A few days later, we received a perfect looking forecast which promised a six-day weather window. It was time to give a K13 a go!
We returned to base of the face where we had been a few weeks earlier. On the lower glacier, snow had melted more than a meter, revealing a maze of crevasses. The upper mountain was plastered with snow though. It looked very wintery, but air felt as warm as ever.
After midnight we started simul soloing up the first snow and ice fields of our chosen line. The mountain was calm and quiet, except the distant rumbles of a serac fall somewhere deeper in the valley. We roped up below a chimney which would hopefully give us an access to the spur proper.
I led two very sketchy pitches on vertical snow that held me, but started to crumble for my second. Luckily, I took off my backpack before the steepest section, as there definitely was a weight limit. We were climbing middle of the coldest hours of night at 5500 meters but water was still running down the granite slabs as if it was in direct sunlight.
After another tricky pitch tackled by Nelson, we encountered an aid pitch, giving us time to think. Small pieces of debris were already raining down the face and it wasn't even early morning yet. The decision was easy. Without wasting a moment longer, we decided to rapp down. It just didn't feel right. In the mountains, it's better to listen your instinct.
The same evening, as we walked back to Base Camp, wet snow avalanches rushed down the 2km high north face. We didn't know that following days would turn out to be even warmer. We made the right decision. Reports from K2 talked about +10 degree readings above 7000 meters. The whole mountain range was melting like an ice cream on a summer's afternoon.