Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Link of the Week

There's a great post and discussion at Lou Dawson's Wild Snow site about skiing the 8,000-meter peaks, sparked by various media reports that American Dave Watson "skied K2" this summer. He didn't: He skied on K2, starting from about 8,350 meters on the 8,611-meter peak and descending the notorious Bottleneck on skis; Watson continued down to Camp 3 at ca. 7,250 meters, and then rappeled about 650 meters, past Camp 2 and House's Chimney, before skiing down to advanced base camp. A superb outing, but not a ski descent of K2 by almost anyone's definition.

The definition of "ski descent," and the details of what has been skied on 8,000-meter peaks, is the subject of a long and fascinating series of comments from Watson, the Swedish high-altitude skier Fredrik Ericsson (who also attempted K2 this summer), Andrew McLean, and many other experts. It's a comment trail that stands out for both the caliber of the participants and the civility of the discussion. Well worth reading.

In the photo: Dave Watson's tracks on K2, from the Bottleneck down to the Shoulder (courtesy of K2tracks.com).

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