K2 north pillar summiteers safely back!

K2 north pillar summiteers safely back!

Posted: Aug 25, 2011 08:54 am EDT

(Angela Benavides) After an amazing climb and the long descent, the international K2 north pillar team is safely back down. Gerlinde, Maxut, Vassiliy and Darek reached the end of the glacier in the morning today.

"Only now we allow ourselves to to shake hands and celebrate," Maxut Zhumayev told his home team.

By summitting K2 on Aug 23 (eds note: correction from earlier stated Aug 22), Kazakhs Maxut and Vassiliy have completed their 14x8000ers quest, and so has Gerlinde, who has also become the first woman to summit all 14 without supplementary O2. It has taken several attempts for the three of them and not a few bitter moments. The struggle has finally paid off though.

Accompanied by Ralf and Tommy (who came up to greet them), they are on their way back to BC and, probably, further down to Chinese BC, where a camel caravan is already waiting for them.

All going according to plan, the expedition may head back for home tomorrow.

Links to K2 north pillar 2011 climbers:

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner
Ralf's Amical
Maxut Zhumayev

#Mountaineering #topstory

On arrival at base camp, Gerlinde wrote, "the mountain seems very different from this side – simply new."
Image by Ralf Dujmovits courtesy Ralf Dujmovits/National Geographic, SOURCE