Dave Watson skis in front of K2. Photo courtesy AndySelters.com.
Over the past few years, people have been trying to be the first to ski K2. Unfortunately, without much success. Two of the bigger names or people who seem to be really focused on the peak are Fredrik Erikson (Sweden/Chamonix) and Dave Watson (USA, Minnesota), who have tried to ski K2 both this year and last year.
While neither of them has had success, both have experienced tragic events that seem to happen ever so frequently on the savage mountain, This year, Fredrik’s partner Michele Fait (Italy) slipped while skiing and fell to his death while descending from Camp 2. Understandably not wanting to continue, Fredrik aborted his attempt and went home.
Climbers traversing the Bottleneck on August 4, 2009. Photo courtesy of EverestNews.com.
For Dave Watson, his tragic experience occurred on K2 last year when he arrived at basecamp, only to respond to an accident involving serac fall in the Bottleneck section, which killed 11 people high on the mountain. He waited around for 4 more weeks for the weather conditions to improve (the only ones left in basecamp), which never happened. This year, Dave recently gave K2 another shot, but deep snow slowed the teams down on summit day, keeping K2 void of any ski tracks from it’s summit for yet another season.
Fredrik Ericsson skiing on K2.
So…the question remains, will someone ever ski K2? Sure sounds like the chances are pretty slim for a skier to get the combined conditions of…a) just being able to reach the summit…and b) have the snow conditions good enough so they can actually claim a valid descent. Either way, it sure is exciting to follow along on the expeditions while they are happening and I think in due time, K2 will get skied. And to whomever succeeds, more power to them because it most likely won’t happen on their first try and with a fatality rate of over 25% on K2, they will also be gambling with their life.
not sure but i think Michele s from italy
i wonder what the price tag is for an attempt?
Thanks Gilles…had it right the first time.
For sure Dan…I can’t even begin tho think how much it must cost to attempt K2. And then if you get denied…there’s no refund. You really gotta want it…eh?
Lest we forget, Hans Kammerlander has already skied the first 400m from the summit in 2001, in knee deep powder. His abandoning of the the ski-descent was quite peculiar, having been psyched out from the sight of a Korean climber falling to his death at the bottleneck.
That leaves the question of what actually is “skied”. Hans definately did not do a complete descent, but basically it’s already been done, just as he did Everest before everybody else. He da man!!! as well as the most grotesque omission from the movie “Steep”.
Thanks for reminding us about Hans Ptor. While he may have skied the first 400m from the summit…that still leaves 3500m of unskied terrain on the mountain.
I wonder if he was asked at all to be in “Steep”?
Oh it’s going down for sure. somebody will nail the timing, just a matter of time. Count me out though.
Oddly, came across your post moments after reading Fredrick Ericsson’s update on the K2 accident. http://www.powdermag.com/features/news/k2-ski-expedition-update/
Hans says he never skied it. Friends say he never skied it, it was rumors and there is no proof, or witnesses.
Thanks for chiming in Dave. Like the Archangel descent, we can see how sometimes things get mucked up in hearsay.
Good luck on K2 if you give her another try!
Damn….there are some reeeaal good ski-mountaineers commenting in this thread….
In fact, first man, who actually skied from the top of Mont Everest to the base camp was Slovenian alpinist Davo Karnicar in 2000.
Next year he intends to ski down from K2. I think he’s the best man to do that thing at the moment…
ill be the first person to ski down from the summit of k2