John Snorri Sigurjónsson, who on Friday became the first Icelander to conquer K2, the world’s second highest mountain, is now getting ready for his return to Iceland. He will be leaving the base camp in the next few days, RÚV reports. The first leg of his return journey will be a 63-km hike across a glacier.
With an elevation of 8,611 m (28,251 ft), K2 is regarded as one of the toughest mountains in the world to climb. The hiking expedition took well over a month. The original plan was to reach the summit on July 20, but there were several hurdles to pass, inclement weather among them. The last meters proved very challenging, and since John and the two Sherpas who accompanied him had not brought along a sufficient amount of lines, they used shoe laces to tie themselves to one another in order to make it to the top.
Among the mountaineers in John Snorri’s group was the first American woman to conquer K2. A group of 12 successfully made the ascent, including nine Sherpas, according to mbl.is. A film about the expedition is in the making.
John Snorri is expected back in Iceland in mid-August. He raised funds for the charity Líf, which will be used to fund the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Landspítali National University Hospital. The fundraising is still ongoing, and contributions can be made here.