Historic Day on K2

Today, K2 had 31 climbers on its lofty summit, more than it has ever had in a single day, according to most sources. It exceeded the previous confirmed high of 28 from 2012, although one site reports that July 26, 2014 topped even today, with 33 summits. To be confirmed…

Among today’s successes is a team led by the formidable Chhang Dawa Sherpa, who has climbed all the 8,000’ers and scaled K2 itself seven times. With good conditions on their side and a strong leader at the helm, the international medley of climbers from China, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Japan, Ireland, Switzerland and Mexico have now begun their descent.

The Madison team’s route. Photo: Garrett Madison

As of now, there are a further seven teams dispersed between C3 and 4. Unfortunately, thick clouds during the past four days have forced these later teams to remain longer at debilitating altitudes than planned. However, they have now safely arrived at C4, have rested, refueled and are continuing their ascent tonight in clear conditions. They expect to reach the summit by 9am tomorrow, if the weather holds.

Madison team at C3. Photo: Garrett Madison

The other teams en route include a Japanese expedition at C3 and a Pakistani team moving on to C4. Their exhausting stay at altitude has put a temporary hold on their immediate summit ambitions, but spirits remain high that they can recover in time to join this season’s many other K2 successes.