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On July 22nd, Polish ski – mountaineer, Andrzej Bargiel, made history, by completing the first ever ski descent of Karakorum giant known as K2! Congratulations!
Just 200m shorter than Mt Everest, and a lot more dangerous, it’s considered by far most technical and deadliest peak in the world. It was one of the few well-known peaks still un-skied from the summit. Until July 22, 2018 that is, when Polish adventurer Andrzej Bargiel clicked into his bindings at an altitude of 8,611m and skied his way down to glory!
He climbed up all by himself, without oxygen and then spent about 8 hours getting down, making turns on his skis.
Andrzej is just 30-years old, but he has a lifetime of experience in high alpine areas, having previously skied off Broad Peak, Shishapagma and Manaslu, and he’s held the world speed record for the ascent on Russia’s Mt Elbrus for the past five years. After his early successes in the Himalayas, Bargiel set his sights on skiing off K2, and made his first attempt last year. He tried to ski down the mountain, but was forced to abandon the quest due to dangerous conditions. Second attempt few days ago was a huge success!
Check out this amazing video of the descent:
The mountain lies on the China-Pakistan border, and is the tallest mountain in the Karakoram range. It is one of only 14 mountains on Earth higher than 8,000m (26,247ft) tall, and is the only one which has never before been climbed in the winter (until July 22nd 2018 of course).
Known as the Savage Mountain for the difficulty of the climb, only 300 climbers have reached the summit, while 77 have died in the attempt. The first people to climb K2, back in 1954, were there as an Italian team. In 1986 Polish climber Wanda Rutkiewicz became the first woman ever to reach the top of K2!
Back in March 2018, a team of Polish climbers attempted to climb K2 as well. Polish climbers who were hoping to be the first to climb the world’s second-highest peak in winter have been forced to cancel, due to weather conditions.
Few months later, another Polish mountaineer makes history!
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