First up, ExWeb is reporting that several climbers have topped out on K2, including Wilco van Rooijen, Cas van de Gevel, Gerard McDonnel and Pemba Gyalje Sherpa of the Norit Expedition. The details of the climb are still coming in, but it seems that the team made good time up the mountain, but may have stopped to assist another team. Rumor has it that a Serbian climber may have had an accident, although it’s still unclear as to the nature of that accident. I’m sure we’ll hear more about that later.
From there, the Norit team continued their climb, and reportedly reached the top at around 4 PM local time. At that point, there were said to be about 17 climbers approaching the summit, including “Gerard, one or two Italians, French Hugues and two Norwegians.” Further updates will fill in the blanks on these climbers too, but it’s beginning to look like it was a big day on K2.
Earlier today I received a nice e-mail from Juha Viitala from the OpenWorld.fl blog who passed along the news that Veikka Gustafsson, long time climbing partner of Ed Viesturs, had summitted Broad Peak, marking his 13th 8000m mountain. That leave him just Gasherbrum I before he joins the ranks of the men who have topped out on all of the 8-thousanders.
Congrats to Veikka and the Norit Team, and everyone who topped out on K2 today. Everyone get down and get home safe.
Update: Further news from K2, this time courtesy of Everest News, who are reporting that a climber has indeed fallen and died at the Bottleneck on K2. They also report that a Porter may have died as well. Obviously, reports are still coming in.
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