In a stunning announcement Jorge Egocheaga has stated that he stopped just short of the summit of K2 last month. News had filtered through that he had reached the summit from Martin Ramos, a fellow climber on K2. However, there were many doubts that he had in fact done this. The difficulty other climbers were having and the deep snow meant that many even there did not believe him.
Jorge Egocheaga said he stopped short of the summit because of what he found when he got there. He said that it was covered in a hollow wind-slab. When he stepped on it, it gave a crunching sound that gave him thought to not go any further.
He says that he has a picture of when he was 12m from the summit. It has a GPS reading of it too. He initially thought that being 12m from the summit was as good as being on top. Thus the confusion. Martin Ramos saw the picture allegedly and thought he was on the summit top.
Unfortunately for Jorge Egocheaga his effort will not be considered a summit. Till pictures are produced with the GPS not even that he got that far will be accepted.
The climb he took was the most controversial of the K2 summer. A fellow climber who was going up K2 at the same time as him, noticed that Jorge Egocheaga was not in the tents at C3 when he awoke. He was told that Jorge Egocheaga had left for the summit on a solo effort. He thought Jorge Egocheaga was mad to try on that day.
As for not reaching the last 12m on K2, if true it would show that even the summit, which usually is easier ground to cover than much of K2, was extremely difficult this year.