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Climbing | Expedition

Filmmaker Sean Wisedale to climb K2

Sean Wisedale, the first South African to complete the Seven Summits, now hopes to become the first South African to attempt K2, the world's second highest mountain.

Sean Wisedale will travel to K2 this June to document two half hour documentaries for M-net Supersport titled: K2 - Mountain of Mountains. Between his passion for big wave sessions and paddling the surf-ski series in his hometown Durban, Wisedale has extended his actuality and documentary camera skills from M-nets Carte Blanche into high altitude mountaineering and like most Mt Everest summiteers, motivational speaking.

Wisedale is the first South African to climb and film the Seven Summits. More recently the lensman has guided groups to the summits of Mt Aconcagua, Mt Kenya (Batian) and the nine summits of Kili.

Wisedale’s first 8000m climb was the Northern side of Everest in 1996. He reached the summit of Everest on the 30th May 2003 from the Southern side. Everest has the challenge of altitude but is not as technical as K2. K2 is regarded as the most difficult mountain of all to climb because of the technical demands at altitude, albeit the second highest mountain on earth at 8611m.

It was during Wisedale’s climb of the Matterhorn in Switzerland that he considered climbing and filming a documentary of K2.

This season he will join an international team of 16 climbers led by Fabrizio Zangrilli and organised by Field touring Alpine. Climbing via the Cesen route, this an unprecedented, self-supported expedition that will not rely on guides and Sherpas to assist in fixing lines and hauling loads to stock the four camps. Wisedale will attempt to climb as high as possible without supplementary oxygen.

“K2 is the next wave! And there?s no better backdrop for a mountain film and a good alpine yarn, than the wilderness of the Karakorams,” said Sean. “If I am blessed to reach the summit it will be dedicated to Gerard McDonnell. He’s a hero, an Irishman who was killed on K2 last year while trying to assist three stranded Koreans.”

Sean celebrated with Gerard after their summits of Everest in 2003 and recalls the spirit of the climber who would beat a drum (at base camp) well into the frosty early hours.

Last year 11 climbers perished on K2, seven after having reached the summit on the 1st of August. To date K2 has 299 summits and claimed 77 lives. No South African summits to date.

Sean will also be climbing to save Vetchies Reef in Durban from development. Sean is the author of the bestselling book Freeze Frame.

See his website www.seanwisedale.com for the blog


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