Fredrik Sträng Announces Fourth K2 Attempt in 2019

Fredrik Sträng announces he will try to summit K2 again in 2019. This expedition will be his fourth attempt to summit K2. He continues his partnership with Sigma technology for the expedition.

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The Seven Summits According to Richard Bass

The Richard Bass Seven Summits List is a list of the seven tallest mountains in each of the seven continents. Unlike Messner’s List, it only references mainland Australia, vs all of Oceania.

The Bass List comprises Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Kosciuszko and Vinson.

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The Search for Tom Ballard & Daniele Nardi Officially Over. Bodies Found

On 09 March, the search for Tom Ballard and his climbing partner, Daniele Nardi, was officially called off. The previous sightings of “silhouettes” during the reconnaissance operation were confirmed to be the bodies of the two climbers.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce that the search and rescue operation of Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi was officially called off on 09 March 2019.

The rescue operation had been ongoing since the climbers’ last communication on 24 February. Both climbers were on an expedition attempting to climb the notorious Mummery Spur on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. Since the route’s creation, it has remained unclimbed.

On 06 March, the Nardi team revealed that Alex Txikon had identified two “silhouettes” through a high powered telescope. The team was prepared to confirm the sightings using the assistance of a helicopter flyby. On the scheduled day, Pakistan recalled the helicopter for military operations. It would be another two days before the identification could be completed.

On 09 March, Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo announced on Twitter that the “silhouettes” previously identified were, in fact, those of Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi.

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Tom Ballard & Daniele Nardi Rescue Update: Two Silhouettes Identified. Search is Not Over

In a surprising update to the Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard Rescue operation, Alex Txikon identifies two Silhouettes on Nanga Parbat from Base Camp. The search is continuing.

According to reports, the identification was made at dawn; and helicopters are scheduled to arrive soon to continue the exploration of the mountain. The report stated that the search would continue along the Mummery Spur route. The team hopes to get closer observations of images they witnessed through a telescope.

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Tom Ballard, Son of Alison Hargreaves, Disappears on Nanga Parbat

The acclaimed son of Alison Hargreaves has disappeared on Nanga Parbat while on an expedition in late February with Daniele Nardi.

The last time the pair were heard from was on Sunday, 24 February 2019.

Tom Ballard is the son of Alison Hargreaves, first woman to summit Mount Everest during a solo climb without supplemental oxygen. She died 3 months later on K2 at the age of 33. Ballard is 30.

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K2 Remains Unconquered in Winter

K2, the King of Mountains, is the most treacherous in the world of mountaineering. It has never been climbed in the winter, although many expeditions have tried including the 2018 Krzysztof Wielicki expedition that also rescued Elisabeth Revol on Nanga Parbat in the middle of their K2 expedition. Other expeditions attempted it in 1988, 2003, 2012 and 2015, and 2019.

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The 2008 K2 Disaster

The 2008 K2 Disaster was a highly publicized climbing disaster that resulted in the deaths of 11 climbers on 01 August of that year. The tragedy also heightened scrutiny of safety precautions and climber responsibility during expeditions.

The 2008 K2 Disaster was brought on by a series of events, some preventable, some not. but what it had in common with many mountaineering disasters, including the 1996 Everest Disaster, was the continuation of a summit push past the safe turnaround time.

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Vanessa O’Brien Thinks the Nanga Parbat Rescue Could Have Climbed Higher to Save Tomasz Mackiewicz

In a controversial statement on Twitter, Vanessa O’Brien revealed that she felt the Nanga Parbat rescue volunteers could have climbed higher to retrieve Tomasz Mackiewicz.

On Friday, 26 January, Tomasz Mackiewicz and Elisabeth Revol made a successful assault on the summit of Nanga Parbat during their Winter Ascent Expedition. Prior to their attempt, Nanga Parbat had only been summited once in the winter in 2014.

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One Saved, One Perishes on Nanga Parbat During Winter Expedition

PAKISTAN – One climber has been rescued from Nanga Parbat and one perished during separate winter expeditions on the “Killer Mountain.”

French mountaineer Elisabeth Revol was rescued off of the mountain after an ill-fated storm trapped her and her climbing partner above 25,000 ft (7620 m).

Her climbing partner, Polish native Tomasz “Tomek” Mackiewicz had to be left behind due to his severe injuries and physical condition.

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Antarctica and Cold Environment Expeditions Season Starts on BCM

Now, we’re moving into our Antarctica and Cold-Environment Expedition Season. This is where we feature climbers, explorers and expeditions traveling to Antarctica and other environments that are naturally cold year-round. 

We have a lot planned for this long season that will stretch into the end of winter 2017. Included in our publication calendar is our well-awaited coverage of Second Lieutenant Scott Sears’ solo expedition to the South Pole and a feature on Dr. Ash Routen’s expedition to Lake Baikal in Siberia where he will be leading a team of 3 Brits across one of the world’s most interesting bodies of water. 

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First Successful Summits on K2 Since 2014

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:

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28/07 UPDATE: Fredrik Sträng K2 Summit 2017 | Summit Abort and Reattempt Through Cecen Route

On 28 July, Fredrik returned to Base Camp after aborting the ascent at aprox. 7,400 meters due to bad weather and dangerous conditions that included little visibility, waist-deep snow and avalanches.

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 will now approach the summit via the Cescen Route due to “bad conditions on Abruzzi.”

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The Wait is Over, Fredrik Sträng Attempts K2 Summit Today

Yesterday, he announced that today is the day for the summit bid start!

We, and all you reading this now, have been keeping our fingers crossed in hopes of good weather for the summit attempt for Fredrik Sträng’s Sigma K2017 Expedition. In our last Dispatch, we left Fredrik waiting patiently as he watched the stars and contemplated his place amongst them and measured his size against the mountain.

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Fredrik Sträng and Ali Musa Wait for a Weather Window on K2

Through Dispatches, you’ve had an inside look into the Sigma K2 2017 Expedition that is underway with climbers Fredrik Sträng from Sweden, Ali Musa from Pakistan and their third team member, Abass, their Chef Cook at K2 Base Camp.

Next week, he and Ali Musa are expecting to have a chance at a summit push on K2, but it will most likely be a shared effort between them and other expeditions on the mountain.

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The Climb to Camp 2 | K2 2017

Moving on from Camp 1 after breakfast in his tent this morning, Fredrik Sträng commences the climb to Camp 2 and beyond.

Still snowing each day since his arrival on K2, Fredrik Sträng has made the best of the weather and window opportunities afforded to him on the mountain, always keeping physically active and exercising his mental capacities to remain in top shape for the summit.

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Remembering Alberto Zerain

Beloved Spanish alpinist Alberto Zerain died in a tragic avalanche on Nanga Parbat this week. Though he was not able to return from the mountain in this life, his memory has found a new home in the hearts among those who appreciated his attitude toward the dare of a summit and those who admired his accomplishments. 

Zerain was climbing Nanga Parbat as part of the 2x14x8000 project, which aimed to see 14 of the world’s 8,000 m. peaks climbed twice. While on the Mazeno Ridge, Zerain gave his last update to the Base Camp team on 24, June. Shortly after, his team lost contact with him and would announce on 27, June, that they believed he and Mariano Galvan had lost power on their radio communicators. 

On 01, July 2x14x8000 announced that a helicopter search of the Mazeno Ridge revealed signs of a massive avalanche and they did not believe there was a possibility of survivors. On this day, the search for Zerain and Galvan was ended and the mountaineering world began to mourn, finally letting go of the hope they had so desperately tried to cling to in belief that he would be found alive.

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A Sore Neck, Wet Snow and a Taste of Camp 1 for Fredrik Sträng | K2 2017

Getting over a sore neck, traversing unnaturally wet snow and finally getting a taste of Camp 1, Fredrik Sträng’s K2 2017 Expedition has turned out to be eventful early on, but plans are still on track for the summit.

Since arriving at K2 Base Camp on 27, June, the expedition started off with minor delays, those usually attributed to life on K2. On 29, June, Fredrik and his climbing partner, Ali Musa, attempted to reach C-1 but snowfall and heavy winds forced them to abandon their plan, so, at Base Camp, they remained, but not idle. 

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Alberto Zerain Missing on Nanga Parbat

Known Spanish climber Alberto Zerain and his climbing partner, Mariano Galvan from Argentina, have been reported as missing on Nanga Parbat. 

Zerain’s team announced on 27, June, that communication with the climber had been lost on 24, June. According to a statement on their Twitter account, the team believes that because of the number of days the climbers have spent on the Mazeno route, they believe their radio equipment has lost battery. 

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The Season of Illegal Climbs on Everest

In the case of Tibet, it has decided to close its borders to climbers as a result of the actions of one man, Polish climber Janusz Adamski. In May, Adamski ascended the Tibetan North Side of Everest and successfully reached the summit; he then proceeded to descend the mountain from the Nepalese South Side. Adamski did not have a permit from Nepal to complete this traverse and was in violation of immigration laws between the two countries.

Prior to this, we also reported that another climber, Ryan Sean Davy, had been detained for attempting to climb the world’s highest mountain without a permit. 

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Fredrik Sträng Reaches Paju and First Sight of K2

Swedish climber Fredrik Sträng departs Skardu, Pakistan on the road to Baltoro. He arrived in Paju on 22, June at approximately 6:30 pm local time.

In our last Dispatch, Swedish climber Fredrik Sträng was in Skardu, Pakistan battling permit issues and hiking the area.

We are excited to report that the permit issues have been ironed out after 5 patient days of waiting for the LO to arrive in Skardu and meet the team. Sträng left Skardu on 20, June and commenced the ride to Askole followed by the trek to Baltoro Glacier.

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Ryan Sean Davy Released from Nepal and Banned from Climbing for 10 Years After Skipping $11,000 Everest Permit

Ryan Sean Davy was released from Nepal on 04, June and given clear passage to the US.

In a recent article we covered the story of Ryan Sean Davy, the climber who ventured to Everest with the intent to summit it, only when he got there, he didn’t have enough money to purchase his permit. So, he set out to climb it anyway.

Davy faced a fine of $22,000, double what he would have paid had he just bought the permit at $11,000. He also faced the possibility of jail time, or his fine could have been converted to jail time in whatever scale the Nepalese Government deemed appropriate.

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Get to Know Climber Fredrik Sträng

Fredrik Sträng is our K2 2017 Watch Pick, and we will be following his expedition on K2 this year through his Dispatches from the mountain. But who is Fredrik Sträng and why does it matter? I felt that in order to really give readers a sense of what Fredrik Sträng is like as a climber and person, we needed some input from Cass Légér, the editor of BCM and Sträng’s point of contact for Dispatches. During my latest meeting with Cass, I lobbied for the quote bits below.

Here’s a glimpse into the life of this incredible climber, with some quotes from Cass Légér, with whom I spoke with this week while trying to get to know Sträng a bit better for this piece. 

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Routes Up to K2’s Summit

First ascended by Achille Compagnoni on 31 July 1954, the mountain has since sprouted various routes across its faces that lead to the top.

Whether or not you’re crazy enough to attempt it, you’re not getting anywhere without a roadmap. Mountaineers usually take one of these ten pre-determined routes to the peak of K2.

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