Well it’s happened: K2 will have its first true commercially guided climb this seasonPosted: June 2, 2009
Fabrizio Zangrilli is working with Field Touring Alpine to lead a guided climb on K2 this late summer season. This is probably the first true commercial, guided climb on K2. By commercially guided I mean a guide is being paid to take clients up a mountain versus some people going for free or a trip leader making money on his group of climbers. By clients I mean people who may but probably do not have the total ability/skill/experience necessary or maybe desire to climb the mountain without a guide.
It was to be expected. Most people consider the 1984 guided climb of Dick Bass and Frank Wells as the first commercially guided trip on Everest. However commercial Everest expeditions took off after the 1996 mess. (I refuse to call a natural weather event a disaster.) Publicity good or bad does not deter either mountaineers or those with money and a desire to check a box. It has always been an unconfirmed rumor that after the 1996 Everest mess Mountain Madness added more phone lines, even though its owner and founder had died on the mountain.
This guided expedition occurs after a year where 11 people died on K2 which was reported worldwide for weeks. Publicity good or bad does not deter, just highlight.