Fredrik Ericsson to Attempt First Ski Descent of Laila Peak in Pakistan

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on June 8, 2009 11:37 am

Fredrik Ericsson, as part of his “warm-up” for climbing and skiing down K2, will attempt to be the first person to climb and ski down Laila Peak in Pakistan (pictured right).  In 2005, Ericsson and Jörgen Aamot attempted twice to ski the northwest face of Laila Peak, but the conditions were too icy.

Now Ericsson returns with his Italian friend Michele Fait to ski the fall-you-die 19,911 foot peak.  The two will spend two weeks on Laila Peak in hopes of acclimatizing for the attempt on K2, another peak that has never been skied down.

Ericsson writes on his blog:
K2 is the second highest mountain in the world and is located on the border between China and Pakistan. It is said to be the ultimate climb, since many consider it to be much more technically challenging than Mount Everest.

In 1954 the Italians Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni were the first to summit K2. They climbed the Abruzzi ridge. After the 2008 season K2 has been climbed 298 times but so far no one has managed to make a complete ski descent of K2.

K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the difficulty of ascent and the high fatality rate among those who climb it. For every four people who have reached the summit, one has died trying. Among the eight-thousanders K2 has the second highest climbing mortality rate.

After Laila Peak we will arrive at K2 base camp around June 20. Then we have about three weeks of acclimatization before we try for the summit. The route (pictured above) we will try to climb and ski is called The Cesen Route and is the south-southeast ridge.

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