After becoming the first in the world to continuously ski down Mount Everest and ski down the highest summits of all seven continents, Davo Karničar is planning a new adventure. One more difficult, more demanding and more dangerous. He plans to be the first to ski down one of the most infamous mountains of our planet, the second highest summit in the world - K2.

At 8,611 metres high, K2 is generally considered one of the most demanding and most dangerous mountains. It is the only eight-thousander which has so far not been ascended in winter; many a year, it is not ascended even in the summer. Although there have been some attempts to ski down less demanding parts of the mountain, they have been either only partial descents or even ended tragically.

Davo Karničar, together with his brother Andrej, was the first to successfully ski down the most dangerous eight-thousander Annapurna. He has many of the most demanding first descents under his belt (he has even descended icefalls on his skis), while with Everest, he proved that he could ski down even what everyone thought impossible.

He plans to ski down K2 in July of this year through the “Bottleneck” and Ridge, continuing via the southeast face down to base camp. 

He will be joined on this expedition by Alpine mountaineer Boris Repnik, doctor Nejc Kurinčič and journalist David Stropnik, as well as four Pakistani high-altitude Sherpas. Sayeed Ahmed, Farhat Khan, Fida Hussain and Muhamad Hussain have a wealth of local Himalayan experience with eight-thousanders and also with K2.



MEMBERS OF THE EXPEDITION

Davo Karničar

Davo Karničar is a 54-year-old Alpine mountaineer and Alpine skier, mountaineering instructor and mountain rescuer, skiing teacher and trainer (he was also a competitor and ski repairer in the world cup). He has more than 1,800 climbing ascents, approaches and downhill skiing feats under his belt, including eight-thousanders Everest and Annapurna, and the highest peaks of all seven continents (Aconcagua, Elbrus, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Mount Everest, Mount Kosciuszko and Mount Wilson). In Europe, he is well-known for his descent down the northeast face of Eiger and the east face of Matterhorn, and he is also the “author” of the most difficult ski descent route in Slovenia - Fritsch-Lindenbach, which carries the most difficult rating (seven). Karničar, who is from Jezersko, has been named by Men's Journal the best extreme sportsperson of the year, and he was nominated for the most prestigious sporting achievements award (Laureus) in the special or extreme achievements category.



Boris Repnik

Boris Repnik is 46 years old and a member of the Slovenj Gradec Alpine Mountaineering Association. He has been climbing for a quarter of a century. During this time, he has climbed many routes in the Slovenian and the central Alps, and he was also a member of the expedition to Ama Dablam and Gasherbrum II. Employed as a technologist at Lek, in addition to hiking, he enjoys playing football and tennis, as well as skiing and cycling.



Dr. Nejc Kurinčič

Nejc Kurinčič is a 31-year-old specialist in orthopaedic surgery in the Valdoltra hospital, a mountain rescuer and a doctor-aviator. As a member of the Soča Alpine Mountaineering Association, he has completed around 150 winter and summer ascents in the Slovenian and the central Alps (including the north face of Matterhorn), including some first ascents. He joined the expedition of mountaineers from the Primorska region to Kyrgyzstan and the humanitarian expedition to Uganda in 2012, both times as the expedition doctor.



David Stropnik

David Stropnik is a 46-year-old sports journalist with POP TV, writer, photographer (and cameraman), former competitor in Alpine skiing and snowboarding demonstrator, and also a mountaineer with some climbing ascents and mountaineering descents in almost all continents. As part of the expedition, he will be responsible for documenting the ascent and informing the public of the expedition’s progress.



Sayeed Ahmed, Farhat Khan, Fida Hussain and Muhamad Hussain

Sayeed Ahmed, Farhat Khan, Fida Hussain and Muhamad Hussain are Pakistani high-altitude Sherpas, all of whom have ascended many eight-thousanders; in addition, they also have experience with K2 (some even with Česen’s route which the Ski K2 expedition plans to take).



A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE “CONQUEST” OF K2

Due to its remoteness, the second highest peak in the world, the 8,611-metres-high K2, which boasts an impressive pyramid shape and has no easy access, has no local name - on maps, it is simply referred to as K2. The fact that K2 is the only eight-thousander without a winter ascent (many a year, it is not ascended even in the summer) testifies to the nature of the mountain and the crushing weather turnarounds that often occur on its slopes.

The first attempt to ascend K2 dates back to the beginning of the last century, when the northeast ridge was climbed to a height of 6,500 metres. Only in 1938 did the American expedition climb the southeast ridge to a height of 8,000 metres. It was summited by the Italian expedition on 31 July 1954. In a controversial “battle”, Lacedelli and Compagnoni outsmarted Bonatti and Mehdi and thus became the first to reach the summit of K2. The next summit took place almost a quarter of a century later.

In 1986, Slovenian Tomo Česen made a first attempt through the south face, but had to abandon hopes for the summit at an altitude of 8,000 metres due to the worsening weather. In 1993, it was summited by the first and so far the only Slovenes: Zvonko Požgaj and Viki Grošelj. Zvonko, then 23 years old, was the youngest person ever to summit, but he paid for the summit by losing all fingers on one hand up to the first knuckle due to frostbite. The expedition ended even worse for Boštjan Kekec, who succumbed to altitude sickness. Davo Karničar made his first attempt at a ski descent as part of this expedition. He climbed up to the Ridge at 7,800 metres, but had to abandon his attempt as the wind literally tore the skis off his feet.

Hans Kammerlander was the first to ski down from the summit of K2 in 2001; however, in his own stye, he descended from the summit on skis only a few hundred metres, and then continued his descent on foot. Eight years later, Dave Watson skied down most of the mountain (between 8,300 and 7,300 metres through the Bottleneck and then from 6,400 metres to the base camp), but did not ski down from the summit. A year later, Frederick Ericsson attempted the first continuous skiing descent, but came to a tragic end already during the ascent. Luis Stitzinger has so far completed the longest descent, descending on skis from the Ridge at 7,900 metres to the base camp. Davo will now try to descend on skis all the way from the summit down 3,500 metres in altitude to base camp, and thus complete the first true and continuous descent from K2 (of course, in his own style without any rope descents and without taking his skis off).