K2 without toes: Santiago Quintero going for it next month

K2 Mountain

Santiago Quintero has a promise to keep

Following a new route (solo) in 2001 on Yeruaja (6634 meters) in Peru, Ecuador mountain guide Santiago Quintero lost his toes and parts of his feet in 2002 when he soloed the 3000 meter wall on the south face of Aconcagua. That didn’t stop him at all.

Climbing with a high-tech prosthesis made for him in Colombia, special socks and extra-wide boots, Quinetro did another 4 solos locally, including a new route on Antizana 5740m (5to,90) D+ and a number of 8000ers globally.

Repeat exposure to altitude with old frostbite is hard because it makes the limb much more susceptible to new injury. Santiago said the pain is bad but has got better with time.

Santiago always climbs without supplementary oxygen and last we heard from him he had topped out Shishapangma. His website lists Manaslu latest, in 2015.

In previous interviews, Santiago Quintero told us that he wants to show that there are no limits to what humans can do, and that in 10 years he hoped to have scaled K2. 7 years on, Santiago is enroute to K2 according to reports, obviously with a promise to keep.


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