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K2 North Ridge 1990

In 1990, K2 had not been climbed since 1986 when 13 climbers died on the mountain in one season. The North Ridge had had just one ascent, by a Japanese team in 1982. One of the summit team fell to his death on the descent. By 2020 nearly 400 people had stood on the summit of K2, but 86 had died.
Following my involvement in the 1988 Australian Bicentennial Antarctic Expedition when we made the first ascent of Mt Minto, one of the frozen continent's highest peaks, I was invited to join a US/Australian team as a support climber on an attempt on the North Ridge of K2. Despite the mountain's fierce reputation, it was an invitation any climber would find hard to refuse. The book tells the story of the expedition from my point of view, including struggles with dangerous rivers and avalanches, massive fatigue and oxygen deprivation - but also the highs of travelling in extraordinary country and of climbing with world-leading high altidude climbers Steve Swenson, Greg Mortimer, Greg Child and Phil Erschler.

K2 north ridge 1990 mountaineering climbing Lyle Closs
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