K2'S NORTH RIDGE: THE BACK OF BEYOND
Jeff Alzner Leads a 12-person Expedition
May 26 - Sept.3, 2000
Yechem, China - August 28, 2000
"Some feel better we were chased off by yet another storm. It was a summer of storms be it the weather or the discord between members...."
[Click for the Latest Dispatch]
Join MountainZone.com this summer as we follow the progress of the American North Ridge Expedition as it attempts to climb K2 via its North Ridge, one of the most difficult climbing objectives in the Himalayas. The North Ridge route necessitates approaching the peak through a remote region of China, an area where rising rivers fed by melting glaciers cut off the possibility of retreat (click here for maps). The team left for Asia in late May, and will not return until approximately September 1.
K2, at 28,250 feet (8,611 meters), is the world's second highest mountain and has proven to be the most difficult mountain to climb. At the turn of the millennium, only 12 Americans, and 164 climbers total, had reached its summit. The success rate is low and the death toll high: the mountain has claimed at least 48 climbers.
Expedition leader Jeff Alzner has been planning this attempt since 1998, and has assembled a large team of experienced, but relatively unknown, climbers (click here for team bios) to accompany him. One member of the team, Heidi Howkins, is making her second attempt on K2 (click here for Heidi's objective). Members of the climbing team and film crew will file daily dispatches, including audio reports, email dispatches, digital images and video to MountainZone.com via satellite telephone, from this, one of the most remote places on earth.
The adventure begins now, with an approach via airplane, camel and foot to the base of the North Ridge. Summit attempts should begin in mid- to late August. Follow the action on MountainZone.com throughout the summer of 2000.