Skiing K2

Another great story today from Stephen Regenold, better known as the Gear Junkie, who takes a look at extreme skiing in the Karakorum range, and on K2 in particular, a mountain that he calls a “pyramid of ice and stone”.

In August of this year, Dave Watson, a ski guide and climber, went up K2 in the traditional fashion, using ropes and ice axes. It was going back down that was unusual. Like every other team on the mountain this year, he and his partners would not reach the summit, abandoning their attempt 500 feet below the top. Watson had his skis with him however, and elected to make his descent on the gear that he had worked so hard to bring up the mountain.

What follows in the story is an amazing tale of a guy who skied the face of K2, and even successfully navigated his way through the Bottleneck, which is considered one of the most challenging technical feats in high altitude mountaineering and skiing. The author describes the epic proportions of this descent in ways that will give you vertigo just reading about them, and you can’t help but wonder how scary this was for Watson himself.

This is a well written story that shouldn’t be missed. Great stuff!

Kraig Becker

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