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Friday, July 16, 2010
11,483 vertical feet or bust

Ericsson climbing on Laila Peak before arriving at K2, which is visible in the background on the left with fellow 8,000-meter mountains Broad Peak and the Gasherbrums on the right.

Most of the ski expeditions around the world have concluded now, which is fitting, since that means we can fixate on one that may warrant consideration as the greatest achievement in skiing history.

Swedish alpine savant Fredrik Ericsson and Chamonix-based climber/journalist Trey Cook are in the middle of an expedition on 28,251-foot K2 -- the world's second tallest mountain, and alpine climbing's holy grail -- that is already six weeks old and could produce a first descent of unparalleled significance by Ericsson around July 25, according to an e-mail he and Cook sent from base camp on Wednesday.