A Polish ski mountaineer named Andrzej Bargiel wants to become the first person to ski off the summit of K2, the world’s second-largest mountain.
Rising to 28,251′ on the Chinese/Pakistani border, K2 is known as one of the most difficult summits in the world. To date, less than 400 people have ever reached K2’s infamous peak. The mountain is so dangerous that your chances of surviving a summit attempt are one in four.
The feat has been attempted before by Italian mountaineer Hans Kammerlander in 2001. Hans began his descent on skis but decided to clip out of his skis and climbed down after witnessing a fellow climber fall to his death.
“Previous attempts prove that the descent is possible, provided you had carried out excellent preparation, were at the peak of sporting fitness and had experience of skiing at such high altitudes,” Bargiel told The Times about his quest. “A quick descent on skis could be seen as an even more difficult step on my Himalayan and skiing career. But it would also be a feat recorded in the history of Himalayan mountaineering and skiing.” Bargiel says he plans to climb to around 23,000 feet Wednesday and reach K2’s summit some time between July 20-30.