After crossing Gondogoro-la, Swedish ski mountaineer Fredrik Ericsson finally reached the base camp of K2. This is where the climbing on K2 starts and his home for the next weeks.
Ericsson’s latest attempt is the first stage of his dream of becoming the first person to ski the world’s three highest mountains: Mount Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga. Swedish-born and now Chamonix-based Ericsson is one of the world’s leading high altitude skiers with ski descents of some of the highest mountains on earth, including Peak Somoni, Shisha Pangma, Gasherbrum 2, Laila Peak and Dhaulagiri. Fredrik, together with American alpine journalist Trey Cook, go to the Karakoram mountain range in Pakistan this month to begin preparations for K2, a remarkably steep pyramid with no easy route to the top.
Fredrik Ericsson and Trey Cook were told on arrival in Pakistan that there were unusually deep snow conditions on the Baltoro glacier. The team changed their plan and decided to approach the peak via the Gondoro-la with an attempt on Laila Peak which would enable them to acclimatize and allow the deep snow to consolidate. The team found the deepest snow in the Gondogoro valley in at least 15 years. The team attempted a ski descent of Laila Peak but were turned back 300 meters from the summit by deep, unstable snow. However, Ericsson did enjoy a 1000 vertical meter descent on Laila’s pristine, 45-degree northwest face.
Check out Fredrik Ericsson’s video blog (The trip from Islamabad to Skardu)