After a terrible night, Bonatti and Mahdi manage to return to camp VIII; the Hunza's feet and hands are seriously frostbitten. Lacedelli and Compagnoni descend to get the oxygen bottles and then climb to the summit. They reach the top of K2, at 8,611 metres, at 6.00pm. They arrive back at camp VIII at 11.00 pm.
Preparations are underway to leave K2 BC
31 July 1954: 50 years to date Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni reached the top of K2. Walter Bonatti and hunza Mahdi descended from the terrible bivvy at 8100m, after having transported the oxygen bottles, necessary for the successful summit. And excately 50 years later, the Scoiattoli prepare to say goodbye to the great mountain. And prepare to return to Cortina and the warm welcome!
Saturday 31 July 2004 – Base Camp K2
Despite poor weather the air here in Base Camp is electric: early this afternoon 140 porters will arrive, and we’re all busy preparing for our departure. Tomorrow morning the long march home will finally begin!
We’ll leave the glacial moraine, which hosted us for more than 40 days – 40 days spent in small tents perched between ice and rocks, where the temperature sunk well below zero at night and the sun shone splendidly during the day. Where the great delusion of those who, after years of sacrifices, had to renounce, intermingles with the joy of those who have finally realised a dream...
The Scoiattoli’s great adventure is now coming to an end. It was an immense succession of emotions, involving not only the protagonists, but also the soul of the nation, and all those who followed this unforgettable experience with unbridled passion.
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.