Archive for September, 2009

Gardiner posts YouTube videos from K2 in July

September 29, 2009

Matthew Gardiner has posted a few short videos on YouTube from his time climbing K2 this year. The first video was shot when he was at C1 with Paul Crowsley. He talks about how hot it was during the day. Also he says that they would be leaving for C2 at 5 or 6 am the next day. There was very little room for the tent at C1.

YouTube video at C1 on K2

The next video is of the memorial to Gilkey. He died in 1953 but it was the heroic effort to save him that is mountaineering legend.

Memorial to Gilkey at K2

The third video shows views of K2 and Broad Peak. He also talks about a porter that got HAPE.

K2 and Broad Peak on YouTube


Picture of Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner on K2 Cesen route

September 29, 2009

K2climb posted a picture earlier in the year of Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner on the Cesen Route on K2. This was taken in July, 2009. The photo was taken at 7100m. Kaltenbrunner had made a bivouac spot behind a wall of rock.

K2climb photo of Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner

Ed Viesturs talks about the 1953 American K2 expedition

September 26, 2009

He talks about the attempted rescue of Art Gilkey. This was one of if not the most famous attempted rescue in mountaineering history. Gilkey was incapacitated and was put in a sleeping bag for his climbing partners to lower him down the mountain. This was at a height of 7800m. These slopes were very dangerous, and this put everyone at risk.

One of the climbers slipped on ice and this had a domino effect on the others. The rope became entangled amongst all but 1 of the climbers and they all started sliding down K2. They were facing a certain death unless the fall could be stopped. Fortunately, Pete Shoening wrapped the rope around his shoulders and ice axe, and used the axe to stop them falling down 2000m to the glacier below.

Ed Viesturs talks about his admiration for this group. He said that read of this story as a kid.

Viesturs on YouTube talking about his heroes from the 1953 K2 American expedition

In another video on YouTube he talks about his 1992 summit on K2. During an attempted rescue of a climber Viesturs and his climbing partner got caught in an avalanche. This was as close that Viesturs ever came to dying on a mountain.

Viesturs on YouTube talking about his 1992 K2 expedition

Ed Viesturs talks about K2: Life and Death on the Worlds Most Dangerous Mountain

September 20, 2009

Ed Viesturs has a book about K2 that will be released shortly.This book will discuss 6 of the most famous climbing expeditions and incidents that have happened on this mountain. He will also talk about the time he made the summit of K2 in 1992.

Viesturs said that climbing K2 taught him a valuable lesson about climbing in general. It taught him to follow his instincts. On the day that he summitted K2 in 1992 he did not listen to his instincts. Yet he made it to the top and back safely.

Of interest is that he will include more information about the time that he climbed K2. He had previously written a book and explained what happened on that expedition.

Viesturs regards K2 as the holy grail of mountaineering.

Viesturs on YouTube talking about his new book

Jake Meyer posts video of storm on K2

September 15, 2009

Jake Meyer has posted some video on YouTube. On this video he is descending from Camp 1 after poor weather did not let him go any further.

Video descending K2 in a storm

2008 K2 tragedy still haunts Pasang Lama

September 8, 2009

Pasang Lama is still haunted by the 2008 tragedy on K2. He was one of the climbers on that fateful day when 11 climbers died due to an ice serac collapse at the Bottleneck. He lost his cousins Pasang Bhote and Jumik Bhote. There were also other Korean members who lost their lives that day on K2.

At the moment he is trying to climb Annapurna. This is a mountain that statistically may be the most deadly of the 8000m mountains. Avalanches are a common way for climbers to die.

A friend of Pasang’s – Marco Confortola – gave him a text that said,”Telling you to be careful. Annapurna is really dangerous.”

Greg Mortenson gives talk at University of Delaware

September 7, 2009

Greg Mortenson has just given a talk to freshmen at the University of Delaware. Every year he gives many talks about his efforts to start schools in the remote regions of Pakistan near K2.

Mortenson tried to climb K2 in 1993. He said that he did it in memory of his sister who had recently died. But the climb up K2 did not go as planned. He did not reach the summit. And on the way down he become lost.

He did make it down K2 but he became so lost that he did not know where he was. He did not know where base camp was. Eventually, after extreme thirst and hunger, he found a village. The locals there helped him survive by giving him shelter and food.

This inspired him to found schools in the region. There were not schools amongst the remote villagers up to this point. At times it was difficult to keep building schools because there was opposition from some locals on religious grounds.

University of Delaware

Glaciers in Karakoram Range growing in size

September 7, 2009

Going against the trend of shrinking glaciers around the world, it has been reported that the glaciers in the Karakoram Range have been growing in size.

Previously, research had concluded that increased participation was the cause of this glacial mass growth. But other research also suggested that increased snow in the Karakoram had an added impact.

New research indicates that there has been an increased cloudiness in the region. This has lowered temperatures and resulted in more glaciation. Also the research says there has been an increase in evaporative cooling, which is likely caused by stronger winds.

The Karakoram Range is home to some of the highest mountains in the world, including K2. It is also the most glaciated region on the earth outside of the polar regions.


Matthew Gardiner recalls this years K2 summit attempt

September 6, 2009

This year Matthew Gardiner made it higher up than he had in his previous attempt on the mountain. The highest that he reached this year was 7200m at camp 3.

It was a combination of poor weather and illness that prevented him going higher this year. Others made it higher without making the summit.

But it was when he reached base camp on his way back, there was an emergency situation going on. The base camp cook was dangerously ill. The symptoms looked like HAPE( High Altitude Pulmonary Edema). This condition has a high fatality rate.

They gave him oxygen and put him in a gamow bag which all helped give the feeling of being at a lower altitude.

“At first the man’s lips were turning blue but I’ve never seen such a recovery in a person. Without the treatment he was going to die,” said Gardiner.

They had to leave within 15 minutes with the cook. There was a 120km journey that they managed over 3 days to lead the cook to safety. “The man was very grateful and kept thanking us for what we’d done from him and from his children,” Gardiner said.

Gardiner says that he is having second thoughts about going back to K2. However, before he left he was feeling burnt out from work and the trip gave him the break from real life that he needed.


Oh Eun-Sun to attempt Annapurna this autumn

September 5, 2009

Oh Eun-Sun will attempt Annapurna this Autumn to complete all 14 8000m mountains.

Annapurna is a mountain with a fearsome reputation. Avalanches are common and the ice seracs pose a threat to all climbers.

She recently said that she found K2 easier than she had expected. The mountain had intimidated her with its reputation before she went up it. By climbing K2, it gave her the confidence to try climb the other 8000m that she had yet to do. She climbed K2 in 2007 with oxygen.