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Broad Peak in Seven Hours! Climber Speeds Up and Paraglides Down

Benjamin Vedrines made quick work of the West Spur and returned to base camp by flying down from near the summit

Broad Peak is the twelfth highest mountain in the world at 8,051 metres and it was first climbed in 1957 during a months-long expedition. This week, several climbers have climbed from base camp to the summit in fast times.

French mountain guide Benjamin Vedrines has climbed Broad Peak from base camp at 4,890 meters on the Godwin-Austen glacier to the top in seven hours and 28 minutes, which could be the fastest time for the West Spur route. This is his first 8,000-metre peak. He did not use porters of supplementary oxygen. To descend, he flew from the summit ridge using a paraglider.

On the same day that Vedrines summited, top Russian-Polish mountaineer Denis Urubko also summited Broad Peak from base camp in only 15 hours, climbing from 8:20 p.m. to 11 a.m. In 1984, Pole Krzystof Wielicki climbed it in 16 hours and in 1994, the Swede Göran Kropp reached the summit in 18 hours and 30 minutes.

Polish climber Rafal Fronia also climbed Broad Peak from base camp in a solo push without supplementary oxygen, but his final time is not yet known. Hundreds of climbers are currently waiting for a weather window to make an attempt to summit K2, while many are heading up Broad Peak.