Karakorum 2010: Christian Stangl Gives Details on K2 Summit

As usual, Explorers Web has some details on Christian Stangl’s K2 summit last week. As was reported on Friday, the Austrian mountaineer claimed the only successful climb of the mountain this season following a 70-hour alpine style solo push to the top. At the time, we didn’t know much other than that Christian has summitted, with a promise of more info to come. Turns out it was quite the ordeal.

According to ExWeb, Christian initially set out at 5 PM local time on Tuesday, going up the Abruzzi Spur. He pushed on until he reached Camp 3, where he reports that the weather cleared as forecasts had predicted. On the route up it had snowed for most of the time, and falling rocks made things difficult, but the clear weather gave him incentive to push forward.

At 10 AM on Thursday Stangl finally reached the top of K2, a mountain that he says that he has spent four and a half months on over the past three years, and has seen only one good day. That day came last week when he topped out. After staying just long enough to get some photos and take in the view, he immediately turned around and started back down, with the weather already starting to change. Christian says that the visibility wasn’t very good on his descent.

He continued his descent all through the day on Thursday and well into the night, finally stopping for rest beneath a large rock at around mid-night. He slept for about four hours, and awoke to see a large cat standing in front of him. The climber could barely believe his eyes, but when he reported the sighting back in BC, they told him it was likely a snow leopard. In my opinion, that makes him twice blessed, he reached the summit of K2, and caught a glimpse of the exceedingly rare snow leopard too!

After he woke up, Christian continued his descent, getting back to Base Camp on Friday morning. He then proceeded to sleep for 12-hours straight, before packing up and heading out of BC. He’s now trekking back to Skardu and hopes to head home as soon as possible. He says that he also intends to make a more detailed report of the climb upon his return home, but that it was one of the most difficult things that he has ever done, and that if all mountains were like this one, he’d stop climbing immediately.

Check out the ExWeb article for more details, but it sounds like it was an incredibly challenging and lonely climb for Stangl. It took all of his stamina to summit, and now he just wants to put K2 behind him. I don’t think he’ll be planning on making a repeat performance any time soon.

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13 thoughts on “Karakorum 2010: Christian Stangl Gives Details on K2 Summit”

  1. The climber could barely believe his eyes, but when he reported the sighting back in BC, they told him it was likely a snow leopard. In my opinion, that makes him twice blessed, he reached the summit of K2, and caught a glimpse of the exceedingly rare snow leopard too!

    A snow leopard at that high altitude? Probably not!

    Possible, but not likely. What would a snow leopard eat at that altitude, other than dead climbers? My money is on a hallucination, especially after such a long summit push.

    After 70 hours, I'd probably start seeing pink elephants, flying pigs, and Keebler Elves!

  2. Hard to say what altitude he was at when he elected to take his nap. It is possible. After tall, they've found the remains of a lion high on Kilimanjaro before, which is REALLY odd.

    But I wouldn't discount it being a hallucination either. Sleep depravation does weird things tot he mind.

  3. That photo is not absolute proof. It could have been taken from the shoulder. We need the traditonal view photo showing the summit. Surely he took that. If not, it can't be counted conclusively.

  4. I agree Brent, and I'm sure we'll see that photo eventually, or at least I'd expect to see it as well. I thought the same thing when I saw this image.

    Christian has a great reputation in the community, so he is receiving the benefit of the doubt at the moment, but I think his summit report will hold more details once he can give it fully, hopefully with other photos.

  5. He said he saw a snow leopard. Possible I suppose, but there's no prey for it up there or is there. Anyone ever seen animals on K2. Woudl they eat dead climbers?

  6. It is possible, although it does seem unlikely. Still, those cats do go high on the mountain, and you just never know.

    As far as prey goes, not sure what would be up there, but the big cats prefer fresh kills, so eating dead climbers is unlikley.

  7. This picture is not an absolute proof but it really looks like it has been taken from the summit :

    1. The moutain in background in left is Chogolisa and this view of Chogolisa is obviously from K2. Compare with :

    http://www.louisrousseau.com/images/Karakoram%20from%20K2.jpg

    Note that Chogolisa's top is hidden by clouds in Christian's pic.

    2. Now, here's what you can see from the top of K2 when you're looking at Chogolisa (from Google Earth) :

    http://yfrog.com/1qpicfromsummitj

    Now, just add Christian's face (and compare with his own summit pic) :

    http://yfrog.com/0lpicfromsummit2j

  8. So he now won't provide proof because he says he has nothing to prove. That's what all liars say. It's what any phsycologist will tell you.
    He said he took photo(s), really… where are they? Did the snow leopard delete them?
    I now think that the snow leopard shows his mental state at the time. he dreamed it all up.

    Brent

  9. Yes! Stangl's speed climbs, ALSO, have been challenged by Dan Howitt renowned multi-record-holder on MT's Rainier Adams Shasta Hood
    Howitt has been challenging Stangl for years as likely a fraud!

    NOW IT'S SO

    http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=37578
    "SUMMIT PHOTO" admitted by Stangl as fraudulent!
    http://www.planetmountain.com/img/2/5718.jpg
    CHAD KELLOGG!!!!
    also,
    here Chad KELLOGG's Khan Tengri "summit photo". NO SUMMIT SHOWN, NO LAND SHOWN, NO MOUNTAIN FEATURES.
    http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=3&nav=messages&webtag=ab-climbing&tid=161

    Pictures of his two sole ''summit'' photos:
    http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/4646/khan009lt8.jpg
    http://img265.imageshack.us/img265/2391/khan010zn6.jpg

    http://www.chadkellogg.com/galleries/khan_tengri/pages/Khan010.htm
    http://www.chadkellogg.com/galleries/khan_tengri/pages/Khan009.htm

    Dear Chad: Please leave the sport, you're wholly disgraceful.

  10. THE LESSON LEARNED, for everyone, Stangl and Chad Kellogg and Mike Gauthier?

    TO NOT PROVIDE SUMMIT PHOTOS.

    Remember-
    Take advantage of the honor code 100%. No summit photos, no photos anywhere, no witnesses. Keep it 100% secret. Solo, unsupported, no one around. That's how to get a record! INVOKE the honor code! Don't even try to provide summit photos!

    Thanks! Looking forward to more records.

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