There hasn’t been a successful summit on the King of Mountains, K2, since 2014. However, this changed today when one expedition, led by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, made it to the summit and reported their successful assault through social media.
Roughly six hours ago, Mingma G., head of Dreamers Destination, reported on his Facebook page that he and 11 other climbers had successfully made it to the summit. He wrote:
Finally, we are at the summit of Mt.K2
Mr. Mingma G Sherpa
Mr. Dawa Gyalje Sherpa
Mr. Tsering Pemba Sherpa
Mr. Nima Tshering Sherpa
Mr. Lakpa Nuru Sherpa
Mr. Nima Nuru Sherpa
Mr. Ang Tsering Sherpa
Mr. Zhang liang
Miss. Jing Xue
Mr. John Snorri
The team was banded together by a tough team of Sherpa guides and they blazed through meters of fresh snow that previously forced other climbers to abort their summit attempt. This including our Fredrik Sträng and his partner Ali Musa, who are currently at Base Camp deciding on whether or not they should re-attempt a summit bid in the next three days. Also back at Base Camp is the Polish expedition team who also had to abandon their efforts.
[FREDRIK STRÄNG UPDATE:
On 28 July, at 8:00 P.M. EST, Fredrik’s contact updated his progress by stating that Fredrik and his partner would attempt the summit again. He congratulated the successful summiteers on K2 and Broad Peak and stated that his route plan had changed. He will now approach the summit via the Cesen Route due to “bad conditions on Abruzzi.” He apologizes for not being able to keep updates coming due to his broken SAT device.]
The push to the summit was a grueling 16 hours from Camp 4 where the team left at 11:00 PM local time. They faced pushing through waist-deep snow and difficult conditions toward the top – but they persisted.
Mingma G. stated yesterday at noon that only his expedition decided to make the push to the top and included 14 climbers. But an hour short of the summit, he updated his Facebook to state that only 12 climbers had made it to the top.
Also in this expedition is Vanessa O’Brien, the 52-year-old female climber who graces the title of the fastest woman to complete the Seven Summits in 295 days. O’Brien has been using Garmin inReach GPS to update her climbing progress on K2. Fredrik Sträng holds the male variant title for completing the Seven Summits in 191 Days.
K2 is O’Brien’s fifth Eight-Thousander. She is now only the 18th woman to successfully summit K2 and the first American woman.
On the list was climber John Snorri, who is now the first Icelander to have summited K2. [Snorri is currently attempting a winter ascent of K2 along with Mingma G, we will be coving that K2 Winter 2020 expedition through Dispatches.]
For the leader of the expedition, K2 marks the 13th Eight-Thousander for Mingma G.
While the success to the top is a reason for celebration, we all know that the summit is only the halfway point. We now have to wait before we know if the expedition makes it back down to Base Camp safely. We are wishing them the best of luck on their descent, which has now been underway for 6 hours.
According to reports from Fredrik Sträng’s contact, he and his partner had to abandon their effort for the summit due to avalanche risks and fresh, waist-deep snow they plowed through to reach 7,400 meters. At that point, they decided to turn around.
Since 21 July, Sträng’s SAT device has been broken and he’s lost communication capabilities – he now relies on making calls to his contact who provides short updates regarding his progress and rare occasions when he can make updates himself using a borrowed SAT device.
His last update suggested there was still a chance for the pair to make one more summit attempt, but there hasn’t been any word regarding whether or not they’ve decided to do so since the last update, which was yesterday at noon.
Congratulations to the climbers who made it to the summit today, and we’ll keep you updated on the progress of Fredrik Sträng’s expedition.