The invasion of K2, in the summer of 1954, now the first winter, saw an episode related to the use of packaged oxygen. A massive Italian expedition planted Lino Lasedelli and Achilles Compagnione on its summit, two of them swearing and stressing that they had not used artificial oxygen to sign the first ascent of the second highest mountain on the planet (8,611 meters). At the time, there was no code of ethics requiring mountain climbers to dispense with precious cylinders, especially not to spin at 8,600 meters. But they both lied (out of vanity?) And it took decades to admit. A year earlier, in 1953, Edmund Hillary refused to set foot on Everest when his Nepalese partner, Tenzing Norgay, wanted to give him the honor of conquering. Hillary said, “You’re home, you have to be first.”
The top photo shows Norgay holding an ice ax with two flags: the Nepali and the United Kingdom, which is very similar to the photo that Nirmal Borga, one of the 10 Nepalese who signed last Saturday, posted on his social networks. K2’s first winter summit and the only one not belonging to the Sherpa ethnic group. His past in the British Army as a special forces soldier in the Gurkha explains the display of both flags. The use of packaged oxygen is again localized in K2, and if surprisingly the Italians claimed not to have used it, the announcement that one of the team members, Nirmal Borga himself, had gone up unaided with bottles. . There’s no reason not to believe him, and many top his hat to the mountaineer who has already gathered the 14 highest peaks in the world in just over six months.
A debate might arise about ethical distinctions: his teammates opened the path and placed the fixed ropes, his team would have helped him with a pinch, a rope of two and without oxygen bottled up would have resulted in more climbing clean and trustworthy … but none of this detracts from management Fierce, efficient and beautiful for a team of 10 people who have reached the top of the hand. “We don’t have what to teach them, and it would be nice to learn something from them, especially if we take into account how mistreated the Westerners have treated them,” sums up Alberto Enuratege, the one who knows what it means to climb 14 eight thousand.
Nirmal Borga asserts that making the decision to dispense with the packaged oxygen was a complex task: “I admit that I have always used synthetic oxygen above 8,000 meters, but I knew that up to this altitude my body was doing very well, so I had strong reasons for this. , The maximum altitude I could sleep at was 6,600 meters, which was not enough in terms of acclimatization, so it wasn’t clear to me and I was afraid to slow down the rest of the team and put them at risk. The safety of my team has always been my top priority, and in fact none was exposed. Person on 20 missions for any harm. Personally, I am not interested in discussing methods of climbing the mountain, what is ethical and what is not. Nature and mountains belong to everyone: follow your calling!
Nirmal’s speech, without being wrong, easily ignores decades of mountaineering history: the means chosen when encountering a mountain are important in the mountaineering world because they define the company’s true value in technical issues and commitment. Getting to a summit by cable car is not the same as going on foot, and from this shameless example, it is easy to understand that in the twenty-first century some mountain climbers refuse to climb as in the past and prefer trails of difficulty and exploration and the most uncertainty of driving the game from mountain climbing to altitude Unimaginable.
However, there is no denying the tremendous value of what the Nepalese team achieved in Winter K2. “Now those who want to try Winter K2 with ropes will have less stress,” says Simone Morrow, an Italian who in 2005 revived the abandoned taste of eight thousand winters and who first climbed into the hookah of Bangma, Makalu, Jacherbroom II and Nanja Parbat.
The mountaineering world is especially celebrating the ultimate liberation of the Himalayas from Nepal. A quick look at the résumés of the 10 Nepalese who just finished winter K2 are simply overwhelming, including the trained European mentor, Mingma G, who accredits UIAGM, the standard qualification. The atypical mountain path of Nirmal Borga is not without interest: the first time he wore the straps was in 2012, a tiny period of time compared to European philosophy which holds that learning the mountain starts with little to leave the bed.
On the one hand, Purja needs no lessons in logistics and strategies: his team’s ability to successfully overcome challenges at the planet’s highest mountains has something supernatural, as there is no known resignation. However, his voracious passage through the eight thousand works to destroy the aura of the environment that the passage of time does not feel as bad.
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