The summer 2009 Philippe tried to climb Gasherbrum II (8 035 m), Gasherbrum I (8 068 m) and Broad Peak (8 047 m) without supplementary oxygen. Philippe teamed up with Gorgan Wildberger and Serap Jangbu Sherpa. Serap had only G1, Broad Peak and Nanga Parbat left to complete the list of 14 8000 meters.
Philippe, Gasherbrum IV and III behind (Photo Gorgan Wildberger)
The weather has been very bad in the Karakoram range (West of the Himalayas) with lots of snow and constant high winds in altitude (50km/h to 80km/h). In 6 weeks of expeditions, they never had a good weather window for a safe summit bid. When they tried, they had to turn back in storms and avalanche conditions. Overall 2009 has been a bad year in Karakoram with very few successes. At the time Philippe left the base camp nobody had summitted G1 and Broad Peak and Ueli Steck was the only one who succeeded G2 during an impressive and bold solo ascent.
Sunrise on the Trango Namless Towers, seen from Goro 2 (Photo © P. Gatta)