On Feburary 2nd, we reported on the summit of Gasherbrum II by the team of Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards. It set a record as the first summit in the Karakorum range during winter.
The challenge did not end at the top. Last week, reports came in that the team was hit by an avalanche on the descent from Camp 1 to Base Camp. They posted about it on The North Face Never Stop Exploring blog.
“We were walking underneath Gasherbrum V when a massive, massive avalanche hit all three of us, knocking us about 150 meters over one crevasse,” said Richards, who became the first American to ever complete a winter ascent of an 8000m peak. “We all ended up on top. I was mostly buried, but my face was out. Denis was mostly buried, but his face was out, and Simone was able to get out of the snow and come dig us out. Everything just went sideways today. We are all very happy and lucky, and I think very grateful to be alive.”
“What happened was what could’ve happened on any stormy day in winter, when you are tired and you do not do the normal things,” said Moro. “Today luck was on our side. In my backpack I was also carrying down a big bag of rubbish, so maybe the mountain appreciated and graced us.”
You can check out the blog for more, or watch the series of videos Richards is putting up on his STORY.teller Vimeo page. The latest installment, embedded above, shows the summit attempt.