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  K2 2004: K2 South, all climbers at Base Camp! : Italian expedition Everest/K2 2004 expedition

K2 2004 - 50 years later

K2 South, all climbers at Base Camp!

Now the success is full and the worries for the five climbers who submitted K2 yesterday morning are eventually over: they're all at Base Camp.

From Base Camp, at 23:00

Now the success is full and the worries for the five climbers who reach the summit of K2 yesterday morning are eventually over: they're all at Base Camp after having helped all over the way back from Camp IV their Spanish colleagues.

After arriving at Base Camp their happiness was so great that they almost forgot undergoing the usual treatment needed to recover from the great difficulties of these days.

The first to enter the tent is Karl Unterkicher who lead Ugo Giacomelli with a small frostbite at his hands, rapidly solved by the intervention of our physician Leonardo Pagani. Karl summited K2 two months after summiting Everest; a great record; how was it?

"It was hard, very hard - says Karls who looks like he was just back from a stroll - much more difficult than Everest two months ago! Here the climb starts at 5000 mt; there's no quiet moment; a very tough work to do. But eventually looking at the peak form here the proudness is enormous. An astonishing view who leaves you breathless." 

Ugo, that's your first 8000? 

"An incredible emotion - says Giacomelli with an enormous smile - it  looks like you touch the sky with your hand. I can't even explain it!".

“Gnaro” Silvio Mondinelli eventually at Base. Today's was a difficult day too, your 11th 8000 was not enough? "It's a tough climb; perhaps with less snow it could be easier; when I talked to my wife yesterday she said: "wasn't enough Kangchenjunga?!". What's important is that we all submitted and in total safety. That's the achievement of the whole group. Concerning the collaboration and the help with the Spanish climbers, our friendship is an old one. they're almost Italians, and we're almost Spanish: it's easy to understand each other! But helping each other in the mountains means saving lives, and this still happens luckily! but no matter if we suffered eventually we did just what we love: climbing! There're people at home who suffer a lot: my thoughts now are for them and, in particular, to Silvana."

Walter Nones: “It's a beautiful experience which I dedicate to Silvana, to my colleagues Carbinieri who died in Nassirya and to my girlfriend who's going to give me a baby soon.".

Last to reach Base Camp after having helped the spanish, is Michele Compagnoni; tired but happy. "Arriving on top and looking at the world from there was beautiful. It's like I imagined! I would have loved calling my uncle from there; as I wanted to share these feelings with all people at Base Camp".

Together with Michele arrived also the other climbers who brought the materials of the Spanish who're coming back slowly.

Minister Gianni Alemmanno surprised all climbers showing up at Base  Camp to share this beautiful, Italian moment.

27/07/2004 Mario Dibona, Renato Sottsass, Marco Da Pozzo and Renzo  Benedetti submitted K2.

This morning at 7:15 Mario Dibona, Renato Sottsass, Marco Da Pozzo and Renzo Benedetti summited K2 at 8.611 m. together with Mingma Sherpa and Thilen Sherpa.

Base Camp K2 - Monday 27 July 2004 - satellite communication with Giuseppe Ghedina: "It's a wonderful day on K2, a beautiful achievement for Cortina's Scoiattoli!". Mario Dibona, Renato Sottsass, Marco Da Pozzo and Renzo Benedetti left yesterday night around 22,00 (local time) of 26/07/2004, from Camp 4 (8000m) and reached the top around 7,15, after a 9 hours climb. With the on the top are Thilen Sherpa and Mingma Sherpa who was the fastest of the group."


K2 South: Spanish climbers back as well!

Tonight the Italian climbers went back on the mountain to help Oiarzabal. Happy end for the operation. Now the alpinists are going

down through the difficult path. Casa Italia sends people to help them.

Base Camp Casa Italia, 6:30 (local time)

The longest day of K2 2004 finished very late. Yesterday evening round 9pm everything looked quiet after the Italian climbers had arrived at Camp IV. The Spanish climbers were a bit late but their head lights were clear on the "bottleneck".

But around midnight just Mikel Zabalza had reached the tents. Juanito Oiarzabal, Edurne Pasaban and Juan Vallejo were still quite far, extremely slow. Around 2am they still hadn't arrived. Then the voice of Ferran, a Spanish climbers at Camp IV for today's attempt to summit the top, announced that eventually Juan and Edurne were back. Edurne has frozen feet but is fine overall.

Unfortunately there was still no trace of Juanito. Suddenly started the search. Ferran moved together with the Italian Walter Nones, Nadia Tiraboschi, Tarcisio Bello and Pierangelo Maurizio. After half an hour of silence and fear, Pierangelo's voice announced: "I'm going back to Camp IV: Juanito is with me!!!"

Juanito is very weak and his feet are in bad conditions, nevertheless now he's out of danger.  Base Camps keep their radios on but now the climbers need some rest.

Morning will come fast and with it the difficult slow way back to the lower camps. Giuliano De Marchi, very experienced physician, is waiting at Camp III. Juanito and Edurne are moving with the help of their fellows Italians and Spanish, while other climbers lead by Adriano Greco and Mario Merelli are moving toward them from Base Camp.

At the same time yesterday evening around 10pm a small group of 4 Scoiattoli left Camp IV and are moving toward the top. 7 Tibetans and 2 balti summited K2 this morning as well. A great result for them too.


K2 South: back at Camp IV

19:00 (Italian Time) - Base Camp has just received the much awaited news: all Italian climbers are back at Camp IV. Between them also Silvio Mondinelli who waited together with Mikel Zabalza to help some climbers of the Spanish expedition.

After the great result of Silvio Mondinelli and Karl Unterkircher who submitted K2 at 13:30, the top of the second mountain in the world was reached around 14:30 by the three other climbers of the Italian expedition Ugo Giacomelli, Walter Nones and Michele Compagnoni, and around 14:50 by the climbers of "Al Filo de lo imposible" lead by Juanito Oiarzabal with Edurne Pasaban, Juan Vallejo and Mikel Zabalza.

An astonishing success for the expedition "K2 2004-50 years later" made possible by the great collaboration of the whole group of climbers who - after overcoming the difficulties due to the loss of the material stuffed at Camp III - showed their enormous courage and skill. All five Italian climbers reached the top of K2 (8.611 mt) without oxygen bottles. 

Around 19:00 - eventually - Base Camp received the much awaited news: all Italian climbers are back at Camp IV. Between them also Silvio Mondinelli who waited together with Mikel Zabalza to help some climbers of the Spanish expedition. 

Silvio would like a "beer" more than talking with Base Camp ("tea is getting boring..." he says frankly); then he starts flooding us with details about the challenge: "This morning was very cold, but we were so motivated that we almost didn't realize it; I did all of my best. This was surely my last possibility to submit K2 and I didn't want to miss it. I must admit - "Gnaro" goes on - that this is the result of the work of the whole team. Furthermore I'm very happy for the guys who submitted their first 8000. It's a feeling which is difficult to describe: you can't imagine the beauty and magic of the view from the top of K2. The top of Everest is nothing compared to that!". See you tomorrow...

The three Spanish climbers still on the mountain are about one hour from Camp IV; some climbers are moving toward them.

copyright Italian expedition Everest/K2 2004 expedition Expedition



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