day, while those who were okay with the long way straight to camp 2 would get a day.

Second rotation

After taking a day of rest after the first rotation in base camp, we were heading back for the second rotation on Broad Peak. This time the goal was to sleep in camp 2, and preferably hike above camp 2, maybe even touch camp 3.

We started early in the morning so the glacier rivers would still be frozen and the snow firm. Once the rivers on the glacier thaw, traversing the moraine becomes much more difficult. The rivers’ flow is too strong and the terrain too slippery to cross just anywhere, and finding a safe crossing isn’t easy even with experience. (Hell, a local porter died trying to jump one of the rivers…) Higher up on the mountain having firm snow means much easier progress. Not sliding back a step for every two steps forward is a huge difference in exhaustion.

First rotation

As soon as the weather allowed, the Sherpa team set out to fix the ropes on Broad Peak. To make the most out of the good weather, we followed a few hours later in their trail, just late enough to minimize rockfall risk.

The weather days

For the past week, we’ve been waiting for two things: first, for the team cargo to arrive, and second for the weather to clear.