The thirteen other peaks over 8,000 meters have given way over time, between 1980 and 2016. But the K2 remains this giant, always reluctant to let itself be defeated in winter. The Italians conquered it in the summer of 1954, a national pride still in place, and the Poles took over, hoping to establish their reputation as “ice warriors”.
But for the moment nothing helps. Perhaps the Sherpas, who this year lead two of the three monster-defying expeditions, will eventually become masters at home. But for all, the game promises to be very tight, and promises the future winners the hallucinations that punctuate many glorious climbs. The victory, finally materialized, is well worth some delusions of altitude.
Find our four new episodes on this indomitable summit.
► K2, a giant never conquered by the Himalayan winter
► On the K2, patriotism at the top
► The Sherpas want to become masters at home again
► K2, the altitude and its amazing companions