Polish climbing guru Artur Hajzer has out rightly rejected the recent International Seven Summit Treks K-2 Expedition 2012 led by the commercial outfitter Seven Summits which successfully placed no fewer than 23 mountaineers on top of the second highest and one of the deadliest mountains on earth.
Hajzer, one of the pioneers of Polish Winter Mountaineering, is one of the most respected names in the mountaineering circles in the world and has two winter 8000ers on his belt. His remarks came out soon after the record-breaking success of the 23 assorted mountaineers from all over the world who climbed the 8616m K-2 with the help of supplementary oxygen, something, Hajzer did not approve off.
“I'm afraid so. I respect Mingma Sherpa (Seven Summit Treks) and other commercial outfitters but they should explain to their customers that climbing with supplementary oxygen is something very different than to climb without it. It's becoming increasingly common for guided clients to start using oxygen at 6000 meters of altitude, without any form of acclimatization” Hajzer was talking to the Explorersweb.
The recent success on K-2 marks the biggest mass attempt of the peak which came out successful. The 28-member expedition aspired to reach the summit and some 23 of them made it to the top in the early hours of July 31st. The expedition comprised of 16 Nepalese, three Chinese, one Spanish, one Singaporean, one French, one Turk and one South Korean.
Hajzer further added, “Use of oxygen relatively decreases the mountain's altitude by about 1500 meters. All I can say is that it's possible to climb K2 safely without oxygen but it will require the proper acclimatization involving time and strength. Use of oxygen is a shortcut that's against the very meaning of climbing. People who wished to touch the legend of 8000 meters and did so with supplemental oxygen have no idea what climbing is really about”
Hajzer was among the pioneer Polish mountaineers who started off the Winter Mountaineering and successfully summitted the deadly Annapurna along with countryman and Climbing legend Jerzy Kukcuzka in the year 1987.
He disappeared in oblivion for some time and returned to reclaim the throne with style. He successfully summitted the Gasherbrum-1 in the Pakistani Karakorum in the winters, marking the return of trailblazing Polish Winter Alpinism.