Andrzej Bargiel, a Polish skier, and climber made a massive leap in history this weekend when he became the first skier to ever click in and ride off the summit of K2 in on the Pakistan/China border, arguably, one of the world’s toughest climbs (and that’s before the skiing actually starts).
After abandoning the attempt last year due to warm temperatures and dangerous snow conditions, Bargiel and his team made the final push Sunday before Bargiel skied top to bottom.
“From the summit, he descended along the shoulder towards the Cesen Route, passing below huge seracs, then via the extremely difficult Messner traverse, and via the arête on the Kukuczka-Piotrowski route,” wrote his sponsor Red Bull, reporting on the trip. Bargiel also had to navigate crevasses and broken snowfields at the bottom.
“I’m very happy that I’ve managed to ski down the summit of K2 and get back to the base safely,” said Bargiel of the descent. “I started to climb K2 at 4 in the morning on Sunday. The weather was good. Some problems appeared when I reached the peak and started to ski down. It was very cloudy and I had to wait for it to clear up at Base IV because the next phase of my downhill was going to be very difficult and technical on an extremely steep wall. I feel huge happiness and, to be honest, it was my second attempt, so I’m glad that I won’t be coming here again.”