Karakoram 2011: International Team Safely Off K2


The squad of international climbers who successfully climbed K2 earlier this week are now safely down the mountain and making their way to Base Camp. According to a dispatch posted on Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner’s website, Ralf Dujmovits and Tommy Henrich climbed up to their “Deposit Camp” today to meet Gerlinde, and her compatriots Maxut Zumayev, Vassiliy Pivtsov, and Darek Zaluski. The six teammates then continued down the mountain to BC, and eventually the Chinese Base Camp, where a team of porters were waiting to load the remaining gear on camels for the trek out. That trek will begin tomorrow, and the entire team will soon be back in civilization once again.

According to Max, the four summiteers didn’t truly celebrate their achievement until they were officially back down the mountain. As most mountaineers will tell you, the summit is only half-way to the finish line, and K2 is a particularly treacherous peak on the descent as well as the climb. Fortunately, the team reached Base Camp without any real problems, and they are now resting up and preparing for the journey home.

Max also noted that he and Vassiliy received a call from the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Karim Masimov, to personally congratulate them, but they were still on the mountain at the time. Ralf took the call and passed on the sentiments to the two Kazakh climbers.

Now that everyone is down and safe, I want to send one more round of congratulations to the team. They worked hard and were very patient, and in the end their persistence paid off, and they were able to climb the toughest mountain in the world. It is an amazing accomplishment and they’ve earned every bit of rest and relaxation that they’ve got coming to them. Well done!

Kraig Becker