For Andrzej Bargiel, there wasn’t anything lazy about his Sunday on July 22, 2018. The 30-year-old Polish mountaineer became the first person to reach the summit of K2 and ski all the way down to its first base camp.
He attempted the feat a year ago, but had to abandon his expedition due to safety concerns.
“I’m very happy that I’ve managed to ski down the summit of K2 and get back to the base safely,” he told Red Bull. “I started to climb K2 at 4 in the morning on Sunday. The weather was good. Some problems appeared when I reached the peak and started to ski down. It was very cloudy and I had to wait for it to clear up at Base IV because the next phase of my downhill was going to be very difficult and technical on an extremely steep wall. I feel huge happiness and, to be honest, it was my second attempt, so I’m glad that I won’t be coming here again.”
It took Bardiel almost eight hours to ski down due to the fact that he had to navigate giant rock outcroppings, glaciers and crevasses. He also had to adjust to shifts in the weather.
“Some problems appeared when I reached the peak and started to ski down,” he told The Telegraph. “It was very cloudy and I had to wait for it to clear up at Base IV because the next phase of my downhill was going to be very difficult and technical on an extremely steep wall.”
Mount Everest may be perceived as the crown jewel in mountaineering, at least to the inexperienced and those not familiar with the sport. But, it’s actually K2, the world’s second-highest mountain at 28,251 feet located on the border between China and Pakistan, that’s more hazardous. To put it in perspective, more than 4,000 people have reached the summit of Mount Everest. Less than 350 (77 deaths) have made it to the top of K2 because of it’s dangerous conditions.
Here’s a look at Bargiel’s descent.
Bagging some of the world’s highest peaks and skiing down is nothing new for Bargiel. In 2013, he summit-ed and skied down Shishapangma, a 26,000-foot mountain in China. He’s also the record-holder for climbing the five tallest peaks in the former Soviet Union, doing it in less than 30 days.
As for his next skiing stunt, who knows what it will be. But, it’s sure to make most of us appreciate the comforts of our chairs.