Swedish climber Fredrik Sträng finally reaches K2 on Tuesday 27 June at approximately 6:50 pm local time.
DISPATCH #5 Fredrik Sträng K2 2017
Sträng shared an image of himself posing at Broad Peak Base Camp with a view of K2 in the distance on his Facebook Page. According to his reports, many teams have gathered in the area for their expeditions to K2 and Broad Peak this season.
Among those are climbers attempting to ski K2 including Serbian Davo Karnikar.
On his way to Baltoro, being surrounded by the massive granite spires along the trek brought back to life a seemingly withering thirst for the element in which he thrives. He wrote about questioning why it took him so long to return and cited the pressures of society, which told him to quit as a major reason. However, as many who know Sträng understand, quitting is not in his nature. Being content with the status quo isn’t either.
Fredrik let us in on things he misses most about being on an expedition when he’s home:
When people ask me what I miss the most on an expedition let me explain: if you were to ask that question when you’re on an expedition then you have already failed. You gotta love all kinds of weather, and trust me, we can have Vivaldi’s four seasons in a day. You gotta love being a McGyver because even the most robust equipment can break on K2. You gotta love waiting for 3 weeks for good weather, and when it comes, you gotta love to go from zero to one hundred in a second, seizing the opportunity of a weather-window. If you’re only in it for the gold, fame and the summit, Bollywood aka fantasy-world is the place for you. I’m in it for the sheer pleasure of finding peace in chaos, finding the beauty that requires an effort to find it, massive loads of investment physically, mentally that eventually pays out.
In 2015, Sträng appeared to have had a bad end to the year. His struggles looked like they may have started after Manaslu and Annapurna, which may have stemmed from issues in 2012. The way he spoke was different, his mannerisms were tired. He looked a bit lost. For someone who is almost cursed with being able to read people, like me, this was something that was clearly the start of an issue for this climber.
In 2016, this continued. And I believe that he was looking for a revival in life, a new way to see the world and a new way to proceed with accomplishing his goals that drew growth at each completion. He wanted someone to ask him what he wanted as a goal and guide him on how to accomplish that. Not judge him and tell him he couldn’t do it.
I think many of us go through this when we reach a point where we’ve done so much, that everything begins to fall apart. There isn’t a way to continue, and giving up seems like we are dying. With mountaineers, with each year that passes comes the question of “when will you stop.” You get older, the environment gets harsher. But this just isn’t something climbers can do – stop. You wouldn’t ask a fish when it will stop living in water.
In his Facebook post, Sträng talks about the need for nature in modern society. He says nature is a prescription that most need and that he wishes his doctor would have prescribed during his tribulations. He writes:
Have your doctor prescribe it to you. I wish my doctor would have done so when I hit the wall in 2015 and life seemed like it was about to end…
What is Next for the Expedition
The Sträng expedition now undertakes the task of setting up their Base Camp. This includes making flat as possible rock beds for their tents and securing them to make sure the unpredictable storms do not blow away the climbers, tents and gear on a bad night. That would be quite the wrench in the summit plan.
Today, the teams ate meat for the first time in a while, donated from a wandering goat in the Baltoro Glacier who met his end after a long, positive life on the glacier. The team thanked the goat for its contribution to the cause. Sträng writes:
The goat had a happy life living in the open air with plenty of food. We thank the goat. -Fredrik Sträng
He sends his blessings to the world and promises to keep everyone updated on his progress to the Summit.
We here at BCM wish him nothing but success and stand by a message that brings life to many, the road to a fulfilled life is met when you have decided you’ve done everything you possibly can to experience life alive, not when others tell you you’ve done enough.
About Fredrik Sträng
Fredrik Sträng is a Swedish climber, personal trainer and motivational speaker. Sträng has summited 8 of the world’s 8,000 m. peaks, and in 2017, Sträng will be attempting K2 again. He has worked with charitable organizations through the years to help those in need. He has been given various awards including Male Adventurer of the Year twice in 2007 and 2010. Sträng is partnered with Sigma Technology. To learn more about Sträng, read “Get to Know Climber Fredrik Sträng.”
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