First K2 Ascent in Two Years

By Dougald MacDonald ,

Italians Romano Benet and Nives Meroi summited K2 in Pakistan last week via the Abruzzi Spur, making the first climb of the world’s second-highest peak since 2004. It was the husband-and-wife team’s third attempt on the 28,251-foot peak in 12 years, and they reached the top without supplementary oxygen. Earlier this year, the two climbed 26,795-foot Dhaulagiri.

In 2004, excellent weather and crowds of climbers drawn by the 50th anniversary of K2’s first ascent resulted in more than 40 climbers reaching the top. Last year, however, no teams were successful on the peak. A major storm earlier this season destroyed camps midway up the mountain, but several teams have now repositioned themselves for possible summit bids this week.

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