So it’s old news to those that follow the alpinism/ski mountaineering scene that K2’s ‘Bottleneck Couloir’ was recently skied for the first time by Dave Watson. I don’t follow this stuff much at all as I typically write off the guys who endure sufferfests like Everest and K2 as being a few cards short of a full deck and a few fingers short of a full hand. But, you’ve got to give it up to a guy who skis something that is 10,000 feet higher than Mt. Rainier and that other top climbers on his trip think is impossible.
The whole trip people were begging me not to try to ski the mountain. One climber even offered to carry my skis down for me. Amongst the other climbers, there wasn’t much belief that it was possible, but I knew it was within my abilities.
Here’s a pic from Dave’s site to give you a feel for the area skied.
But, that picture doesn’t do the gnar factor of this line justice. Check out this video Dave posted on Youtube from the same area, on his way up.
Seriously nuts. Lines like this take a different level of commitment – from a physical, mental and financial (these guys aren’t living the well paid, glam, jibbonker lifestyle) standpoint – and outside of a fringe group don’t get much recognition for what they do, probably because it’s so far outside the realm of comprehension for mortals like myself. When Shaun White does a 1080 in the halfpipe you can think what your local halfpipe looks like and get a feel for the scale of what he’s doing. However, I have no frame of reference for scale of events taking place on a peak that rises over 28,000 feet!
A few more vids below that Dave posted on Youtube from K2. Major props to Dave for his accomplishment, and next time your legs are feeling a little tired after hiking a line at 5k feet think of what these guys go through!
Vid from camp 4
Rest day on camp 2