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Asia, Pakistan, K2 Attempt

K2 Attempt. Gary Ball and I received permission to climb the Abruzzi Spur of K2 in May due to the late cancellation of another team. We arrived at Base Camp in early July and established just one fixed camp at 6800 meters above House’s Chimney. During the climb we benefited from fixed rope left by Sigi Hupfauer’s German expedition, but also climbed on rope in the Black Pyramid which we had fixed three years earlier! The 1990 clean-up expedition, which did a marvelous job of tidying up Base Camp, did little to improve our safety as we encountered many ropes and anchors which had simply been cut and not removed. We climbed alone on the route for five weeks, indeed a rare pleasure despite the usual intermittent K2 weather. After bivouacking at 7300 and 7500 meters, we reached the edge of the shoulder at 7600 meters on August 15 but retreated in deep snow, concerned about the threat of avalanches from the unstable snow pack.

Robert Hall, New Zealand Alpine Club