AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Pakistan, K2, Attempt from the West and Ascent from the South

K2, Attempt from the West and Ascent from the South. Poles Wojciech Kurtyka, Krzysztof Wielicki and I spent three and a half weeks of hard work on the Sickle on the west side of K2 before we abandoned the effort as being too dangerous. We then redirected our efforts to the Cesen route which joins the Abruzzi Ridge below the Shoulder on the south side. Although Kurtyka had chosen to remain in our camp on the Shoulder at 7800 meters that day, on July 9 at 4:20 P.M. Wielicki and I turned back at about 8590 meters, some 20 meters below the summit of K2 in very deep snow. The weather was clear, cold, calm, with extraordinary views. We felt it wiser to use the remaining light to begin our long descent. We reached the tent at 1:30 A.M., 21½ hours after setting off. Accompanying us were Finn Veikka Gustafsson, New Zealander Rob Hall, who had come up the Abruzzi Ridge, and Australian Michael Groom, who had come up behind us on the Cesen route along with Americans Steve Untch and David Bridges. Hall, who was the only one of the five on oxygen, pushed on alone to the summit, which he reached at 4:45 P.M. We all descended to the Shoulder together. On the 10th, we three descended rapidly to Base Camp. Hall, Gustafsson and Groom returned via the Abruzzi a day later. Gustafsson and Hall were members of German Ralf Dujmovits’ Amical Alpin expedition. Bridges was the leader of the expedition which included Untch and Groom.

Carlos Buhler