46 years, Australia
Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel is again heading to the world’s second highest mountain, K2, to try to become the first person to complete a ski descent.
Climbers and ski-mountaineers have tried to descend K2 on skis in the past, often with fatal consequences. Italian Hans Kammerlander had planned an attempt in 2001, only to turn around 400 meters from the summit after watching a Korean climber fall past him to his death. Nearly a decade later in 2010 Swedish ski-mountaineer Fredrik Ericsson was killed after a fall near the infamous bottleneck section on K2.
Kammerlander has said that “somebody will do it, but he’ll need a lot of ability and a whole lot of luck”.
This is Bargiel’s second attempt. Last season he abandoned due to high avalanche and rockfall risks. The video below shows some teaser footage from the build-up to the 2017 expedition.
Bargiel is a seasoned extreme athlete who has previously skied Shisapangma and Broad Peak. This year, before attempting K2, he intends to acclimatize by climbing and skiing down Gasherbrum II, the lowest and most accessible of the 8000m peaks in the Karakorum.
Some days ago Bargiel landed in Skardu, the last stop in Pakistan before the Karakorum.
Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool