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with Stefan Nestler

Attention, rope parasites!

K 2 Base Camp

Trouble’s brewing in the base camps on K 2 and the neighboring eight-thousander Broad Peak. “I got surprised to see climbers here without ropes.”, writes Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, head of the Nepalese expedition operator Dreamers Destination from the base camp at the foot of K 2, the second highest mountain on earth. Only on the normal route via the Abruzzi spur, three teams are climbing without ropes, says the 31-year-old Nepalese: “If this is how climbers come on K 2, then we can expect (the events of the) year 2008 again on K 2.” At that time eleven climbers from seven nations had died in a true mass summit push on the 8,611-meter-high mountain.

Mingma has agreed with the Austrian expedition organizer Lukas Furtenbach that Dreamers Destination will fix the ropes on the Abruzzi route on K 2 while Furtenbach Adventures will do the same on the normal route on the 8,051-meter-high Broad Peak and later make mutual use of the ropes. Also Furtenbach is hopping mad that other teams neither participate in the work to secure the route nor in the costs.

“Unfair and fraud”

Broad Peak

“I think, it is, to say the least, absolutely unacceptable to arrive unprepared after the big commercial teams, to use their fixed ropes and to be not fair enough to contribute,” Lukas writes to me. “Most of these teams/climbers should have to leave without fixed ropes, because they are not able to climb the mountain in Alpine style. This is parasitism. It is unfair and fraud.” His Pakistani liaison officer spoke to the officers of the other teams about the problem, but without success, writes Lukas. The 39-year-old threatens to publicly name those teams if they refuse until last to make their contribution and nevertheless use the fixed ropes. Also the self-proclaimed “professional climbers” who want to distance themselves from the clients of the commercial expeditions are in Furtenbach’s bad books: “Two Americans say they will climb with their 40-meter rope in Alpine style and won’t pay anything. In the same breath they explain that they will use our ropes when necessary.”

Date

29. June 2017 | 14:24

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