Yesterday I reported that the Russian team on the West Face of K2 had, at long last, finally conquered that unclimbed route, and put Andrew Mariev and Vadim Popovich on the summit. It was a long, hard climb for the team, who showed endurance, perseverance, and patience throughout the long Karakorum season. At the time, I noted that there were nine other climbers in C6 and 7 waiting for their chance to stand on top as well, and I hoped that they would all get to share in that experience, and now, it looks like they did!
K2Climb.net is reporting this morning that all nine climbers have now reached the top of K2. Nickolay Totmjanin, Alexey Bolotov, Gleb Sokolov, Eugeny Vinogradsky, Victor Volodin, Gennady Kirievsky, Vitaly Gorelik, Pavel Shabalin and Iljas Tukhvatullin all managed to top out at some point today, and I’m sure it was an amazing, gratifying experience to all of them. Months of preparation and weeks on the mountain finally paid off. It should be also noted that they all summitted without the use of supplemental oxygen, making their accomplishment all the more impressive.
The team is now working it’s way back down the mountain, where they’ll rest up in the high camps before completing their descent. Mariev and Popovich, the first two to complete the route, have already begun their descent back to BC and should be safely down soon. If the weather holds, the rest of the team should follow them over the course of the next day or two.
Congratulations to the entire team on an amazing effort. I’m so glad that they all got to share in the summit.