The first time @sherpapk and I approached the base of the mountain in winter, K2’s slopes were sheer ice. We were unacclimatized and weighed down with all of our survival and camera gear and carrying two bottles of oxygen each. The mountain felt 5x harder than it should have because of our late arrival and lack of acclimatization. This time, we were traveling light, were well acclimated and to our surprise had perfectly carved steps in soft snow leading up to the first stretch of fixed rope. Perfect.
We managed to film every stretch of rope, taking our time along the way enjoying every moment of the climb.
The absence of the unknown gives you a tremendous advantage in mountaineering and the unknown for us in this case is the familiarity of the route. To have felt physically great and confident just a few months after our winter climb was an incredible feeling. Last time, I could barely record a single shot because of the race against time. This time I was able to shoot the entire route and even managed to fly my drone at camp 1.
To watch Sajid find his footing and flow after 4 months of city living was a real treat to witness. Within a day he was back to his usual self, the son of the Snow Leopard, flying upwards effortlessly towards our first destination.