K2 ski descent: Summit push abandoned, Ericsson and Cook down from Camp 4

Posted By: The Ski Channel on July 27, 2010 9:22 am

SkI mountaineers Fredrik Ericsson and Trey Cook encountered tough conditions today and have been forced to abandon any push for the K2 summit via the Cesen route.

After struggling through deep snow that significantly slowed hiking time, the climbers were simply out of time to attempt to reach the peak of the “savage mountain.” The pair ended up camping at least an hour’s hike below the usual Camp 4. Looking ahead, conditions weren’t showing anything much better, as winds were reportedly increasing. The prognosis forced Trey Cook to make the difficult call down to his team where the climbers decided they must return to Base Camp.

“I am totally wasted,” said Trey to his team, “It took us 12 hours to cover the ground that should have taken us eight,.. and we are still at least an hour from the shoulder. The snow cover was thin and the climbing became technical because all the snow was scoured off by the wind…. We don´t have time to brew up and begin our summit push by 10:00…. So we are not going to the summit,” his team reported.

The climbers will now have to wait for another window in the weather to potentially make a shot at history. As we’ve mentioned, Ericsson is hoping to become the first person to ever complete a ski descent of the world’s second tallest peak, K2. The goal is part of a larger plan where he hopes to conquer the world’s top three peaks with complete ski descents.