Polish climber makes history by skiing down K2, world’s second-tallest peak

Polish climber makes history by skiing down K2, world’s second-tallest peak


Polish climber makes history by skiing down K2, world’s second-tallest peak

A Polish mountaineer on Sunday became the first person to ski the entire descent from the summit of K2, the world’s second-tallest mountain.

Andrzej Bargiel, 30, was one of nearly three dozen climbers to reach the top of the 28,251-foot peak at various times Sunday. (Mt. Everest, at 29,029 feet, is the world’s tallest peak.)

Andrzej Bargiel is the first person to ski down K2. Photo: © MAREK OGIEŃ/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

While the others began slow descents afoot, Bargiel donned skis and connected various routes to complete an eight-hour journey down K2, which is located in the Karakoram range on the China-Pakistan border.

“I’m very happy that I’ve managed to ski down the summit of K2 and get back to the base safely!” Bargiel stated in a story published by Red Bull. “I started to climb K2 at 4 in the morning on Sunday. The weather was good. Some problems appeared when I reached the peak and started to ski down.

Andrzej Bargiel’s journey down K2 lasted eight hours. Photo: © MAREK OGIEŃ/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

“It was very cloudy and I had to wait for it to clear up at Base IV because the next phase of my downhill was going to be very difficult and technical on an extremely steep wall. I feel huge happiness and, to be honest, it was my second attempt, so I’m glad that I won’t be coming here again.”

Bargiel abandoned a similar quest last year because of dangerous conditions.

Red Bull, which sponsors the mountaineer, proclaimed the feat as “an incredible world first.”

Alan Arnette, a mountaineer who has been chronicling the K2 climbing season on his blog, wrote that Bargiel “skied the entire descent taking a quite curious routing down to avoid the highly technical sections like the Black Pyramid and House Chimnet on the Abruzzi Spur.”

Arnette wrote that Bargiel reached K2’s summit at 11:30 a.m., and arrived at lower Base Camp, completing his odyssey, at 7:30 p.m.

Bargiel is the 13th Polish climber to reach the summit of K2.

While K2 is not as tall as Mt. Everest, it’s considered a more challenging and dangerous mountain. There have been slightly more than 300 successful summits, and 77 fatalities on K2’s slopes.

–Top two images of Andrzej Bargiel are courtesy of ©MAREK OGIEŃ/RED BULL CONTENT POOL. Bottom image showing K2 is via Wikipedia

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