Zangerl and Larcher Also Free Climb Trango Route; Plus: Romanian Survives

Two days after Edu Marin made just the second free climb of Trango Tower’s Eternal Flame route, Barbara Zangerl of Austria and Jacopo Larcher of Italy also succeeded.

They started on July 18 and finished on July 23, just 48 hours after Marin. While on the Snow Ledge, they even met Edu Marin, his father, and brother.

Zangerl and Larcher alternated the lead throughout the climb. However, the four most difficult pitches (7c and 7c+), they freed simultaneously.

Like Edu Marin, the pair had unsuccessfully attempted Eternal Flame last year. This year, both teams succeeded.

Their climb could even have been a flash ascent, had they not free climbed the first two pitches one year ago.

“A dream come true,” said Zangerl and Larcher after the climb. “We are both exhausted and baked by the sun, but we’re super happy to have climbed this iconic line, without any falls.”

The two climbers sitting on rocky ground in Base Camp

Barbara Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher at Nameless Tower. Photo: Paolo Sartori


K2 — bad weather

There remain a few independent groups that are about to climb K2.  Most are small teams without either bottled O2 or high-altitude porters.

Three Italian guides, Francois Cazzanelli, Pietro Picco, and Jerome Perruquet, are already waiting in Camp 2, after their ascents of Nanga Parbat and Broad Peak. Marco Camandona reports that Emrik Favre, the leader of the expedition, had to leave, but that he, Camandona, would stay at Base Camp to support his three companions.

Rosa Fernandez of Spain spent last night in Camp 1 but was coughing so hard that she couldn’t sleep. Today, she woke up weak and exhausted and decided to end her K2 expedition.

A cloudy, windy, almost black and white view of K2

K2. Photo: Rosa Fernandez


On July 21, Santiago Quintero of Ecuador finished his acclimatization up to 7,700m.  Then he descended to Base Camp to wait for the summit push. He hopes to top out on July 27. Quintero commented that when he was acclimatizing, everybody around him was breathing from oxygen bottles in order to ascend.

We are also waiting for news from a few others climbers, such as Flor Cuenca of Peru. She also plans to summit on July 27.

Peruvian climber at the door of her colorful Base Camp tent

Flor Cuenca. Photo: Flor Cuenca


Rescued Romanian survives

As we previously reported, a Romanian was rescued on Broad Peak when some climbers found him comatose at about 7,800m after a night outside without gloves.  The rescuers aborted their summit push to try to save him.

Several groups worked together to help the ailing Romanian, known only as George, descend. (His last name may be Badea). Finally, climbers from the Ochomiles Chile team managed to lower him all the way to Base Camp.

Rescuers sitting in snow celebrate successful rescue

The Chilean team at Base Camp, after the rescue of the Romanian climber. Photo: Ochomiles Chile


Thanks to everyone’s rescue efforts, the victim survived and has since recovered. Carlos Espinosa of Ochomiles Chile told Explorersweb that the Romanian has already left Base Camp on his own. He should arrive at Goro II today and Askole in another two or three days.

“This is a basic part of mountaineering, to help each other in the mountains,” Espinosa said.

In the meantime, the identity of the English climber who fell to his death on Broad Peak has become public. The British Royal Air Force announced this afternoon that Wing Commander Gordon Henderson “is missing, believed killed, on Broad Peak”.

Henderson was taking part in what was called the British Services Mountaineering Expedition. It is a joint project of the British and Pakistani Armed Forces.

There remains no official news about Canada’s Richard Cartier, the missing climber on K2.

Portrait of the British Air Force victim on Broad Peak

Gordon Henderson. Photo: Royal Air Force


Masherbrum – acclimatization begins

Marek Holecek checked in today from Masherbrum’s Base Camp at 4,500m. It rained in the morning, he reported, but it was not windy. The temperature was around 10˚C.  They plan to start acclimatizing tomorrow on the surrounding peaks if the weather permits.

View of Masherbrum from Base Camp this morning. Photo: Marek Holecek

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.