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.
There are a few 1996 Everest Disaster documentaries on YouTube like Frontline’s Storm Over Everest, National Geographic’s The Dark Side of Everest, ABC’s Mountain without Mercy: The Everest Story and more. There are also some rentable motion pictures from $1.99-$5.99. Watch them here or on YouTube.
The 1996 Everest Disaster has gone down in history as one of the worst mountaineering disasters to ever have occurred on the mountain, killing eight climbers.
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.
After a what seemed like a disappointing turn of events on K2, Fredrik Sträng veers course and summits Broad Peak, salvaging some of his K2 2017 expedition.
The 2017 K2 season is over. Only one expedition made it all the way to the summit, however, Fredrik Sträng vows to try again next year.
Fredrik endured a series of setbacks on K2, the weather being the most challenging adversary for this master climber. Communication was also down during the last few days of his expedition.
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Swedish climber Fredrik Sträng finally reaches K2 on Tuesday 27, June at approximately 6:50 pm local time.
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 Brad Peak this season.
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.
Fredrik Sträng arrives in Skardu, Pakistan experiencing delays but ready to take on the trek to K2 after a 26-hour ride on the Karakoram Highway.
Sträng is feeling good, enjoying the land and trekking the area in good company, mentally preparing for the long trek to the Baltoro Glacier.
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.
K2 is undeniably the King of Mountains; climbing it is a dream aspired to by only the toughest, wildest and fit of mountaineers, even so, many die trying in the attempt. 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 road map.Mountaineers usually take one of these ten pre-determined routes to the peak of K2.
Everest2017 is over, but there’s another season on the horizon. K22017 is just around the corner, and with it, comes a lot of preparation and thoughts, both good and bad. In this Editor’s Note, Base Camp Magazine’s Editor talks a bit about what to expect for K2’s upcoming climbing season and who BCM is watching closely on the mountain.
For every mountaineering season, I have a pick of mountaineers, expedition companies, guides… that I seem more interested in watching as they complete journeys; each season the picks are different, but some are constant favorites. This year, for the K2 season, I am watching Fredrik Sträng closely.
YouTube is an entire resource for some of the best K2 docs out there. These are some of the best ones we’ve found.
K2: The World’s Most Dangerous Mountain, Mountain Men: The Ghosts of K2, K2: The Killer Summit, K2: The Savage Mountain, Fatal Altitude: Tragedy on K2
In the case of the missing Hillary Step, we still are no closer to knowing whether or not the landmark is intact. So far, we have seen that various western mountaineers, including Kenton Cool and Tim Mosedale, claim that the rocky outcrop near the summit of Mount Everest is either completely gone or altered in some way.
But officially, the Hillary Step didn’t disappear, collapse or crumble.
Let’s take a closer look at why there is so much confusion.
A controversy has arisen during Everest2017 over whether or not the famous Hillary Step outcrop on Mount Everest has collapsed.
This week climbers, including the experienced climber Kenton Cool, stated that the rocky outcrop near the summit of Everest called the Hillary Step had collapsed and was no longer visible on the mount. Cool, who has ascended the mountain 12 times, spoke in a video interview with BBC and stated, “It didn’t look, to me, as if it was the Hillary Step of old.”
When we think of Mont Blanc, we think of excellent climbing, amazing views and incredible snow-capped peaks, but little know about the dark history of Mont Blanc and the once-thriving towns it destroyed in 1892 after the Mont Blanc Massif released a hidden lake within the Tête Rousse Glacier upon the town of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and the small hamlet of Bionnay.
Most mountain enthusiasts have heard of the term “Seven Summits,” but not all of them understand what the Seven Summits are, as there are 4 variations of the list. The Seven Summits are the 7 highest mountain peaks within each of the 7 continents – Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America, with the variations having to do with disagreements about the placement of mountains on continents and continental shelves. We won’t get into that now, for now, we’re focusing on the Seven Summits list as according to mountaineering legend, Reinhold Messner:
Everest may be on every mountaineer’s bucket list, but true mountaineers know the prize lies on the summit of K2, or Karakoram 2, the savage mountain, the brutal mountain, the “King of Mountains.” At just 800 ft. shorter than Everest, K2 is the world’s second highest mountain; and while Everest is the tallest, it does not compare in any measure to the brutality that is an expedition on K2.
By measure of ratio, the death count on K2 is much higher than that of Everest, with well-documented mountaineering disasters in 1986, 1995 and the most recent in 2008; the 2008 disaster has been known as the most controversial of all. For every 100 mountaineers that attempt a summit on K2, 29 will die. Only 306 climbers have succeeded, 80+ have perished. Compared to Everest’s 5600+ summits and around 300 deaths, K2’s reputation, which is all but impossible to describe in words, is accurately captured by something as simple as numbers.
K2 was dubbed “Karakoram 2” in 1856 by T.G. Montgomerie, the name stuck.
The Seven Summits are the 7 highest mountain peaks on each of the 7 continents – Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. The Seven Summits were first completed in 1986 by Patrick Morrow. However, the definition of the Seven Summits differs on how you view the borders of the world map, particularly with the difference being held within Europe and Australia since some don’t view the location of mount Elbrus in Russia as part of Europe or view Indonesia as part of Australia. This difference results in 4 possibilities for the Seven Summits:
If you’re over 50, you might want to cross “climbing Everest” off your bucket list of things to do. The governments of Nepal and Bengal have proposed new rules that will limit access to the mountain from climbers over 50 and novice climbers, however, new talks say the age limit has been increased to 75. While most understand the Nepalese and Bengalese Governments’ reasons for wanting to limit the amount of climbers on Everest, most mountaineers and alpine experts doubt the restrictions will pass for a few reasons. According to their proposal:
Denali, the highest peak in North America and also a highly controversial mountain – its name has been the source of much debate over the past four decades. Denali was first ascended in 1913; back then it was called Mount McKinley, but today, we know this majestic peak by its native name, Denali, but that did not come without much fight, in fact, the state of Alaska, where Denali is located, began proceedings with the Unites States Federal Government to get the name changed to Denali in 1975, but before we go there, let’s rewind to 1896 when the mountain was first unofficially named by a gold prospector as Mount McKinley. After forty years of non-stop appeals, the mountain was officially renamed “Denali” on August 30, 2015, by Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell.
The 1996 Everest Disaster unfolded on May 10; after the events, Anatoli Bookreev wrote The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Mount Everest. This analysis covers the events as written in Bookreev’s book. Another analysis of Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster” by Jon Krakauer, which is a rival to Bookreev’s version of events was of the same tragedy also written.