Difficult Spanish "Al filo de lo impossible” descent concluded
Difficult descent from the summit of K2 during the night of 26/07 for Mikel Zabalza, Juan Vallejo and, above all, Edurne Pasabán and Juanito Oiarzabal. The latter was rescued by Walter Nones, Nadia Tiraboschi, Tarcisio Bellň, Pierangelo Maurizio and Spaniard Ferran. The descent from K2 continued all of yesterday. And this morning Edurne Pasabán and Juanito Oiarzabal were airlifted out of Base Camp by helicopter.
During the night of 26/7 and for all of 27/7 the Spanish expedition endured difficult and anxious moments: the descent from the summit of K2 proved to be extremely difficult for Mikel Zabalza, Juanito Oiarzabal, Edurne Pasabán and Juan Vallejo. Mikel Zabalza managed to reach Camp 4 at 24.00 local time on 26/07, followed two hours later by Edurne Pasabán and Juan Vallejo. Unfortunately, there was no trace of highly experienced Juanito Oiarzabal (more than twenty 8000+ peaks to his name).
The search operation began immediately. Spaniard Ferran, together with four Italians from the Da Polenza expedition (Walter Nones (who had just returned from the summit), Nadia Tiraboschi, Tarcisio Bellò and Pierangelo Maurizio) left Camp 4 in search of Juanito, demonstrating courage and selflessness to be truly commended. Juanito was found by Pierangelo and helped back to Camp 4, thereby finally uniting the Spanish "Al Filo de lo Impossibile expedition". Even if the terrible descent has no doubt left its mark on Edurne Pasabán and Juanito Oiarzabal.
The Spaniards descended with difficulty all of yesterday (27/07), helped by the Italians, while another group of mountaineers from the Da Polenza expedition departed from BC to aid them. A helicopter arrived this morning (28/07) and airlifted Edurne Pasabán and Juanito Oiarzabal out of Base Camp.
What happened to the the strong Spanish mountaineers is without a doubt a demonstration of how difficult and dangerous the second highest mountain in the world is. And once again underlines the courage of those mountaineers who went to rescue the Spanish mountaineers. In doing so some, such as Nadia Tiraboschi, Tarcisio Bellò and Pierangelo Maurizio, renounced their chance of reaching the summit.
A weak ridge is situated over Afghanistan. It may at times affect the K2-area during the first days giving only risk of occasional showers. Then it seems to become more unsettled with frequent showers due to lows over Kashmir and Tibet.