The way to the summit!
For climbing Muztagh Ata you need at least 3 consecutive days of nice weather.
Up to camp3 (6769m) everything went as planned and we were confident to walk up to the summit on the next day. We felt fit and well in this altitude, melted another liter of water on our gas stove and got ready for "bed". From about 9pm on, we started hearing the noise of snowflakes on our tent roof. It didn't stop until the morning and when we looked out, we found ourselves in 40cm of fresh powder.
We decided to get up and try to break the trail of the last 800 meters missing. After two hours of exhausting hiking, Paul took the chance to fly off the mountain, just before bad weather came in.
Filip and Matthias tried to go further, but after 5 hours and only 250 meters in elevation made, they found themselves in complete white out. Quite exhausted and some steps above the 7000 meter benchmark, they had to ask themselves: "What are we doing here?"
So they turned back, nearly getting lost in the cloud, packing the tents and meeting up with Paul in Basecamp.
We are proud to have made this mountain up to where we have been without the help of any porters setting up the camps. We learned a lot on the way up: about high altitude climbing, about tourism and alpinism, and last but never the least about ourselves.