Hello all, The expedition is over. The team is in
Skardu after the trek out over the Gondogoro La. George, Dave and Ali are
sorting and repacking gear in the summer heat. Overall the expedition was
very successful, all survived without serious injury.
This summer no one reached the summit of K2. Dave made it the highest on
the mountain during the Aug 4 summit push. He and Mingma Sherpa fixed the
bottleneck (finished by 9:30am), Louis R (Canada) led the traverse and Dave
took over breaking trail with Vassily (Kazakh) belaying. The snow was chest
deep, unconsolidated sugar. The slope angle was 45+ and progress was slowed
to 20m per hour. At 2:30pm the choice was made to descend. The climbers
started down from above the bottleneck with a height of 8350-8400 reached.
Dave downclimbed the rock step below the serac into the bottleneck. While
clipped into the rope he took off his crampons and overboots, put on the
skis, changed his frozen gloves, loaded the pack, adjusted the length of the
ski poles, then dropped in.
He skied the bottleneck to the shoulder and then down to Camp4. The team
slept another night at camp4. It was a difficult night with 1 sleeping bag
for 3 climbers and super cold temps at nearly 8000m.
In the morning Dave skied to camp3 while George and Ali downclimbed and
rapelled. They all decended (rappel/downclimb) the Black Pyramid together
to camp2. The team packed up camp and rapelled the House Chimney. Dave
then skied from the base of the Chimney down to ABC while George and Ali
downclimbed. The team was in Base Camp that
While in base camp, the team regularly talked with Austrian speed climber
Christian Stangl, who is a friend of Hans Kammerlander.
Was this the first descent of the bottleneck? Is there
Earlier: Dave was on the attempt last night. He turned around
but is very happy with his effort. he is coming down to Base camp and back
He got some skiing in , we will let him tell you the
Earlier: Hello EverestNews, The American K2 Ski Expedition is in base
camp waiting for the projected weather window due to arrive Aug 1. The team
has spent the past few weeks acclimatizing by climbing up and down the route
and stocking camps with food and gas.
The original plan was to climb the Cesen route but with a
large international team occupying the only tent spaces, the team has
switched to the traditional Abruzzi Ridge route. Dave is confident this
route is also skiable, except for a couple of sections, the Black Pyramid
and the House Chimney.
Even with this winters heavy snowfall, the Cesen route has
sections that have been scoured by wind and avalanches, making these
sections unskiable. Dave believes there would be the same amount of rapelling
on the Abruzzi and the Cesen. There is also a desire to climb the Abruzzi
since it is the 100 yr anniversary of the Duke of Abruzzi's expedition to
The guys are in good spirits and are very excited to start
climbing. The small number of climbers on K2 this summer have led to a
tightly knit group that is excited to work together to establish the route
to the summit.
Earlier: Kathmandu was a hectic 3
days. Got stuff sorted out. 2 weeks notice to organize an expedition is not
enough. This has been really stressful and tiring. We flew to Islamabad on the
25th, Skardu on the 27th.
Now in Skardu and getting the sat phone and laptop dialed in. There is a young
guy here in Skardu, Fida Hussain who is very good with this tech
stuff. Repacking so the loads are 25kg each, and most importantly- takin it
The weather is nice, still hot, but bearable. I met up with Ibrahim Munna
yesterday, awesome guy. He will help out by keeping us fed for the duration
of the 2 month trip. Munna was a great friend and help to us last summer. I'm
really stoked to have him around.
As I repack the ski bag I can't help but think of the accident last week that
killed Michele Fait on the same slopes that I am about to ski down. It's very
sad and unfortunate that these things happen. It is a serious reality check,
thinking back to last summer on Broad Peak when my ski partner took a 500 m
fall, I get into a very serious and focused frame of mind. I came here to
ski this line and I am still excited to get on it, though the ultimate ski
descents have the ultimate consequences.
I know how insignificant I am compared to the power of this mountain, What
ever this king of mountains tells me, I will obey, if it dosent feel right,
I'll back off. But, I really want to ride this hill, and I'm going to try
really hard to send.
Tomorrow we will drive to Askole, 8-10 hours of rad jeep trails, rockcrawling,
washed out slopes of scree and sand, precipitous drops to raging rivers, a
really gnary drive. We'll stay a night in Askole, decide on which porters to
use to carry our gear and food. I estimate hiring 30 people to carry the
loads. We are a 3 person team (including the cook Munna).
The trek to base camp is about 60 miles and will take 6 days with one day of
rest. This trek up the Baltoro is one of the most amazing mountain treks on
Earth. Incredible mountain beauty. Base camp is at 5000m (16,500ft). From
there we start the real fun- climbing K2. Dave
This summer American climber and skier, Dave Watson will attempt to ski the
S-SE spur of K2 in Pakistan.
Dave, a 2-time Everest summiter, is hoping to complete the project he started
last summer. In 2008, he travelled to Pakistan to ski K2, dangerous
conditions prevented him from realizing his dream.
Watson acclimatized on Broad Peak and skied from 7600 meters during the only
usable weather window of the summer 08' season. After helping with rescues of
climbers on K2 , during that same weather window, Dave and his team remained
the only people in base camp for another 4 weeks, hoping for decreased wind
speeds on the upper mountain. The winds never decreased to a safe level and
the season ended.
Using skis from the Karhu ski company, weighing only 3.4 pounds, he hopes to
ski from the summit of the 8611 meter, K2. Conditions will detirmine if he
will attempt to ski the exposed traverse under the serac as well as the top of
weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus
Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight
double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with
a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a
super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the
TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on
steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons
CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura®
upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating
closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated
removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand
See more here.