It was bad weather, but the Kazachs and the Poles were preparing to climb to C1, C2, C3, and using a brief period of acceptable weather (which in the end didn’t come), to climb to C4 and to the top. To the top, but aware of the strong winds.
The plan was risky, but feasible for people with strong hearts.
George Dijmărescu, which stood back and just made critics and comments during the whole expedition, obviously did not want to climb. As usual, he tagged all of them as stupid, even if they have already climbed 13 – 8000 m summits, having a vast experience. Dijmărescu was afraid of K2, and that I could see that in all our discussions. For 20 years, since I am climbing the mountain, I met many people, and I know how to make a difference between Reason, Laziness and Fear.
Christian Stangl told me at a time, that he will go alone, and when I said that I will also go alone (because our team was not a real team, and George tried to persuade the whole group not to climb), Christian replied firmly, he said that he will go alone, and added that Lakpa is the one to lead the sherpas and that George is always nervous and he doesn’t want to go with anybody else. (It is important to mention that once, the sherpas, at one of Dijmărescu’s hysterical outbreak, wanted to go down definitely and said that they don’t want even their money).
Christian left to ABC in the afternoon on 10 August, and he told me that he will sleeps ther, then he will climb up to C3 and from there, to the top. He didn’t bring a walkie-talkie because it was to heavy, he said.
I was going to go alone, during that night, on 10/11 August.
Lakpa begged me not to go, and do not know why, I accepted. Actually, she promised that we will go together.
I have spoken with the Cossacks, on 10 August, and regretfully told them that I do not have with whom to climb the mountain, that I don’t have a team. Honestly, I wanted to cry when I saw how the other teams are organizing, how they were preparing everything, and then realizing what Dijmarescu was doing.
In the night (10/11 August) it was bad weather, and in the morning (11 August) it was snowing and the wind was strong.
But the next day, on the 12 August, the weather was perfect – just for one day-, and we decided to go the following night, (on 12/13 at 1 AM). On the 13th of August, at 1 AM, we left from BC. George and his wife (Lakpa) slept in the ABC, there where Christian had to sleep, too. Surprised, they said that he has not slept here.
I climbed to C1 on 13th of August and I saw that nobody had climbed here before me. I climbed to C2 and on the House Chimney I understood that it was impossible that Chris had climbed here, because everything was covered with ice; ropes, stairs, everything.
Meanwhile, the sherpas also said that I was the one that is making steps in the snow, and that there are no traces in front of me. Chris didn’t climb here …
C2 was untouched and it took 2 hours until we could get into the tent. It was covered with snow.
On the 15th of August, the sherpas climbed to C3 and found that nobody was there. Chris’ ice axes were there as he left them and the tent was also packed, as we left it – not installed, because we didn’t want the wind to destroy it. Chris was not in C3.
To climb directly in C3 is an inhuman effort, difficult and from there to C4 the snow is up to waist (not even the sherpas were able to reach C4. We started four people in an attempt to reach C4, but we were stopped because of the bad weather).
So, Chris claims that he climbed to C3 directly, and then the next day to the summit, and that he was descending all the night to BC, so that, on the 13th of August at 6 AM he was in BC. Well, OK …
I have reported in great detail that he didn’t slept in ABC; that he was not on the Abruzzi route; that he has not reached C2, C3, and we were five people to see that. On the Cessen route he was neither going up or down, the Cossacks and the Poles know that. OK, then where was he and what did he did?
After a few days, the Pakistani porters found his sleeping bag, tent, ice axe, food, a pot, a sleeping pad, and what is most important, a 370-page book written by an Austrian writer. A walkie-talkie was too hard to carry, but he took a book with 370 pages…. Probably, he considered that for K2, even two days is too much, so that he might even read if the climb is too boring. The fact is that these materials were well hidden under rocks, away from ABC.
Another question is, except all (C2, C3, Abruzzi), how did he climb the Bottelneck without ice axes and without rope?
I consider the following question to be the most important, which way did he descend? Neither on Cessen, nor on Abruzzi. OK; Chris arrived in BC at 6 AM, told Moon (the cook) that he is tired and he won’t show him the summit picture. He said that he descended somewhere between Cessen and Abruzzi, but still, he was not so tired to wait another day. In one hour he packed and left to Concordia.
Without ice axes and rope, if he had descend between the two known routes on K2, or wherever, then, that route would be the easiest route on K2, which no one has discovered yet. It is known that to descend is harder than to climb.
The man simply left the ABC, went away, camped, stood for two days, read the book about a Persian family, and at 6 AM he came back in the BC, pretending that he reached the summit.
About his equipment, there are video and photo evidence, where and how was it found. There are witnesses to confirm the fact that he was not on any route.
I think the team from Kazakhstan was the most competent and Iuri, Ralph and Gerlinde also. I must say that from the very beginning I have admired Christian Stangl and tried to learn from him. I watched him as star and I had respect for him.
Importantly, however, is that he reached C3 exhausted and that was after he left sick from C2. I gave him medicines and besides the sherpas, with whom I related a true friendship, Chris was my favorite. Chris did not want to climb with Dijmarescu and he was right.
Dear readers of my blog, many people have died on K2, all of them dreaming at this terrible peak, which, if you touch it, you have really reached the most difficult summit on earth.
It is not fair for the memory of the dead, for the mountain, for the climbing spirit, what Christian Stangl has done. And the fact that he simply ran out of BC after the so-called climb, says a lot. He left, because, otherwise, questions were raised, on which, I don’t’ know how he would respond.
Dear friends, if this world came to this point, to use of such methods for the sponsors, money and fame, then I no longer know what to think, and do not know which way to go in search of purity.
August 22, 2010 Skardu Pakistan