The K2 season started out doubtful, got worse but ended on a happy note … for those who stayed. Thanks to an unusual spate of good weather, it appears that over 30 people made the summit, including at least seven not using supplemental oxygen. While impressive total summits, this is about a 30% summit rate given at least 100 climbers had K2 permits for the summer of 2019. Historically, 30 summits is becoming about average for K2. It appears there were no deaths on K2 this season.
Route Opens on July 24
Of course, Nirmal Purja‘s set the tone by summiting with his Sherpa team, including two from Seven Summits Treks on July 24, 2019. The team included Lakpa Dendi Sherpa, Lakpa Temba Sherpa, Nirmal Purja, Chhangba Sherpa and Gesman Tamang.
They stayed true when others turned back after triggering avalanches above the Bottleneck. These events caused most teams to abandoned their effort leaving only a few independents, Nims and Seven Summits Treks on the mountain in late July.
With high visibility, Alpenglow owner Adrian Ballinger plus Ecuador female climber Carla Perez summited after following Nims and team as they broke trail and fixed the route. They didn’t use supplemental O’s and climbed with Ecuadorian Topo Mena and Sherpas Pemba Gelje Sherpa and Namgye Sherpa in support. On the 24th, Iranian Hossein Bahmanyar also summited making the total at least 11 on July 24.
Carla Perez posted her gratitude:
A dream come true!!!! Very grateful with life for this beautiful gift of reaching the top of the K2 8611m., Considered as the savage mountain, the second highest mountain in the world without using supplemental oxygen. Thanks @adrianballinger for being an excellent partner in good and bad times, for the eternal enthusiasm you have and the energy you spread. Thanks to Topo, Pemba and Palden for each step with me, for your love and care. A summit like these is the result of many years of dedication, effort, preparation but above all to have the best team walking next to me This dream was made possible thanks to the support of @eddiebauer , this pioneering company in creating down clothes and celebrating its 100 years of existence decided to support me to achieve this dream. Now we celebrate together
Fast Followers on July 25
The following day, 19 climbers taking advantage of the boot path and fixed lines to the summit clients and support from Seven Summits Treks summited. Dawa Sherpa posted this update:
- Mr.Stafan lvanov Stafanov – Bulgaria 🇧🇬summited 2019/July/25/time 4:30am
- Mis.Klara- Czech republic 🇨🇿 summited 2019/July / 25 / time 405am
- Mr.herbert Diethelm Hellmuth – Germany 🇩🇪 summited 2019/July /25 / time 3a
- Mr.Waldemar dominik kowalewaski- 🇵🇱 summited 2019/ July/25/time 6:30am
- Mr.Johann Wenzl- Austria 🇦🇹 summited 2019/July/25/time 7:53am
- Mr.Moeses fiamoncini-Brazil 🇧🇷 summited 2019/ July/25/time 6:30am
- Mis.Karina Ragazzo Oliani -Brazil 🇧🇷 summited 2019/July/25/time 4:40am
- Mr.Maximo Gustavo- Argentina 🇦🇷 summited 2019/July/25/time 4:40am
- Mr.David Roeske – USA 🇺🇸 summited 2019/July/25/time 6:50am
- Mis.Anja Karena Blacha-Germany 🇩🇪 summited 2019/July/25/time 6:50am
- Mr.Sherpa Chhepal – Nepal 🇳🇵 summited 2019/July/25/time 4:30am
- Mr.Nima Thinduk sherpa – Nepal 🇳🇵summited 2019/July/25/time 405am
- Mr.Temba Bhote – Nepal 🇳🇵summited 2019/July/25/6:50am
- Mr.kasng dawa sherpa – Nepal 🇳🇵 summited 2019/July/25 /time 3am
- Mr.Dilawar – Pakistan 🇵🇰 summited 2019/July/25/time 7:10am
- Mr.Sazed – Pakistan 🇵🇰 summited 2019/July/25/time 6:30am
- Mr.Yousuf – Pakistan 🇵🇰 summited 2019/July/25/time 7:20am
- Mr.Ngima Dorchi Sherpa – Nepal 🇳🇵 summited 2019/25/time 4:40am
- Mr.Mingtemba Sherpa – Nepal 🇳🇵summited 2019/July/25/time 6:50a
Of those who summited not using supplemental Os other than Ballinger and Perez were German Anja Blacha (who also summited Broad Peak a few weeks earlier), Austrian Hans Wenzl, Brazilian Moeses Fiamoncini and American David Roeske who continued to show his strength at altitude. A few years ago he summited Cho Oyu and Everest, no Os, in the same month. This year he got K2 in three weeks total. Also summiting were Suhajda Szilárd without Os. His partner David Kline had to turn back with stomach issues.
Looking to summit all 14 of the 8000ers in seven months, Nirmal Purja, Mingma David Sherpa and Halung Dorchi (Sanu Sherpa) went on to summit Broad Peak two days after K2 taking his total to 11 in a mere 94 days!: Annapurna (April 23), Dhaulagiri, Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II, K2 and Broad Peak (July 26). Next for Nims are Manaslu, Cho Oyu and Sishapangma – all of which are considered very achievable although reaching the true summit of Shish is a serious and very dangerous climb. I assume he will climb these three by November 23, most likely in late September/early October to meet his goal of seven months.
Well done by all those , especially Nims and team. He showed uncommon courage and determination to open the route so others could follow. That said, just because there is a boot path and fixed line, K2 is still a tough Hill to climb. It’s steep, dangerous and unrelenting. Obviously almost a month of low winds and little precipitation helped but the avalanche danger was real injuring several Sherpas. Thankfully this was a rare year with no deaths on K2.
If there was any doubt that K2 is still a difficult climb, this year should prove that. Without Nims, there would have been zero summits. So I hope the people who did summit show gratitude where deserved, including to the mountain itself and not to the those who stayed at base camp or directed from back home.
K2 remains a peak that is deserved through climbing, not by paying.
Memories are Everything