K2 Expedition
Mount Everest  |  K2  |  Genyen  |  Jasemba  |  Gasherbrum II  |  Nanga Parbat

After walking all day long, we are on 8400 m now. We needed much time for the “Bottleneck”. The great amount of snow and the technical difficulties caused a lot of trouble. The weather is nice but it’s very cold. Silvio Mondinelli takes his satellite phone and calls the leader of the expedition. I can’t believe it. On this height! Pushed by my ambition I go on … very slowly. Silvio is following me. I’m treading the path. Metre by metre I am fighting myself forwards. My comrades cannot follow me any more. No, it’s no race. It’s very important to reach the summit without being too exhausted.
I realize that I’m approaching the summit. It’s already 4 p.m. and I rest a little on my poles. I take my camera to immortalize this moment. The landscape is indescribable. I feel like an angel. Silvio follows me, even if very slowly. He has to rest again and again. At the Bottleneck he was the one who made the effort to walk ahead and that’s why he is very tired now. I’m recording all I can see around me from this extraordinary summit and think about what my friend Leo (a journalist and producer) told me about how to record when I am on the summit.

I will never forget this moment: the ridge edge reaching the summit and the different snow crystals, also caused by some shades as the sun already left the highest point of the horizon. It’s nearly incredible, but the snow where I am standing is untouched and the summit, too. Nobody has reached the summit for three years. I continue my way to the summit and feel incredibly good, the second time within only two months. Nobody can stop me. I get goose-pimples hearing my steps in the middle of this solitude. I concentrate myself on my respiration, my happiness is indescribable. I can already see the opposite side of the mountain. The surface of the peak is large but quite oblique. For an instant I can also see the moraine of the base camp, but unfortunately I cannot make our tents nor people … they are too far away. I want to touch the highest point, carefully, because I don’t know how big the snow cornice is. I am on the top of the K2.

I sit down for a moment, I would like to cry … and then I see Silvio who’s reaching me. Although a cold north wind is blowing I want to record this moment. Silvio, too, is overjoyed and we embrace each other. After having taken some pictures Silvio takes his satellite phone and calls Agostino, the leader of the expedition, to tell him our marvellous news: “È vetta! Siamo arrivati in cima…” (“We reached the summit!”) he is shouting in the phone. Not much later our comrades Michele, Walter and Ugo reach the top, too. Our team at the base camp begins to dance and to celebrate. The state officer warns us that most of the mountaineers who failed the K2 died during the descent. With some troubles we are able to get back to the base camp.


Val Gardena