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