Since then, they’ve spent 11 nights up high, spread out over 4 rotations. They’re quite possibly the most acclimated team on the mountain.
It was incredible to watch them almost effortlessly climb direct to camp 3 in one push from basecamp to position themselves for the narrow summit window. With weather conditions being as brutal and brief as they are in winter, I’m learning K2 in winter requires this type of bold, intelligent, strategic aggression in order to make use of the tiny weather window opportunities.
We were certain they had summited and said our goodbyes to K2, only to later have our descent intersect with theirs just below camp 1.
Ali and John’s combined understanding of winter climbing on 8000’ers is impressive to watch. Ali is operating on a whole other level and it’s an honor to be in his presence to learn, listen and observe as they aim for the top.
I took this photo at the base of K2 after their attempt on the summit on the 25th.