Icelandic mountaineer John Snorri Sigurjónsson has cancelled his planned climb of K2, the world’s second-highest mountain. John was hoping to be the first person ever to climb the mountain during winter. The decision to cancel the ascent was made after two members of John’s team expressed they did not feel fully prepared for the expedition.
“Summiting K2 in winter is a formidable task that necessitates all team members being fully prepared, both mentally and physically, to face the challenge,” John Snorri wrote in a Facebook post yesterday announcing the decision. “Team members Mingma G of Nepal and Ga Li of China have both expressed that they don’t feel fully prepared to make the scheduled attempt of personal reason [sic]. Taking this into consideration and after much deliberation, it has been decided that the mission will not go forward.”
Ice as hard as safety glass
In an interview with mbl.is, John’s wife Lína Móey Björnsdóttir stated that John had been ready to go ahead with the expedition, despite two members of the team dropping out. The decision to cancel the trip was made when the five other team members did not trust themselves to continue under the changed circumstances.
“There have to be more of them,” Lína explained. “The ice on the mountain, as he described it to me, is like safety glass. You have to kick it four to five times with crampons and the ice axe to get a grip. They would quickly get very tired and would have to always be taking turns and doing it together. They could have never done it just three.”
Lína said John Snorri was already on his way to Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, and would be home in Iceland after the weekend. “It was a big disappointment for him to have to cancel the trip,” she stated.