The Nepalese teamwork was successful. Ten climbers from Nepal from three different teams reached together the 8,611-meter-high summit of K2 in the Karakoram in Pakistan at 5 p.m. local time: Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Dawa Tenzing Sherpa, Kilu Pemba Sherpa, Nirmal Purja, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Mingma David Sherpa, Gelje Sherpa, Pemchhiri Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa and Sona Sherpa.
As Chhang Dawa Sherpa, expedition leader of Seven Summit Treks , reported from the base camp, they had agreed to wait ten meters before the summit and then climb together to the highest point. Thus, the climbers from Nepal succeeded in making the first winter ascent of Chogori, as the local Balti people call the second highest mountain on earth. K2 was the last eight-thousander that had never before been scaled in the cold season, despite several attempts. “Finally we did it . We made the history in mountaineering field,” Mingma Gyalje Sherpa posted on Instagram.
After the summit success in the late afternoon the descent into the darkness was awaiting. The Nepalese cannot take much time for this. After the almost windless summit day, the wind is supposed to freshen up again on Sunday.
First winter ascent of an eight-thousander by Nepalese
As reported, Nepalese from the teams of Nirmal Purja, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa and Nepalese expedition operator Seven Summit Treks had joined forces to ensure the first winter ascent of an eight-thousander by Nepalese climbers. From this group with concentrated eight-thousander experience, only Mingma Gyalje Sherpa had announced before his expedition that he wanted to climb without bottled oxygen. Whether he also implemented his plan, we will certainly be informed soon.
Mourning for Sergi Mingote
There was a sad news from the lower slopes of K2. Spaniard Sergi Mingote, one of Seven Summit Treks’ leaders on the mountain, fell while descending between Camp 1 and the Advanced Base Camp (ABC) and later died from his injuries. “Alex Gavan, Tamara (Lunger) and two other polish climber gave him help in ABC, we sent medical team from Basecamp but unfortunately could not save him anymore,” Chhang Dawa Sherpa informed. Mingote had ascended to Camp 3 at around 7,200 meters with Chilean Juan Pablo Mohr for further acclimatization.
Seven 8000ers without breathing mask in 444 days
The corona pandemic had stopped the 49-year-old in his project to climb all 14 eight-thousanders without bottled oxygen within 1000 days. “Our projects can wait, anyone, but we have to beat this virus,” Sergi told me in May 2020. It had taken Sergi only 444 days to scale the first seven eight-thousanders without breathing mask. In 2018, the Catalan summited Broad Peak, K2 and Manaslu, in 2019 Lhotse, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum II and Dhaulagiri.
Update 18:30 CET: The ten Nepalese climbers are now safely back at Camp 3. According to Chhang Dawa Sherpa, Sona Sherpa and Geljen Sherpa want to descend directly to base camp.