Bargiel K2-Bound after Abandoning Gasherbrum II

Bargiel (right) and Golab at Gasherbrum II Base Camp. Photo: Marek Ogien

Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel is currently in the Karakorum to try to become the first person to complete a ski descent of K2.

Before taking on this ambitious target, Bargiel teamed up with Polish climber Janusz Golab to acclimatize by climbing and skiing down Gasherbrum II, the lowest and most accessible of the 8000m peaks in the Karakorum. In 2012, Golab and fellow Pole Adam Bielecki became the first to summit Gasherbrum I in winter.

Gasherbrum II shrouded in cloud. Photo: Andrzej Bargiel

Upon leaving the last outpost of Skardu three weeks ago, Bargiel and Golab took jeeps to a small village called Askole, where they continued on foot past notable landmarks such as the Trango Towers and across the Baltoro Glacier.

They arrived at Gasherbrum II Base Camp on June 25, with clear weather and reasonable temperatures (-10 C).

Gasherbrum II Basecamp. Photo: Andrzej Bargiel

Two days later, the pair headed up to Camp 1 to acclimatize. They planned to move up to Camp 2 the following day, but heavy snowfall forced them back to Base Camp. The weather continued poor the following week, so on July 4 they decided to abandon Gasherbrum II and head to K2 for Bargiel’s primary goal of the season.

Bargiel hiking out of Gasherbrum II Base Camp. Photo: Andrzej Bargiel

About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash Routen is an outdoor and adventure writer from the UK specialising in adventurous travel and expeditions, such as mountaineering, polar travel, and ocean crossings. Ash juggles a day job as a public health scientist with this second career in outdoor writing.

His words have featured in national newspapers, national and international outdoor and adventure magazines, and various websites. Bylines include Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Outside Magazine, Rock and Ice, and Red Bull.

Alongside writing, Ash also spends some time undertaking his own adventures, and completed a 640 km foot crossing of a frozen Lake Baikal in 2018. His next arctic journey is a 700 km trek along the coast of Baffin Island in Canada.


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