Climbing.com the website for Climbing magazine has posted an excellent preview of the upcoming climbing season on K2. As things start to wind down on Everest, the Karakorum season will be starting to warm up.
There will be four teams gunning for the summit on K2 this year, three of which will be climbing alpine style, with small teams. None of the four intend to use supplemental oxygen. Two teams will challenge the West Face, which remains mostly unclimbed. One of those teams is a large Russian expedition which will lay siege to the mountain, while Peter Hámor, Dodo Kopold, and Piotr Morawski will go light and fast having recently topped out on Nanga Parbat and still being acclimatized for high elevation.
Kazakhs Denis Urubko and Serguey Samoilov will be looking to climb the North Face, on a route that has never been attempted. They’ll be going up an 11,000 foot vertical face that that is amongst the most challenging big wall climbs anywhere in the World. The North Face remains largely unexplored and few climbers have even scouted the area.
Finally, on the South side, Americans Bill Pierson and Fabrizio Zangrilli will be attempting a new route themselves, going up the 9500 foot wall before merging with The Magic Line route that is amongst the more direct climbs on the mountain.
K2 remains one of the more dangerous climbs amongst the 8000m peaks. Not many climbers actually find themselves on the summit, and of those that do, nearly half perish on the descent. The mountain is a mere 240 meters shorter than Everest, and yet it is orders of magnitude more difficult to climb. Fortunately, the teams that are attempting K2 are all seasoned pros, with plenty of high altitude experience. I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about these climbers as we get closer to the Karakorum season, but I’ll take this opportunity to wish them all luck now.
Thanks to Jason over at The Adventurist for passing this one on. He has his hands full with all the Everest news at the moment, so if you’re looking for the latest, be sure to head over to his site and catch-up.
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