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Climbing | Expedition

Christian Stangl summits K2 alone

In what was looking like a year of no summits on the world’s second highest mountain, speed climber Christian Stangl has made a last minute solo push to the top of K2.

ExplorersWeb confirmed that on the 12th of August at 10.00am local time, the Austrian solo alpinist stood on the summit after 70 hours of climbing on the Abruzzi Spur Route.

Stangl reports the going was tough, saying, “If mountain climbing were as the last 70 hours here at K2, I would immediately stop.”

“I set off from BC on Tuesday at 5:00pm, up the Abruzzi Spur, and climbed all the way to my C3 at 7,100m,” Christian reported. “It snowed all the time and some rocks fell on my way.”

“In C3 the skies cleared – just as Charly Gabl had forecasted,” Stangl noted.”I had to hurry up since I knew I just had some hours time before conditions worsened up again.”

With all this in mind, it is understandable that Stangl spent only a few minutes on the peak, before descending all the way to C3 in poor visibility.

On reflection after climbing K2 Stangl commented, “I took no pleasure at being on the summit – that mountain is so dangerous! Technically is not that difficult, but otherwise it is certainly the most dangerous mountain I've ever tried or done!”

Continuing his descent in the night, the climber lost his way since rappelling was impossible due to the conditions, bivvying at midnight under a ledge until 4am, when he had a strange visitor.

“You won’t believe me now but – as I woke up, I saw an animal (like a cat) standing in front of me!” Back at BC I was told it may have been a snow leopard. Back then though, I thought I was freaking out.”

“Summarizing: In the last three years I’ve spent 4 and a half months on this mountain, and had only one nice day – which I used to reach the top,” Christian pointed out. “As I said before – this is not fun at all; otherwise topping-out is a compensation for all the hardships endured though. Now, I just want to return home as fast as possible."

With everyone else on the mountain heading home, its been another hard year on the ‘Savage Mountain’, with both triumph and tragedy. In good spirits and heading down, Stangl noted, “I am craving good food and a beer.”

Source article and Image: Christian Stangl K2 summit pic and report: "It was not fun at all" (ExplorersWeb)


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