After the recent events on K2 Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is calling it quits and heading back to Germany. Austrian newspapers are reporting that she will not try again this year. This will be the third year that she has been to K2 and not made the summit.
She hopes to be back in Germany by the 15th of August. However, the recent floods may mean that this is not possible. They will not know till they get to Skardu and then to Islamabad.
In an interview with the Austrian Kurier she had a number of thoughts about what has just occurred.
- She said that she was tired after her efforts to climb K2. The descent was quite difficult. Mentally she is not very good after the death of Fredrik Ericsson.
- Everything was going perfectly before the accident. They were ahead of time and moving fast. The weather forecast was for improved conditions.
- She found it hard to sleep initially after coming back. The images of Ericsson falling kept playing on through her mind. But she was so tired in the end that she fell asleep.
- There has not been much food that she has eaten since coming back. She feels hungry, and reckons that in a few days she will start eating lots again.
- Ericsson’s body is in a place that would be very dangerous to collect. His parents want it left there.
- Kaltenbrunner and her husband wanted to leave base camp for home on the Sunday just past and be home on the 15th of August.
- She has not yet thought when or if she will return to K2. She just wants to get away for now.
Kaltenbrunner only needs to summit K2 to have made the summit of all 14 8000m mountains. When she returns again it will be her fourth attempt to climb K2. She has previously tried in 2007, 2009 and this year. But if she does succeed she will be the first woman to have made the summit without oxygen.