(Angela Benavides/update Aug 24, 2011 11:00 am EDT) The four climbers passed the most difficult sections and are on descent between Camp II and Camp I.
Update Aug 24, 2011 02:00 am EDT:
Gerlinde finally reached C4 around midnight, Darek followed shortly afterwards. Maxut and Vassiliy remained in the bivy tent at 8,300m for the night.
The climbers will descend to C1 at 5,300m today - Ralf Dujmovits is also on his way up there. No further news is expected today until they all meet up.
Previous Aug 23:
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner just summited K2 and becomes the first female to complete the first NO-O2 14x8000ers ascent. The Austrian climber topped-out at 18.18h, local time.
Update 11.00am EST Maxut, Vassiliy and Darek followed on top soon afterwards, Ralf Dujmovits just reported from BC. The climbers are now on descent.
Update Aug 23, 2011 10:10 pm EDT A 10 pm local time update on Gerlinde's website stated that all climbers had reached the bivouac and Gerlinde had started her descent to Camp IV.
Gerlinde: Together we win
Gerlinde sounded overwhelmed with joy on the radio, Ralf noted. She said it was a gift to be on the summit all four climbers together, after such a difficult ascent but otherwise in great weather.
After two months on the lonely north face of K2, the international team comprising Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (Austria), Ralf Dujmovits (Germany), Maxut Zhumayev (Kazakhstan), Vassiliy Pivtsov (Kazakhstan), Darek Zaluski (Poland) and Tommy Heinrich (Argentina) has persevered, worked perfectly coordinated and, finally, succeeded.
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Darek Zaluski, Vassiliy Pivtsov and Maxut Zhumayev left their bivouac at 8,300m on K2 north pillar today at 1:30 am, local time, towards the summit in bitter cold conditions. At 11.30m, local time, they reached 8,400m. By 4pm they stood on the summit ridge.
Ralf and Tommy had returned to BC from C1 at the beginning of the summit push five days ago.
Links to K2 north pillar 2011 climbers:
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