The image proof: Stangl did not summit K2

Posted: Sep 07, 2010 02:18 pm EDT

The only K2 summit claimed this season, by Christian Stangl, was at stake since it was announced: fellow climbers in BC suspected the Austrian skyrunner had faked the entire climb.

ExplorersWeb published a complete recount of events that included all versions--including Stangl's. Shortly after, several climbers posted emails discussing the summit picture provided by Stangl and compared it with other images shot by previous expeditions on the top of K2.

Yesterday, we were prepared to post an update proving that the self-portrait that Christian claimed to have shot on K2 summit had actually been taken in C3. Prior to publishing though, Stangl was asked for comments one last time. Apparently, the new piece of evicence was too much for the Austrian, who broke down and spilled the truth.

Stangl confessed on earlier today that he faked his feat in a "state of coma due to stress and fear of failure." reported. "During the latest push, I entered a trance-like state in which I was really convinced that I had reached the highest point."

He now states the supposed summit pic was taken at C3 (as ExplorersWeb had pointed out to him the previous day) and not on top. The fact is right now, it is not yet clear where and, most of all, when the image was shot. Stangl attempted K2 in 2008 and 2009, reportedly reaching 8,300 meters last year.

According to denounced fellow climbers, there were no tracks seen above C1, also no tent or any piece of gear had been touched beyond ABC. Zsolt Torok and a group of Sherpas found inside a tent his sleeping bag, supplies and a book cached behind a rock near ABC.

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Stangl's pic (right) compared to a K2 C3 shot published in Jim Haberls "K2, Dreams & Reality and provided by Jochen Hemmleb. Image details compiled by ExplorersWeb.
Image by Haberl - Stangl
Christian's self portrait claimed as K2 summit picture.
Image by Christian Stangl courtesy Christian Stangl, SOURCE
Supplies and gear cached by Stangl near K2 ABC.
Image by Zsolt Torok courtesy Zsolt Torok, SOURCE