K2 2018 Summer Coverage: First K2 Ski Descent!

Sunday 22 July 2018 saw another 32 summits on K2 taking the total for 2018 to 63, what I believe is the biggest year ever for the world’s second highest peak. Also, Andrzej Bargiel skied the entire descent taking a quite curious routing down to avoid the highly technical sections like the Black Pyramid and House Chimney on the Abruzzi Spur.

Ski descent

Andrzej Bargiel is reported to have connected four routes on the descent: Abruzzi Rib, the Česen the Messner variant and the Kukuczka-Piotrowski routes. He skied from the summit to the High Camp at 25,800’/7800m before being forced to wait out low visibility for about an hour. Once the route cleared, he continued down the traditional Abruzzi to Camp 3 at 23,760’/7200m where the route merges with the Česen. He took that lower and then a short traverse Messner used aptly called the Messner variant before connecting to the Kukuczka-Piotrowski. He summited Sunday, 22nd July at 11:30am and reached the Base Camp at around 7:30pm local time.

The 30 year-old had previously skied Broad Peak in 2015, from the central peak of Shishapangma in 2013 and Manaslu in 2014. There have been previous ski attempts on K2 including in 2009 by David Watson who skied the Bottleneck, and in 2010 by Fredrik Eriksson and finally by Luis Stitsinger in 2011. The original attempt was in 2001 by Hans Kammerlander, who skied only 1300 feet/400-meters before abandoning his attempt to save a Korean who was in trouble.

K2 Ski descent route  by Andrzej Bargiel
Andrzej Bargiel 2018 K2 Ski descent

Japanese and Commercial Summits!

Huge congratulations to the Japanese team who summited:

Mr.Takashi Higashiyama(37)
Mr.Masaaki Yusa(55)
Ms.Kyoko Hayashi(45)
Mr.Kojiro Watanabe(41)
Mr.Masato Iizawa(32)
Mr.Atsushi Taguchi(30)
Mr. Fazal Ali shimshal (HAP)
Mr. Sarbaz from Aliabad (HAP)

And Madison Mountaineering announced, “We had a great day, just wonderful weather up high, no wind, great team of climbers, Sherpa, and guides. We had a total of 8 clients on top, 3 guides, 9 Nepali Sherpas, and 4 Pakistani high altitude porters. Great day!” No names were posted but my friend David Liano was one of them.

Multiple K2 Summits

With this year’s success, there are a number of climbers who have achieved multiple K2 summits. They include:

  • Mr.Fazal Ali shimshal (45) succeeded reaching the summit of K2 third time !!
  • Garett Madison with two summits, 2014 and 2018
  • Dawa Sangay Sherpa
  • Ngima Dorchi Sherpa
  • Chhiji Norbu Sherpa
  • Lakpa Temba Sherpa

Also of note, Mexican Viridiana Alvarez became the first Latin American female to summit K2.

Broad Peak Summits

Mingma G Sherpa, who thought he had summited BP last year but later felt it was the fore-summit returned this year to make sure he got the absolute top, and he did according to this post, “Today we 5 members from my team (IMAGINE NEPAL) and 3 other individual from Laila peak team made broad peak summit. will update with summit2018 and fore summit 2017 once i’m back to good internet.”

Rick Allen Rescue Drone Footage

This report from the BBC show the moment a drone flown by Bartek Bargiel spotted Rick Allen on Broad Peak. As you recall, he was believed dead by his teammates until he was spotted from base camp through a telescope. Knowing that Bartek was using the drone to film his brother’s ski  descent, Bartek was asked to fly his drone over the area that Allen was believed to be in and the rest is history. Enjoy!

Still More Summit Attempts on K2

Sergi Mingote 3×8000 Solidary Project is headed up today. He is attempting Everest, Kangachunga and K2 all in one year. Also on their summit push are Fredrik Sträng and David Roeske.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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4 thoughts on “K2 2018 Summer Coverage: First K2 Ski Descent!

  1. Alan,

    I am pretty sure Dave Watsons ski attempt was not from the summit in 2009, rather from the bottleneck. Check his instagram if you want more proof.

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