K2 Update: Maxut and Vassily Alone Against The Mountain!

More news from K2 this morning, again courtesy of K2Climb.net. The latest update from K2 is that all the climbers have retreated from their summit bids, save for Maxut Zhumayev, Vassiliy Pivtsov.

The two Kazakh climbing legends spent another night at C4 after efforts to find a way around the snow filled upper couloir proved fruitless. Russian Serguey Bogomolov was with them up until that point, but has elected to come down the mountain, rather than risking going for the summit. But Maxut and Vassily have gone back up and are now negotiating a tricky rock wall, in high winds now less.

Reports came in throughout the day that they had reached their high camp, established at 8300m, and were resting, out of the wind, but later they updated that they were back out in the elements and were continuing to work on fixing more ropes. The pair had 450m of rope, and once it is gone, theyโ€™ll be forced to free climb the rest of the wall to the summit. Part of their task today is to find a safe route to complete their climb. if that happens, they will return to high camp for one more night spent in the Death Zone, and then proceed up to the summit tomorrow.

It sounds like tough going for these two, but if anyone can face the elements and achieve their goal, itโ€™s Maxut and Vassily who have proven themselves time and again on the highest mountains on Earth. Still, they are treading into uncharted territory here, and nothing should be taken for granted. This is K2 after all, and until theyโ€™re down safely, there will always be some danger. Lets wish them the best and keep our fingers crossed for them.

Kraig Becker

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