Pierson: Murph goes to K2: The best K2 video on the planet:
Radek's Interview for Foreign Media: On August 17, when eyes of climbers
all around the world were on K2 and worries started to spur, as there had been
no word for more than 48 hours from Kazakh climbers high on the mountain,
discussed the options with Radek Jaros. Radek and his climbing
partner, Petr "Miska" Masek, aka HI-TEC V-LITE Nanga Parbat-K2 Expedition,
returned from K2 a week ago. In the past four years, Radek and Petr attempted
K2 three times. Their own account remains open...
Radek also knows all members
of the Kazakh expedition well from several 8000ers. On Kangchenjunga, they
joined forces for the final part of the summit push and summited together. On
K2, in 2003, the Kazakh expedition and Radek, Petr, and Martin Minarik were
the last ones to stay on the mountain and to fight the masses of snow ...
before the nature forced them to admit the defeat. This year, they met each
other between Skardu and the K2 BC - Radek and Petr were on the way down, the
Kazakh team on the way up. Shortly before, Radek and Petr met family members
and friends of the Russian and Kyrgyz climbers who perished high upon K2 last
summer on their way up the Baltoro Valley to Gilkey Memorial by the K2 BC.
They were bringing pictures of the climbers and plates with their names to pay
the last silent tribute to them...
Q: There has been no word from the Kazakhs for more than 48 hours, they were
last seen above 8200m. Batteries in their cell phone were low so the silence
may only mean a failure of technology. What comes to your mind...?
Radek: They are strong. Obviously, we don't know what the real conditions on
the mountain are. But if it is within human possibilities at all to make it
down in the current conditions, they are the ones to make it. The descent from
C4 to C3 is the critical part, no fixed ropes, very confusing in bad weather,
they may be exhausted...Once they are back to C3, they'll be fine.
Q: Zsolt Eross from the Hungarian-Slovak-Romanian expedition reported that
there was snow up to one's chest on the Shoulder and the progress was
Radek: Again, we don't know whether the reports are correct. But if so, I am
surprised that they continued! Shoulder tends to have less snow than other
parts of the route. If there is chest-high ... or even waist-high... even
knee-high!! ... snow on the Shoulder, how must it look like above the
Bottleneck?! I think that this much snow on the Shoulder would pretty much
suggest that the summit cannot be reached at this time. But again, let's hope
that they make it down to C3.
Q: Do you think that anyone will reach the summit of K2 this year?
Radek: In 2003, with the Kazakhs we were the last on the mountain. We kept
trying hard after everybody else had left. In the end, we all had to give up
for there was too much snow. There is much more snow this year than in 2003!
Once we had seen the mass of unsettled snow above 7300m on the Basque Ridge
last month - and when we saw the forecasts predicting even more snowing - we
did not believe that anyone would summit K2 this year. So we called the
expedition quits back then -- no matter that the Kazakhs would be coming in a
few days, as we knew, and that we would be able to join forces. Certainly, the
Kazakhs may have a chance, they are strong. But I don't think it is likely
that anyone would get on the top of K2 this year.
Q: It was your wish to summit the three world's tallest mountains. You had
deep, very personal reasons for it. You have been atop Everest, you have been
on Kangchenjunga, the challenge of K2 still remains. Will you return to K2?
Radek: Not any time soon. Some day, perhaps, but not in the near future.
Climbing K2 is the most extreme of the extremes because of the weather. To
summit K2 without a hazard, one needs a 6-or-7-day spell of reasonably fair
weather. I mean, not ideal but fair. Four or five days may be enough for Broad
Peak or Nanga Parbat but not for K2. And the thing is that there are rarely
seven days of fair weather on K2. Moreover, K2's BC is not the most pleasant
place on the planet. To wait out long periods of bad weather in that desolate
place, with a climbing partner or a few, is pretty taxing on the spirit of any
climber. With Miska, we reminded ourselves that we had already spent 16 weeks
in this place! Nearly four months of our lives! It's not fun. There are other
beautiful climbs on this planet.
Radek Jaros is a Czech
climber. He has summited Everest (98), Kangchenjunga(02), Broad Peak(03), Cho
Oyu (04) and Naga Parbat(05), all without supplemental oxygen and high
altitude porters, and Shisha Pangma British Route in alpine style (04). In
2001, he climbed the Basque/SSE Ridge of K2 up to the Shoulder, in 2003,
together with Petr Masek, Martin Minarik and the Kazakh national team they
attempted K2 via the Abruzzi Ridge but were forced to retreat. No one summited
K2 in that year.
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