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Asia, Chinese Karakoram, K2 Attempt, 1991

K2 attempt, 1991. After a long approach from Pakistan via Kashgar and Sughet Jangal, we eventually reached the tongue of the K2 Glacier on May 22, 1991. The camels withdrew and we established Depot Camp. We were Romano Benet, Alberto Busattini, Filippo Sala, Osvaldo Stoffie, Luciano Vuerich and I as leader. We carried loads the 20 kilometers up the K2 Glacier to Base Camp at 4900 meters. It took five round-trips for each member. For two days we were helped by six camel drivers to an intermediate camp halfway up the glacier. On July 3, we set up Base Camp. From then on, we never had more than three days of continuous stable weather. Despite this, we started the climb on July 4. On July 9, we set up Camp I at 5650 meters beneath a sérac in the middle of the slope, placing 400 meters of fixed rope. On July 17, we established Camp II at 6500 meters, fixing 300 meters of rope, some of it old rope, on slopes up to 70°. On July 18, we pushed to 7100 meters, but the umteenth storm forced us back to Base Camp. We decided to continue alpine-style. Benet, Busattini and Sala left Base Camp on July 30 and reached Camp II the following day, where the weather held them up for a day. On August 2, they climbed to 7250 meters and the next day to 7800 meters. On August 4, they continued up the ridge to an uncomfortable bivouac at 8200 meters, but they were forced back by a snowstorm. On August 8, Stoffie and I departed for another summit bid, but we were held up by the weather at Camp I and were forced into a final retreat.

Fabio Agostinis, Club Alpino Italiano