Stangl camp reports: „I’ll go up there – by all means“
Christian Stangl has reached base camp of the K2. For the purpose of
acclimatisation the outstanding athlet from Austria directly tackled the
peak, and he did it inspite of extremely bad weather. This year Stangl once
again tries to reach the summit of the K2, the second highest mountain on
earth, in less than 24 hours.
– July 7, 2009 ---- After a five-days walk from the small Pakistani
provincial town Askole the Skyrunner Christian Stangl has arrived at the
base camp of the K2 yesterday evening (local time). „The weather is
extremely bad. Even the base camp at 4,000 meters is snow-hidden. There were
no such conditions for a long period of time“, describes Stangls his first
however, did not keep the extreme mountaineer from immediately climbing up
the K2. At an altitude of 6,000 meters above sea level Stangl contacted his
manager Ernst Wilde for a first detailed report. „There is constant
snowfall. Avalanches can be heard almost every minute. There are piles of
newly fallen snow. All tracks have disappeared so I must make my own path
through the deep snow. This is highly strenious, but at least it facilitates
acclimatisation“, says an optimistic Stangl.
Stangl will climb up the K2 as far as possible. He might spend the night in
a tent that was left behind and return tomorrow morning. This way Stangl
gets acclimatised to the extreme altitude and weather conditions.
According to Stangl it won’t be before next week that he can start his speed
ascent to the K2. Before he will either climb up to an altitude of 8,100
meters, precisely to the place of last year’s accident, or else ascend the
Broad Peak on the opposite side in order to get a good topographic view on
the K2. „Safety is my prior concern. I need precise information on the
situation up there“, claims Stangl.
such information Stangl will then be able to decide on whether to take the
old route or else, and more likely, to take a new route to the peak at 8,611
meters. Probably the track of the pioneer alpinists Fritz Wiessner and
Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama. In 1939 these two men have set a record in altitude
when they reached 8,382 meters, and until this day their route has not been
completed. And Stangl intends to „complete“ it, also as a sign of respect
and appreciation for the great mountaineering achievments of his
Kaltenbrunner, who is also „waiting“ for better weather at the K2, has
briefly welcomed Stangl. At the base camp Stangl also met the two German
mountaineers Benedikt Böhm and Sebastian Haag, who plan to tackle the Broad
Peak in the so-called "Stangl-Style". I.e. as fast as possible and without
technical devices. "I am pleased to see young alpinists, whom I could
convince of my stil to ascend peaks of 8,000 m and more in as little time as
possible", comments Stangl.
Apparently this year at the K2 there are less mountaineers than initially
expected. According to Stangls estimate there are some 30 persons. Some left
due to the political uproar in Pakistan, others were kept off by the bad
weather conditions. Also the death of the Italian extreme mountaineer
Michele Fait at the K2 a few days ago has made some change their mind.
represents the first „One-man-group“ at the K2. No one before him has ever
intended to tackle the K2 all alone. In his failed attempt of last year, he
was accompanied by his friend Thomas Strausz . Both had to terminate due to
the major avalanche at 8,100 meters. This avalanche, which also blocked the
way back, has killed 11 mountaineers in 2008.
year the K2 once again shows its nasty face. There have also been years when
no one reached the summit. The K2 is not a mountain for toursists, providing
a nice view and a cosy hotel. Nevertheless I’ll go up there – by all means“,
is Stangl’s final statement. According to the Skyrunner himself, his chances
to reach the peak are fifty-fifty.
8.611 meter K2 should be the third eight-thousand mountain in Stangls career
he want’s to skyrun: in less than 24 hours from base camp to summit and
back. For Mt. Everest Stangl needed 17 hours to the summit, 8.188 high Cho
Oyu skyrunned Stangl in 15 hours. The total time from base camp to summit
and downhill to base camp again was under 24 hours. The highest mountains as
a day trip. “It is possible to clim every mountain on earth in one day. For
me it isn’t a challenge to be the 299th on top of K2. Not very exciting.
Only speed counts”, Stangl confident.
“Skyrunning” – Stangl invented this new discipline to alpinism – claims a
very challenge to mountaineers: no help from a team, no special equipment,
no artificial oxygen in containers. Only a few energy bars and two liters of
water: the only equipment Stangl needs to skyrun the summits of the highest
mountains on earth. “It’s only the race against the stop watch, not against
the mountain. Really “honest” alpine climbing”, as Stangl stated.
Christian Manager has answered the question:
Unclear from above if this mean he will not touch ropes or camps put in by
others...: "Christian uses already existing
fixed ropes on the way to the summit. And also tents left behind by former
expeditions; to stay overnight if necessary, to acclimate for a while in
this high altitude and to survive if whether changes and it's better to
crawl in a tent."
Earlier: Christian Stangl Austrian K2 climber for year 2009 arrived in
Pakistan on June 28, 2009.