Sunday 22 July 2018 is an absolutely historic date for high altitude steep skiing thanks to Polish mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel who made the first ski descent of K2, the second highest mountain in the world and the peak widely recognised as the most risky and hard of all.
Bargiel completing his ski descent of K2 on July 22, 2018.
The feat was the 30-year-old's second bid to enter the record books, after an attempt last year was scotched by bad weather.
Red Bull reports that Bargiel's ascent to K2's second base camp commenced on July 19.
He was able to link snowy sections throughout his entire descent.
Andrzej's descent line very roughly marked in yellow, by UKC. After clicking into his skis around 1130 A.M. Sunday, he returned safely to basecamp around 7:30 P.M., following the Cesen route, below the seracs above the Messner Traverse, and finally down the Kukuczka-Piotrowski route. Bargiel made one abseil around 50 metres above the Bottleneck and was forced to wait in Camp 4 as clouds cleared and visibility improved.
Bargiel was supported in this project by his brother, Bartłomiej - whose drone skills recently helped rescue Scottish mountaineer Rick Allen on Broad Peak - Janusz Gołąb, Piotr Pawlus, Marek Ogień and a team of Sherpas.
After the event he told CNN: "I have managed to ride down from the summit of K2, directly to the base camp". Famed alpinist Hans Kammerlander abandoned his ski descent off the summit in 2001 after watching a fellow climber fall to his death.
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