Skiing Amongst Lions: Andrzej Bargiel’s Gasherbrum II Descent

On Jul. 19, renowned ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel successfully summited and descended Gasherbrum II, the world’s 13th highest peak, on skis, without the use of supplementary oxygen. This expedition is one of many in a string of ski mountaineering feats—all part of Bargiel’s Hic Sunt Leones project.

Bargiel skis the slopes of Gasherbrum II, descending from 26,362 feet up.
[Photo] Bartłomiej Pawlikowski/Red Bull Content Pool

Latin for “here are the lions”—a phrase that was used to denote unknown parts of the world on ancient maps—the goal of the Hic Sunt Leones project is to ski the highest peaks on Earth.

The Gasherbrum Ski Challenge—whose objective is to explore and climb both Gasherbrum I (26,509’) and II (26,362’), and descend each on skis without supplementary oxygen—marks Bargiel’s latest Himalayan expedition. Other noteworthy missions of his include the first ski descent of K2 (28,251’) in 2018 and the first ascent and ski descent of Yawash Sar II Peak (20,269’) in 2021.

Bargiel headed to the Gasherbrum region Jun. 30, reaching Camp 2 (21,489’) just two-and-a-half weeks later on Jul. 18, explained a press release from his team. After resting for the remainder of the day, he left for the summit at 10 p.m. He reached the summit around nine hours later, at 7 a.m., the release shared.

Bargiel prepares his ropes before the acclimatization push.
[Photo] Bartłomiej Pawlikowski/Red Bull Content Pool

During the summit push, Bargiel’s team members, Janusz Gołąb, Bartek Pawlikowski and Maciej Sulima all made it to Camp 1. Only Gołąb pushed to Camp 2 to await Bargiel’s descent further up.

Confirmation of the successfully completed mission came a day later. “We’re all at base camp already. We need some sleep. Thanks for your support! 🙏,” read Bargiel’s Instagram update. Just a few days later, he released this video of the ski descent.

With one of the Gasherbrum’s down, Bargiel still has one to go: Gasherbrum I. As of Jul. 25, he has reached Camp 2, his latest post reading, “If the weather is good, I move up to the summit at night!”

UPDATE: Today, Jul. 26 Bargiel completed a successful ski descent of Gasherbrum I.

Stay tuned for further updates on Andrzej Bargiel’s Gasherbrum Ski Challenge.

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