K2 in winter: Nepali cooperation

The 8,611-meter-high K2 in the Karakoram

They know each other, they help each other – even on K2, the second highest mountain on earth. “Today we fixed the line to the ice section just below Camp 3,” Mingma Gyalje Sherpa posted on social media. He and his teammates Dawa Tenzing and Kili Pemba Sherpa were joined at about 7,000 meters by Nirmal “Nims” Purja and Mingma Tenzi from the other Nepali team, the 34-year-old wrote: “Thanks to Nepalese brother n Nepalese heart.” The two teams from Nepal, led by Mingma and Nims, had left base camp on Sunday to take advantage of the calm winter weather of the past few days to push the Abruzzi route further up.

Freshening Winds

Camp 3 is located at about 7,200 meters. The passage at about 7,000 meters where the Nepalese teamed up is likely to be the so-called “Black Pyramid”, one of the key sections of the route via the Southeast Ridge: 400 meters of steep rock and ice, often with dangerous layers of snow on the rock slabs.

Icelander John Snorri Sigurjonsson and Pakistani father-son duo Muhammad and Sajid Ali Sadpara – the third team to enter the route last Sunday – returned to K2 Base Camp today after reaching Camp 2 at 6,700 meters yesterday. For Thursday and Friday, meteorologists predict strongly freshening winds on K2. On Saturday they are expected to calm down again.

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