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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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 Cescen 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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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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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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Fredrik Sträng Arrives in Islamabad for the Start of K2 2017 Climbing Season

Swedish mountaineer Fredrik Sträng has made it safely to Islamabad, Pakistan and is on track to commence K2 2017.

Sträng is in good spirits and keeping good company, excited about the days ahead. Sträng now begins the daunting task of organizing the gear and food he arranged to have shipped to Islamabad on 04, June, prior to his arrival.

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Fredrik Sträng Heads Out for K2 2017

Mountaineer Fredrik Sträng heads out to K2 on June 12, 2017, after nearly ten years of absence from the mountain since the 2008 K2 Tragedy that killed 11 mountaineers. 

On 3, June, Sträng was ready, packing his gear for his K2 expedition and gave everyone a glimpse of 60% of his gear, which he laid out and gave a tour of. His gear included the Swedish flag, two Petzl ice axes, Olympus Mons La Sportiva high-altitude boots, a Primus Lite XL stove pot and Out Meals dehydrated ready-to-eat meals.

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Routes Up to K2’s Summit

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.

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Editor’s Note: K22017

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.

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K2: The King of Mountains

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.

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