Around 120 climbers are currently making their way up K2, the second highest mountain, in 10 separate teams. The weather is stable and the conditions are good as many of the teams have started their summit pushes.

“Finally, the time we have been waiting for has arrived,” Mike Horn said. “The ascent will take us two or three days.” The monsoons have not reached K2 yet this year and the jet stream is farther north than last year. Climbers have been reaching the summits of Broad Peak and the Gasherbrums over that past few days.

Climbers on K2 are heading up the Abruzzi Spur, the Cesen and Southeast Ridge. Climbers heading up the Cesen have steeper climbing, but will avoid the House Chimney, which is were many climbers have been killed in the past due to avalanches.

Adrian Ballinger and Carla Perez will be heading up the Cesen and are attempting it without supplemental oxygen. “The Cesen is stunning: steep, exposed, airy, and, for the most part, safer than I expected,” Ballinger said.

Climbers could reach the summit as soon as Thursday or Friday this week, as long as the weather and conditions con’t make a turn for the worst. Last year, Montreal firefighter Serge Dessureault tragically fell to his death attempting K2.

The first ascent of K2 was on July 31, 1954, by Italians Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni, but attempts began in 1902 by British climber Aleister Crowley. In 2004, 51 climbers reached the summit of K2 and in 2014 there were 49. On July 22, 2018, Polish climber Andrzej Bargiel became the first person to ski down from summit to basecamp.

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