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Climbers Reach Summit of K2 Without Supplemental Oxygen

Adrian Ballinger and Carla Perez were behind Nirmal Purja's rope-fixing team earlier today

Adrian Ballinger and Carla Perez reached the summit of K2 earlier today without using supplemental oxygen. They were supported by Esteban Mena, Namgye and Pemba Gelje Sherpa. Perez was the first Latin American woman to climb Everest without supplemental oxygen.

“We are joining forces with Nirmal Purja to see if together we can unlock the code of the traverse reportedly buried in deep unstable snow,” Ballinger said a few days ago. “With Carla and I attempting without oxygen, we know we will not be much help opening a route through deep unconsolidated snow, never mind fixing ropes for others.

“While our support crew (on bottled oxygen) of Topo, Palden and Pemba are ready to do the backbreaking work of breaking trail, Nims and his team, also on bottled oxygen, have requested first shot at the slope above the Bottleneck.”

Nirmal Purja was with four other Sherpas when they became the first climbers to stand on K2 this ahead of Ballinger and Perez. Purja was with Gesman Tamang of Bremont Project Possible and Lakpa Dendi Sherpa and Chhangba Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks. They stood on top at 7:50 a.m. Pakistan time.

The four left camp four on the Abruzzi Spur route at 10:20 p.m. on July 23 and spent eight hours fixing ropes to the top. The peak is Purja’s 10th 8,000-metre summit in just under four months.

Purja stood on the top of Annapurna on April 23. Purja is now headed to attempt Broad Peak, his 11th 8,000-metre peak of the year. He hopes to climb all 14 8,000-metre peaks in only seven months.