Women Climbers

>> Wednesday, January 13, 2010

K2 from the southeast, photographed in 1909. The left hand skyline is the Southwest Pillar, the right hand skyline is the upper section of the Northeast RidgeThe first woman to reach the summit was Wanda Rutkiewicz, of Poland, in 1986. The next four women to reach the summit were all killed in climbing incidents — three of them died descending from K2 itself, among them fĂȘted British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves in 1995, and Rutkiewicz herself died on Kangchenjunga in 1992. This led to the legend that K2 carried a "curse on women". However, the "curse" was broken in 2004 when Edurne Pasaban summated and descended successfully, and again in 2006 when Nives Meroi of Italy and Yuka Komatsu of Japan became, respectively, the seventh and eighth women to summit K2, both descending successfully. After Eun-Sun Oh in 2007, Cecilie Skog became the tenth woman to have summated successfully (on 1 August 2008) but her husband, Rolf Bae, who was climbing with her, died during the descent along with 10 other climbers in the 2008 climbing accident. In addition, Mi-Sun Go became the eleventh woman to have summated, also on 1 August 2008.

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