K2: Marco Confortola towards C1
Marco Confortola is currently descending to Camp 1 at 5900m in the company of an American mountaineer and a high altitude porter.
Marco Confortola himself broke the news at circa 17.00 K2-time in a phone call to his brother Luigi and then Agostino Da Polenza: after having descended House's Chimney immediately beneath Camp 2 he stated he now wanted to continue on down to Camp 1 at 5900m.
Confortola complained about "foot pains" and is understandably exhausted after these extremely difficult last 4 days. He is descending accompanied by an American mountaineer (name still unknown) and a Pakistani porter who climbed to Camp 1 yesterday and Camp 2 this morning to rescue the Italian climber. Confortola should be with two other high altitude porters who accompanied him during the difficult descent from Camp 4. It's clear that every meter down towards the tents and Camp 1 is precious and all are waiting with baited breath for this dreadful adventure to end, at least for Confortola, with his arrival in Base Camp and then a quick return to Skardu.
The situation concerning the other missing and dead climbers continues to be completely undefined and, we repeat, "suspended". The events of the last few days have once again shown how difficult it is, even with the best of intentions and with the important help of those in base camp, to have precise information from the mountain itself.
Once again satellite phones, radio and other means of communication have failed to provide a complete picture and the information has been vague and fragmented, creating long blackouts such as the one concerning the state of Marco Confortola for all of yesterday. This is nothing new to the mountaineers themselves, this is the world of the 8000m peaks! And the world of the immense, difficult, dangerous and always extreme K2.
Only today the news was broken (by www.desnivel.es) that Basque climber Alberto Zeraín was the first to reach the summit of K2 last Friday after having departed from Camp 3. Zeraín topped out at 15.00 (K2-time) and beneath him saw a long line of mountaineers who had just climbed past the Bottleneck. Zeraín descended to Camp 3 and rested on Saturday before returning to BC yesterday.
One must underline once and for all the efforts and sacrifices of all mountaineers, first and foremost the sherpa and high altitude porters, who have given it their all risking their own lives to rescue those in difficulty. And one must also remember the efforts of all those at Base Camp attempting everything possible to provide logistical help and support.
Furthermore, one must underline the difficulty in understanding the turn of events and the task of giving a name to all those missing and dead on K2. At the time of going to press there is still no precise information about the upper section of the mountain.