Romanian climber Gavan ascends Gasherbrum 2, elevation 8,035m

Romanian climber Alex Gavan on July 18 ascended Gasherbrum 2, elevation 8,035 meters, of Mount Karakorum, Pakistan, without using additional oxygen or Sherpas, according to a press statement released on Tuesday. This is Gavan's seventh successful climb of a peak with an elevation higher than 8,000m. The expedition, which began on June 14 and was planned to last for almost two months, came to an end after Gavan and his team realised the potential of the moment during the last 7,000-meter acclimatisation stage and started off from camp three to climb the peak, which took 17 hours to complete. In this expedition, Gavan's climbing partners were Finnish Lotta Hintsa and Don Bowie, whose career until then comprised 19 Himalayan expeditions, including K2 (8,611 m) and Annapurna (8,081 m) peaks, both ascended without additional oxygen, whom Gavan had met in a rescue operation organised for Inaki Ochoa de Olza on Annapurna in 2008. During the final leg, due to objective considerations, Hintsa and Bowie had to abandon, while Gavan reached the top alone. Hintsa and Bowie are about to resume their ascent in the coming days. "On July 10, when I, Don and Lotta left together to set up camp three, the plan was to sleep two nights at an altitude of 7,000 metres and thus complete our acclimatisation process. We were then to go down to the base camp for rest and be in optimal shape for the climbing. We were carrying along equipment and supplies for only six days .In the end, the six days turned into no less than eleven and the acclimatisation leg turned into the very last leg. This was the longest continuous time that I have ever spent above the base camp in any expedition. It entailed an extremely tough and intense effort, with five consecutive nights spent at a post- 7,000m elevation," Gavan said. This was Gavan's fourth attempt to reach Gasherbrum 2, after unsuccessful tries in 2007, 2008 and 2016. In total, the climber spent more than seven months on the steep slopes of this giant Himalayan mountain. "I have always looked at the mountains with reverence; I have seen them as having their own personality, their own character, as unique as ourselves, humans. There are not two mountains alike; there are not two peaks alike. Hence, a successful ascension requires each time an approach that has to be a very personal and personalised one. I can feel Gasherbrum 2 as a form of non-biological manifestation of life, of matter. I have come to regard Gasherbrum 2 as a great spiritual master," said Gavan. Gavan dedicated his Gashebrum 2 expedition to the memory of two extraordinary people and friends, Simone la Terra and Kumar Rai, and to Mihai "Galiani" Cioroianu, the first Romanian to climb the mountain. Gavan is using the ascension to launch a campaign to save and preserve the Romanian darter (Romanichthys valsanicola), an extremely rare fish in Europe and, according to some estimates, even in the world. A living fossil fish more than 65 million years old, the darter dates back to the last dinosaurs. At present, their habitat is limited to only one km of the upper Valsan River, upstream of Bradetu village in the Fagaras Mountains. AGERPRES (RO - author: Mihai Tenea, editor: Mihai Dragomir; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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