Yesterday I posted a story about the controversy that flared up over Christian Stangl’s K2 summit claims while I was away last week. As I mentioned when I wrote that piece, I wasn’t the least bit surprised that there were questions over the validity of the climb considering the evidence that we had been given. Today, the issue is a moot point, as Stangl now admits he did not summit and that the photo was a fake all along.
ExWeb, as usual, has the full scoop on the story, which seems to get weirder and weirder even as the truth continues to emerge. ExWeb editors analyzed Stangl’s alleged summit photo and compared it to previous shots from the top of K2, and were able to discern some differences that seemed to indicate the Austrian’s photo was taken at a lower altitude. When they asked Stangl to comment one last time before they ran their latest article, which included the photo, he cracked, confessing to the faking the whole thing.
This is where things really start to get odd though, as Christian says that he “entered a trance-like state in which I really got convinced that I had reached the highest point” and that this confused state was brought on by “stress and fear of failure.” He then went on to say that the summit photo was shot at Camp 3, although some are still wondering if that is the full truth or not, as none of the other climbers or Sherpas saw footprints above Camp 1. This begs the question as to if the photo was even taken this year, as Stangl has been on K2 before, and reportedly reached as high as 8300 meters later year.
I’m sure most of you aren’t all that surprised by the revelation that the photo, and his elaborate story of the ascent, were all fake. There were questions about is claims almost from the time they were reported, and his very quick exit from Base Camp was also a bit on the odd side. I guess his confession and explanation today does clear up one thing however, as we all know that his spotting of a snow leopard had to have occurred while in this strange, confused state.
You have to hand it to him, Christian does have a vivid imagination!
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