Soon the season’s first summit successes on K2?


The summit wave on K2 is approaching. The weather at the second highest mountain on earth is unusually stable this summer. From tomorrow, Thursday, it could get crowded at the highest point at 8,611 meters. About 120 climbers are on their way, about half of them have chosen the normal route via the Abruzzi Spur, the Southeast Ridge, the other half the Basque route (often also called Cesen route) via the South-Southeast Ridge. Above the “Shoulder”at about 8000 meters, the two routes come together.

Passed off smoothly

At least all those who climb with bottled oxygen want to reach the summit already now. The original schedule has been postponed by one day due to an incident. Five Sherpas of the Nepalese operator “Seven Summit Treks”, who wanted to fix ropes at the “Bottleneck”, a narrow couloir at about 8,200 meters, got into a small avalanche yesterday and were swept down the slope about 50 meters. Apart from a few scratches, nothing happened to them. The Sherpas returned to Camp 4 to climb up again today.

Thank God the incident passed off smoothly. It brought back bad memories of the tragedy in summer 2008, when a total of eleven climbers had lost their lives in the summit area of K2 within two days. Most of them were caught in ice avalanches at the bottleneck.

Update 3.30 pm: The Nepalese expedition leader Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, whose “Imagine Nepal” team reached Camp 4 today, complains about “parasite climbers” on K2 who do not participate in the rope fixing, “play hide and seek”, but use the fixed ropes: “By the way, going back to their countries, they call themselves alpinists or they just give speech in public that they never used oxygen or never had any Sherpa or Pakistani climbers’ support.“

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