K2’s Magic Line Completed

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Two more teams have completed ascents of K2, including the second ascent of the “Magic Line,” K2’s steep and technical South-Southwest Pillar. Yesterday, a Japanese expedition reached the top via the South-Southeast Spur (the Cesen Route). And last night, in the most impressive ascent of a remarkable season, Spanish climber Jordi Corominas summited alone via the Magic Line, at around midnight, and descended via the Abruzzi Spur. The Magic Line was first climbed in 1986 by a Polish team. That same year, the great Italian soloist Renatto Casarotto died in a crevasse fall at the base of the route, after reaching 8,200 meters on the line solo. According to www.k2climb.net and Spanish web sites, Corominas and two teammates had pushed the Magic Line to around 8,300 meters by the weekend, and they camped at 8,100 meters on Sunday night. Yesterday, Corominas and one other climber started for the top, but his exhausted partner soon turned around. Corominas carried on, laboring through deep snow without supplemental oxygen, above all the technical ground, while his two partners descended to Camp 3 on the Magic Line. Corominas took hours to ascend the last 100 vertical meters, finally reaching the summit around midnight. He followed the tracks of the Japanese climbers down the Abruzzi Spur, reaching Camp 4 at dawn, where the Japanese had waited for him. After resting briefly, he decided to continue down alone to Camp 3, where a teammate had left a tent for him, and finally rested there after more than 30 hours of nearly continuous climbing. He and the Japanese were expected to head down to basecamp today.Go to www.k2climb.net for more details from this climb.Meanwhile, an Italian expedition has abandoned its bid to make the first ascent of the north side of K2 since 1996.