Magic Line - one year after

Posted: Jun 10, 2005 01:32 pm EDT

The Catalans were the most exciting expedition in the summer of 2004. Basically, they accomplished the first repetition of K2s Magic Line but there was much more to it than that.

Whilst hundreds of climbers crowded the Abruzzi Spur, they were alone on one of the most demanding routes of K2. There was nothing political in their reports; their dispatches reflected sheer adventure and honesty. When the world celebrated the 1954 'K2 conquerors' in the 50th anniversary of the climb; the Catalans celebrated Walter Bonattis birthday. They were different, and they wanted to be: A Jolly Roger Pirate flag signaled their base camp. <cutoff>

<b>Simply the best</b>

They were the only ones to try a rescue party when two climbers went missing on the Abruzzi Spur route whilst their own climbing mates hurried home.

Jordi Corominas summit became a thriller when he got beyond the point of no return, his option to summit or die. He made it, and survived a 48 hours non stop climb.

And then the Magic boys lost one of their own: The soothing element in their group, the character who contributed most to keep them all together: Manel de la Mata, died in their arms.

<b>Separate ways</b>

Each in the team had their own lives, priorities and ways of understanding alpinism. Thus back at home, they all carried on with their lives and followed different paths. One year later, this is what they are up to:

<b>Corominas and Tosas, juicy plans</b>

The 'wild Jordis', Corominas and Tosas, are currently climbing in the Peruvian Andes. They are not returning to Pakistan this summer, but working as mountain guides in the Alps Pyrenees. However, the guys might have some juicy plans for this fall.

After his K2 summit, the Spanish climbing community speaks with deep respect of Jordi Corominas. Perhaps the best climber in Spain, he is also one of the less accessible - a full -time guide and climbing teacher, who avoids media and fame.

Jordi Tosas is his working and climbing partner, always coming up with new challenges to give use to his dry-tooling axes and, of course, his snowboard.

<b>Oscar: A natural born 8000er</b>

Oscar Cadiach, the expedition leader, is also working as a mountain guide. He took Manel's place as climbing instructor in one of the most prestigious High Mountaineering and Climbing schools in Spain.

As for his next plan, he says: I have a beautiful project, but I couldnt find the right people. Perhaps next year.

Meanwhile, He will be leading a team to Korzhenevskaya Peak in the Pamir range this summer. In fall, he will lead another team on Putha Hiunchuli (better known as Dhaulagiri 7) descending on skis. However, Oscar is a natural born 8000er climber - he cannot forget the dream of attempting new routes and off-season climbing.

<b>Valen: The executive</b>

As for Valen Giró, who sent some of the best dispatches from the mountain and went up for his mates in the middle of a storm - work keeps him more busy than he wants it to. He might lead a team on a BTT trip to Everest Base Camp in Tibet. An accomplished skier, he is considering going with Oscar on his Dhaula 7 trip, job permitting, of course.

This summer, there will be many interesting climbs going on in Pakistan - other teams, and other adventures. But we shall nevertheless miss the Magic Guys.

<i>At midnight local time, on August 17th 2004, Jordi Corominas reached the top of K2 through the Magic Line, accomplishing the first repetition after a Polish/Slovak team in 1986. Oscar Cadiach and Manel de la Matta turned around from their camp at 8100 m on the morning of August 16. Manel fell ill in C1 at 6400, and died hours later.

Oscar Cadiach, the head of the "Tarragona Magic Line Expedition 2004" has done 5 expeditions to Everest, 2 of which reached the summit. Cadiach has also climbed Nanga Parbat, Shisha Pangma, Makalu and Lhotse. He opened the route 'Free Tibet' on Cho Oyu and did a new route on Broad Peak central.

Team members include Manel de la Matta who climbed Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma in Alpine Style. Jordi Tosas descended Cho Oyu on a snowboard. Jordi Corominas climbed Dhaulagiri alone.

Ski touring expert Valentí Valen Giró has accomplished expeditions to 7000+ peaks such as SpantiK and Gurla Mandhata. Cadiach, Corominas and Tosas are UIAGM Mountain Guides.

The first Magic Line ascent was made by a Polish/Slovak team. The men were Wojtek Wroz (Poland), Przemyslaw Piasecki (Poland) and Peter Bozik (Slovakia). The climbers ascended in expedition style up to 7600 m. Wojtek Wroz fell from the fixed ropes during the descent by the Abruzzi spur. Peter Bozik later perished during an attempt to climb the Bonington route on the South West Face of Everest.

In the remarkable K2 anniversary of 2004, the Pirates of K2 stole the show. ExplorersWeb chose the team Best Of 2004, for living up to each and every one of the categories of the ExplorersWeb award: Courage, determination, persistence, self reliance, ingenuity, pioneering, idealism, comradeship, compassion, respect towards competition, and honesty. </i>

#Mountaineering #feature

Readers might recall 2004, when a Catalan team led by Oscar Cadiach went for K2's Magic Line. Cadiach got his summit this year at last.
Image by K2 Magic Line courtesy K2 Magic Line, SOURCE

K2 memories: the 2004 Magic Line team members, under the Jolly Roger flag. L/R: Oscar Cadiach, Agustin Giró, Manel de la Matta, Jordi Tosas and Jordi Coromminas.
File image of Jordi Tosas with snowboard on Broad Peak. Courtesy of Jordi Tosas.