After Nims Purjal and his four Nepalese companions – as reported – had broken the summit spell on K2 on Wednesday morning local time in Pakistan, fixing ropes up to the highest point at 8,611 meters, more than 20 more summit successes were reported yesterday and today. According to the Nepalese expedition operator “Seven Summit Treks” (SST), 19 members of their team reached the top today. According to SST, four of them did it without bottled oxygen, said SST: German Anja Blacha, Austrian Hans Wenzl, Brazilian Moeses Fiamoncini and American David Roeske.
Wenzl’s ninth 8000er without breathing mask, Blachas first
For the 48-year-old Wenzl, K2 was already the ninth eight-thousander he scaled without breathing mask. He last stood on Mount Everest in 2017. Previously he scaled Broad Peak, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum I and II, Manaslu, Cho Oyu and Makalu. In 2005 he also reached the 8,008-meter-high Shishapangma Central Peak, which is 19 meters lower than the main peak.
First German woman on K2
Anja Blacha is the first German woman to scale K2 – and she did it without bottled oxygen. At the beginning of July she had already summited Broad Peak without breathing mask. The 28-year-old, who was born in the town of Bielefeld and now lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland, scaled Mount Everest, her first eight-thousander, in 2017 with bottled oxygen. Only two years earlier she had begun mountaineering at great heights. In the meantime she has also completed her collection of the “Seven Summits”, the highest mountain of all continents.
In the third run
Herbert Hellmuth was among those who today reached the summit of K2 with bottled oxygen. After Manaslu (in 2011), Everest (in 2013) and Kangchenjunga (in 2018), it was the fourth eight-thousander success of the 50-year-old climber from the German town of Bamberg. In his first two attempts in 2015 and 2016, Herbert had had to turn around at above 7,000 meters each.
According to the chronicler Eberhard Jurgalski, Herbert and Anja were the seventh and eighth Germans to reach the summit of the world’s second highest mountain. Most recently, 25 years ago, in 1994, three German climbers had summited K2: Ralf Dujmovits, Michael (Michi) Wärthl and Axel Schlönvogt. The first German to climb K2 was Michael (Michl) Dacher, who climbed with South Tyrolean Reinhold Messner in 1979. In 1993 Reinmar Joswig and Peter Mezger reached the highest point at 8,611 meters.