Dozens Reach Top of K2

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A few days shy of the 50th anniversary of K2’s first ascent, more than 40 climbers summited the world’s second-highest peak over three days, ending a two-year drought of successful summits. Until this year, only 198 climbers had ever succeeded on K2. During a single day, July 27, 14 climbers reached the top. Some highlights: • Michele Compagnoni and Mario Lacedelli both summited, on separate days. The two men are the grandson of Achille Compagnoni and nephew of Lino Lacedelli, respectively, the two men who first reached K2’s top on July 31, 1954. • Basque climber Edurne Pasaban became the sixth woman to climb K2 (and is the only one still alive). She suffered frostbite on her toes and was evacuated from basecamp by helicopter. • Juanito Oiarzabal of Spain summited K2 for his second time (only the third man to do so) but got lost during the descent and had to be rescued by other climbers at Camp IV. He also suffered frostbite and was evacuated with Pasaban. • Spanish climber Carlos Soria, 65, became the oldest man to summit K2. Nearby, Basque climbers Alberto Iñurrategi and Jon Beloki made the second ascent of 7,952-meter G-III, first climbed by the Poles in 1975. The Basque team had also hoped to climb G-IV, but this season’s extensive poor weather forced their attention toward G-III. Thanks to for some of the information in this story.