Maxut Zhumayev has received a letter from Eberhard Jurgalski, a statistician of 8000m mountains, to ask him what he thought of the claimed ascent of K2 by Christian Stangl. To Maxut this has been an issue that has touched him quite a lot.
Maxut repeated that he did not think that Stangl made the summit or even could have made the summit. All of Stangl’s testimony just is a fabrication in his view.
Both Maxut and Vassily Pivtsov climbed the Cesen route at roughly the same time that Stangl was allegedly climbing up K2. This was a different route to the one allegedly by Christian Stangl. He went up the Abruzzi Spur but came down somewhere between the Abruzzi Spur and the Cesen route.
Maxut and Vassily went up the Cesen route hoping for good weather on the 12th of August, so that they could make a summit push or get near to the summit with the good weather. But as soon as they got above camp 3 the weather turned for the worse with strong winds and cloud.
On the 12th of August Stangl claimed to have climbed K2. He said that it was under good weather. But Maxut says that it was windy and there was cloud cover.
The ropes on the 12th of August were covered in snow and ice. It took some time for both Maxut and Vassily to clean these ropes to make them safe enough to climb up and down. Thus it would not have been easy for Stangl to have used the ropes.
Thus Maxut did not see Stangl at all over the time that Stangl claimed to have climbed K2. Rather he has relied upon witnesses and his own experience of climbing up K2 at the same time to come to the conclusion that there is no way Stangl made the summit.
He says that witnesses on the Abruzzi Spur have told him of the difficult condition of this route. They would have thought it impossible for Stangl to have climbed K2.
The finding of Stangl’s bivouac equipment so near to was further evidence of the deceit of Stangl, he thinks. Other people at base camp have also seen this. Adding to Maxut’s thought on the deceit of Christian Stangl was the thoughts of other climbers. Other climbers going up the Abruzzi Spur after Stangl did not see him or any trace that he went up there at all. Also those that saw Stangl after he allegedly came down K2 from the summit said that he was in really good condition, not the appearance of someone who was tired after climbing for 2 days. All in all the facts just do not add up to Maxut.
He believes that Stangl left early on the 13th of August to avoid scrutiny of other climbers. Maxut and Vassily came down later that day and Maxut was disappointed not have run into Stangl at 6am when he arrived at base camp.
The name of Christian Stangl will forever be associated with hypocrisy in the mountaineering world, he believes.
Stangl would have needed wings, in Maxut’s opinion, to have made the summit. And then to look and feel so fresh after climbing K2 just was not possible.
With Maxut reporting so strongly that he did not believe Stangl made the summit of K2, then it might be harder for it to officially recognized.