(K2Climb.net/Madrid) "We are on the top - great weather, we can see the summit of K2," Karl Unterkircher told Montagna.org from GII's summit at 8:00 p.m., local time. Together with Daniele Bernasconi, he has achieved the first complete ascent of the peak's north side.
"We've climbed alpine-style since we set off from BC three days ago, following the North Spur and improvising a great deal on the way," Karl said. "Right now we are exhausted, squeezed like a lemon!" (Ed. note: The Italians previously spent at least one night on the route's C1 for acclimatization. It is yet unclear whether they left the tent pitched and/or fixed ropes before the definitive summit push - in which case their otherwise new route couldn't be considered as done in alpine-style).
Compagnoni still going up
The third member of the team, Michele Compagnoni, was still some meters below the summit. "He is extremely tired," his mates said. "We are waiting for him to decide what to do, before going down."
The Italians have climbed a new route up the north spur, an itinerary previously attempted in 1983 by Kurt Dienberger and Agostino da Polenza.
Spaniards also there
Spaniards Juan Vallejo, Jose Carlos Tamayo, Josu Bereciartua and Mikel Zabalza are also on the spot, trying their luck on a route up the eastern side of the face - an itinerary that rejected Nives Meroi and Romano Benet some years back. The Spaniards checked in yesterday from their C2, at 6,600 meters.
A strong Italian team of Karl Unterkircher, Daniele Bernasconi and Michele Compagnoni have climbed GII's north spur, a direct route previously attempted by by Agostino da Polenza and Kurt Dienberger in 1983.
Until now, there were no complete ascents on GII's north face. A Swiss team led by Kari Kobler and including Piolet d'Or nominee Ueli Steck climbed up to a secondary summit last year.
After an attempt on Everests Hornbein Couloir last fall, Juan Vallejo is climbing GII from its north, Chinese side. He is teaming up with three fellow Basque climbers: Jose Carlos Tamayo, Mikel Zabalza and Josu Bereciartua. The Spaniards have set sights on a route further to the left - an itinerary attempted some years back by Nives Meroi and Romano Benet.
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