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Japanese Montaineer Akira Oyabe Returns to K2

Rocky summit of K2

Japanese mountaineer Akira Oyabe has returned to K2 (8,611 m), having spent the past two years preparing with his team for the expedition.

This will be Oyabe’s third attempt at the second highest peak in the world. In 2009, strong winds forced him to turn back at 7,900 metres and in 2013, heavy snowfall stopped his progress.

“But now we are back again,” Oyabe said on Saturday. “This time, we are roughly a week early, and we are the first team to reach Pakistan to climb K2. We have time on our side and intend to make the best of any clear weather windows, and that increases our chances of success this year.”

Of the expedition team, only Oyabe and one other team member have previously climbed an 8,000-metre peak.

Takashi Higashiyama, the youngest member, attempted to climb K2 five years ago, but he was forced to abandon his ascent after an avalanche blew away camp three, killing two climbers from New Zealand.

Oyabe does not feel that the team’s inexperience will be a problem and said, “We intend to make gradual progress on the mountain.

“We will be fixing ropes since we are the first group to arrive. This does make our work harder, and probably more difficult, but it sounds like more fun. We have three Pakistani high altitude porters to assist us, and that is a plus point.”

Higashiyama said, “Strong winds will be our biggest concern. They do not let the body warm up and that can cause fatigue and frostbite.”

Karrar Haidri, Secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, said the group is serviced by veteran climber Nazir Sabir’s tour company.

“K2 is one of the hardest peaks to climb, throwing more unexpected challenges at climbers than other 8,000-metre mountains.

“In summer, there is a greater risk of avalanches and rock falls.”

Quebec Climbers on K2

Nathalie Fortin, Benoît Lamoureux, Serge Dessureault and Maurice Beauséjour from Quebec are hoping to become the first climbers from Quebec to reach the summit of K2, the world’s second highest mountain.

They’ll be heading to the Himalayas this summer for an attempt on the Abruzzi Ridge.

K2 training!!! Long day hiking in the Adirondack 😎 Yes! I ❤️ winter 😉

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