American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, K2, South-Southeast Spur Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988

K2, South-Southeast Spur Attempt. Jaime Alonso, Txema Cámera, Ramón Portilla, Juanjo Sebastián, Koldo Tapia, Martín Zabaleta, Sirdar Abdul Karin and I set up Base Camp on the Godwin Austen Glacier at the foot of the south face of K2 on July 14. We attacked K2 by the rocky south-southeast spur (the route pioneered by Yugoslav Tomo Cesen in 1987). Because of the steepness of the route, we could not establish the next camp until we got to 7200 meters, where we dug a snow cave. We fixed rope up to this Camp I. Hampered by bad weather, we remained stuck in Base Camp for several weeks. From Camp I we continued alpine-style to the shoulder, where our route joined the Abruzzi Ridge. We placed two tents for Camp II at 7900 meters, where we were joined by members of the Japanese-Pakistani expedition, which had been climbing the Abruzzi Ridge. August 23 dawned clear. Eight of us, San Sebastián, Zabaleta, Portilla, Abdul Karim and I of our expedition and Pakistani Sher Khan and Japanese Akira Suzuki and Fumihide Saito set out and climbed the Bottleneck to 8350 meters. Suddenly it clouded in and we were enveloped in a storm of wind and snow. We turned back and groped our way back down to Camp II, where we became painfully aware that Suzuki had disappeared on the descent. Two of our group descended the Abruzzi Ridge to Base Camp that same day. The rest of us bivouacked, but since the weather was no better in the morning, we all descended to Base Camp. Suzuki’s body was found days later at the foot of the south-southeast face.

Alberto Posada, Orhi Mendi, Federación Vasca de Montaña, Spain

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.