They’ve been a long time coming this season, but at long last teams are summitting on K2! K2Climb.net has all the latest info, starting with this story about the Russian Kuban Team which topped out via the Abruzzi Route at 3:30 PM local time. Nikolay Kadoshnikov, Victor Afanasyev, Aleksander Eliseev, and Roman Gubanov were the four climbers on the team that became the first to reach the top of K2 this season. They left C4 at around 1 AM this morning, and after 14 hours of climbing, finally reached the summit.
K2 is notoriously stingy when it comes to allowing climbers to it’s summit. Last year, only four climbers managed the feat, and in 2002, 2003, and 2005 no one made it up. But this year looks to be different, as word is coming in that still more climbers have summitted. Americans Chris Warner and Bruce Normand, followed shortly there after by Don Bowie, of the Shared Summits Team were amongst the others who managed to make it. It also appears that members of the Korean team on the Abruzzi Spur have also summitted. Libor Uher of the Czech K2/Broad Peak Team topped out in solo fashion along the Cesen Route as well. Simply a remarkable feat. We also have word that Josef Lukas skied the slopes of K2 from about 6200m all the way down to BC, in my mind a crazy feat! 😉
Many of the climbers were still making their way back down from the summit when the reports came in. Lets keep our fingers crossed that they arrive back safe and sound. As many you probably already know, K2 is extremely unforgiving on the descent, and the summit is only half-way home.
Congrats to all the summiteers on a job well done! Now finish the job and get down safe!