Breaking: Mingote Summits GII, “Parasites” on K2

Gasherbrum II climbers have left Camp 3 for the summit. As on Nanga Parbat two weeks ago, all are joining forces to increase their summit chances. Sergi Mingote’s progress can be followed live through his RaceTracker. Latest update: He reached the summit at 7am local time on July 18 (10pm ET, July 17) and has begun his descent. Presumably others are with him.

Sergi Mingote is currently descending from the summit of Gasherbrum II.


The atmosphere is radically different on K2, where climbers are starting to suffer from bitter cold, long hours at high altitude and, seemingly, a lack of cooperation.

Mike Horn and Fred Roux, climbing without supplementary O2, have been forced to abandon their summit bid. “At around 1am, with strong winds, snow drifts and the lack of oxygen … we decided to return back down the mountain for safety,” Horn reported. Both are safely back in Base Camp but are reportedly suffering minor frostbite on their faces and feet.

Tough conditions and minor frostbite have forced Mike Horn to call off his K2 attempt. “I will be back,” he promised from Base Camp.

Meanwhile, Sherpas working to open the route above Camp 4 are far from happy at the lack of collaboration. “Temba Bhote, Kasang Dawa, Chhangba Sherpa, Gesman Tamang and Lakpa Temba Sherpa fixed line above the Bottleneck up to 8,320m by noon today,” Seven Summit Treks reported. “We really got no support from the other agencies [on the Abruzzi Spur]. Our team did all the fixing … and I cannot understand why this trend goes on every year.” The Sherpas are now back in Camp 4, getting ready to leave for the top.

Mingma Sherpa, whose Imagine Nepal climbers have reached their own Camp 4 via the Cesen route and are replacing STT in opening the upper sections to the summit, goes further in his criticism. “It looks only Seven Summit is taking the initiative,” he vented. Despite their planned collaboration, many climbers arrived in K2 with no ropes to fix and no intention of helping.

“Going back to their country, they call themselves alpinists or they say in public that they never used oxygen or had any Sherpa or Pakistani support,” said Mingma Sherpa. “All these parasites on K2 are sleeping in tents and monitoring the route but they have no courage to go out and help the fixing team.”

Speaking of courage, Mingma remarked that some of the Sherpas who were caught in yesterday’s avalanche have resumed their rope-fixing duties.

Not every foreign climber is sitting on his hands. Louis Rousseau of Canada and Rick Allen of Scotland did volunteered to help and fixed ropes from Camp 4 to 8200-8300m, together with 5 Sherpas — probably 7 Summit treks’ team — as Rousseau’s wife told ExplorersWeb. The climbers reached the Traverse beyond the Bottleneck at 2-3pm, Pakistan time. (On a latter update, Rousseau and Allen reported they had turned around at 8200-8300 due to excess of snow and returned to Camp 4).

Most other climbers have just left Camp 4.

Imagine Nepal’s photo from K2 Base Camp, showing the the Cesen route.