Last weekend climber Tomaž Rotar became the fourth Slovene to conquer the world’s second highest mountain – the 8611m high K2.
This summer’s climbing season for the highest peaks of Karakorum in Pakistan started with a lot of snow and there was nothing to indicate that this would be followed by a record season for climbing K2.
62 climbers managed to climb the ‘savage mountain’ last weekend, which is the highest number for a single year on record. That number may increase as the summer season lasts until the end of August.
This year 700 climbers have already climbed the world’s highest mountain Mount Everest, but K2 is technically much more demanding, with extremely challenging obstacles, such as the Chimney, the Black Pyramid and the Bottleneck a few hundred metres below the summit with its huge and intimidating ice serac.
In comparison to Mount Everest and the Himalayas, weather conditions in Karakorum are far more unstable and unpredictable, which is why we have seen no ascents of K2 in recent years.
Among those who stood on the summit last weekend was Tomaž Rotar, a 46 year old dentist from Lesce, who climbed the mountain with British mountaineer Jake Meyer. 34 year old Meyer wrote that he and Rotar reached the summit on Saturday, 21st of July, at 8am local time.
Meyer thus became the tenth Briton to climb K2 and Rotar the fourth Slovene to reach the summit of Karakorum’s king. Before Rotar, Zvonko Požgaj and Viki Grošelj had ascended K2 followed by Roman Bene in 2006. In May last year, Rotar was the eighteenth Slovene to climb Everest.
Česen and Stražar waiting beneath Latok
There is also a Slovene-British expedition Choktoi 2018 currently in Karakorum. Members of the expedition are Aleš Česen, Luka Stražar and Tom Livingstone, whose main goal is an ascent of the 7145m high Latok from a new direction.
They set out for Pakistan on 6th of June and are expected to return on 19th August. According to the Alpine Association of Slovenia they reported on Sunday that they had returned from an acclimatisation climb on Baintha Kabata (6290m) and that they feel fine.