Romanian Alex Gavan gives up winter ascent of K2: For the moment, my time here is up
Top Romanian alpinist Alex Gavan, who has teamed up with Italian Tamara Lunger in an attempt to climb K2 without supplemental oxygen this winter, announced that he has decided to give up the ascent "for the moment."
"Humbly listening to the signs and getting the message when it is all around written with capital letters has always kept me safe and on the right path in this life. Therefore, for the moment, my time here is up. I cherished and I am grateful for every second while on the steep slopes of the mighty K2 in winter," Gavan wrote in a Facebook post.
He also said that the death of Spanish climber Sergi Mingote left him heartbroken.
Mingote has died from injuries sustained in a long fall on K2. Explorersweb.com reported that "Alex Gavan, Tamara Lunger, Magdalena Gorzkowska, and Oswaldo Oliveira tried to help him and asked for medical assistance, but nothing could be done to save his life."
In his Facebook post, the Romanian climber also said he was happy for the Nepali team that has reached the summit and thanked his partner Tamara Lunger.
At 8,611 meters above sea level, K2 (nicknamed 'The Savage Mountain') is the second-highest mountain in the world. It is also one of the most challenging and dangerous mountains to climb, having the second-highest fatality rate among the fourteen 8000+ m peaks. Alex Gavan and Tamara Lunger announced in December that they have partnered in an attempt to climb 'The Savage Mountain' without supplemental oxygen.
So far, Gavan has climbed seven of the world's 14 peaks over 8,000 meters without using additional oxygen or Sherpas. He conquered his first peak over 8,000 meters – Cho Oyu (8,201 m) in 2006. He then continued with Gasherbrum I (8,080 m) in 2007, Makalu (8,485 m) in 2008, Manaslu (8,156 m) in 2011, Sishapangma Main (8,027 m) in 2013, Broad Peak (8,047 m) in 2014, and Gasherbrum II peak (8,035 m) in 2019.
The Romanian climber has also used the summits of the world's highest mountains to advance environmental causes, such as the quest against illegal logging, protecting and conserving Romania's virgin forests, creating the Bucharest Green Belt, or saving the asprete, an extremely rare "living fossil" fish that is still surviving in Romania.
(Photo source: courtesy of Alex Gavan)