“We are feeling good and very well acclimatized,” writes Tenji Sherpa, who plans to climb the 8,163-meter-high Manaslu in western Nepal with his Nepalese compatriot Vinayak Jay Malla this winter. “Currently we are at base camp, a schedule rest day and (we are) waiting for the good weather window.” However, stormy high-altitude winds are forecast for the eighth-highest mountain on earth this weekend, which can reach hurricane force in the summit zone.Continue reading “Winter expeditions on Manaslu and K2: Waiting for the weather window”
With or without breathing mask? For two days, the mountaineering scene puzzled over whether anyone from the ten Nepalese climbers that succeeded in the first winter ascent of K2 on Saturday had ascended without bottled oxygen. Inquiries remained unanswered. Then, on Monday evening, Nirmal “Nims” Purja spoke out on his homepage and on social media.
Although he was not actually sufficiently acclimatized and had suffered frostbite from his first rotation ascent, he had taken a “calculated risk” in his summit push and had climbed without bottled oxygen, the 37-year-old ex-soldier of the British Gurkha Regiment wrote: “My self confidence, knowing my body’s strength, capability and my experience from climbing the 14 x 8000ers enabled me to keep up with the rest of the team members and yet lead.” The job of scaling K2 in winter without bottled oxygen was done, Nims said.Continue reading “Dujmovits on Purja’s K2 winter success without breathing mask: “Nine witnesses at the summit””
The American climber Alex Goldfarb-Rumyantzev has been found dead on the 6,209-meter-high Pastore Peak in the Karakoram. Apparently he fell to his death. This was reported by Laszlo Pinter, the expedition’s spokesman. A Pakistani rescue helicopter had flown several times today to search the mountain for the 57-year-old physician from Boston. Also aboard the helicopter were climbers John Snorri Sigurjonsson and Sajid Ali Sadpara, who want to scale K2 this winter.
First, the crew of the helicopter spotted traces of a tent in the crevasse-strewn terrain. During the third flight, they also found the climber’s lifeless body.Continue reading “US climber Alex Goldfarb is dead”
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.Continue reading “Nepalese climbers succeed in first winter ascent of K2 – mourning for Sergi Mingote”
Is the first winter ascent of the second highest mountain on earth imminent? Tomorrow, Saturday, there will be at least an attempt by Nepalese climbers to reach the 8,611-meter-high summit of K2. “We three Mingma(s) made it to Camp 4 on K2,” Mingma Gyalje Sherpa announced on Instagram today. According to his words, Sona Sherpa had turned back 30 meters below the camp because he had run out of rope and other gear. “We see the final route now,” wrote the 34-year-old. A little later, Nirmal Purja praised via Instagram the “combined effort from the teams” and announced: “Later today, I will be leading the fixing team to the summit. We hope to stand on the summit together.”
Yesterday, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa had promised that he and his Nepali “brothers” would make the nation proud. The list of winter first ascents of eight-thousanders has so far lacked names of Nepali climbers, which is seen as a blemish in the Himalayan state. “I do feel ashamed to say we have eight out of these 14 peaks in Nepal and no Nepalese on the list of the first winter ascenders,” Mingma Gyalje told me before his failed K2 winter attempt in January 2020.Continue reading “Winter expeditions: Nepalese summit attempt on K2”
“(The) Sherpas finally fixed Camp III this afternoon on K2, along with Nims’ (Nirmal Purja‘s) team,” Chhang Dawa Sherpa, expedition leader of Nepali operator Seven Summit Treks, let us know on Instagram today. Camp 3 on the route via the Southeast Ridge is located at about 7,200 meters.
The Sherpa trio around Mingma Gyalje Sherpa also arrived there afterwards. So the Nepalese continue to make common cause on K2. “We will make the nation proud,” promised Mingma on Facebook. The 34-year-old announced a day of rest for the “ten Nepalese brothers” at Camp 3 because of the expected high winds. Dawa Sherpa had previously held out the prospect of a further ascent to Camp 4 at 7,600 meters on Friday.Continue reading “Winter expeditions: Camp 3 reached on K2”
Actually, Nirmal “Nims” Purja spreads almost boundless optimism. Not so yesterday after returning from Camp 2 on the Abruzzi route on K2, the second highest mountain on earth. “I am devastated to be breaking this news,” wrote the 37-year-old Nepalese. “Now, I have to reassess and replan everything.”
According to Nims’ words, the camp at about 6,700 meters was a “wreckage site”, with tents either destroyed or blown away by the storm. “We have lost everything including all our kits; sleeping bags, mattresses, heated shoe insoles, summit gloves/mittens, summit base layers, paragliding equipment, cooking equipment etc.”Continue reading “Winter expeditions: Storm devastates high camp on K2”
“The lower barometric pressure caused by the location, and winter are drawbacks. Nevertheless my guess is it is possible,” John Burnard West answers my question about whether he thinks a winter ascent of K2 without bottled oxygen is realistic. “Ideally the climbers should go on a day when the pressure is high.”
Most recently, after all, there had been a heated discussion in the scene about whether the possible first winter ascent of the second-highest mountain on earth this year would have to be made without bottled oxygen – as was the case with all first winter ascents of eight-thousanders so far, with the exception of Mount Everest. This is primarily a question of mountaineering ethics.
But what about the probability that any climber at all is capable of scaling K2 in winter without breathing mask? Is it even physiologically possible? No one has ever climbed higher in winter on K2 than the Russian Denis Urubko and the Pole Marcin Kaczkan in 2003: they reached an altitude of 7,650 meters on the north side of the mountain – without bottled oxygen.Continue reading “K2 in winter time without breathing mask – possible or impossible?”
The freezing winter wind is blowing – both on K2, the second highest mountain in the world in Pakistan, and on the eight-thousander Manaslu in Nepal. On K2, numerous climbers have spent their first nights on the mountain in recent days: in Camp 1 at 6,100 meters or Camp 2 at 6,600 meters.
Three Sherpas from the Nepalese expedition operator Seven Summit Treks, who actually wanted to push the route via the Abruzzi Spur further up, spent two nights in the so-called “Black Pyramid” at around 7,050 meters, but then returned to base camp empty-handed because of the stormy wind. At least they were able to deposit material up there.Continue reading “Winter expeditions: Strong winds force break”
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.Continue reading “K2 in winter: Nepali cooperation”
K2 is not yet flexing its winter muscles. At least until Wednesday, meteorologists are forecasting calm winter weather on the world’s second highest mountain – with wind speeds of only around 20 kilometers per hour and temperatures in the summit zone around minus 40 degrees Celsius.
“We want to make the best out of the weather,” let Nepalese Nirmal “Nims” Purja know before he set off from base camp last Sunday with four Sherpas. Ideally, they want to secure the route via the Abruzzi Ridge up to the last high camp at 7,600 meters, Nims informed. Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, who also ascended with his Nepalese team mates Dawa Tenzing and Kili Pemba, gave Camp 3 at 7,200 meters as the preliminary goal. And Iceland’s John Snorri Sigurjonsson and the Pakistani father-son duo of Muhammad Ali and Sajid Ali “Sadpara” are also on the route again. According to John, they reached Camp 2 at 6,700 meters today, at minus 30 degrees Celsius and lots of blue ice on the route.Continue reading “K2 in winter: Three teams on the mountain, base camp filled”
She kept it a secret for a long time. It was only on the plane to Islamabad that she laid her cards on the table: along with many others, South Tyrolean climber Tamara Lunger also wants to try her hand at K2 this winter. This has been “a dream of mine for years,” says the 34-year-old in a video she posted on Instagram. “I’m so excited.” Back in October, Tamara had appeared on the long K2 expedition member list that the Nepalese operator Seven Summit Treks had posted on social media. Lunger had been upset about it and had made sure she was removed from that list. Maybe Tamara just wanted to have her peace in the run-up.Continue reading “K2 in winter: Tamara Lunger will be there too”
“Hello K2!” These were the words Mingma Gyalje Sherpa used to greet the second highest mountain on earth via social media today after reaching base camp with his Nepalese compatriots Dawa Tenzing Sherpa and Kili Pemba Sherpa: “We will take two days complete rest and then plan our climbing.” The Sherpa team is the second one at base camp at the foot of the 8,611-meter-high mountain in the Karakoram, the only eight-thousander never scaled in winter so far.Continue reading “Second team arrives at K2 Base Camp”
“Winter climbing gives me the greatest satisfaction because it raises the difficulty bar, because it demands a lot from the climber. It shows us what we are capable of. For me this is the future of himalaism – the most difficult routes in the toughest conditions.” This was once written by the Pole Andrzej Zawada. The pioneer of winter climbing on the world’s highest mountains led the Polish winter expedition to Mount Everest, during which Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy succeeded in making the first winter ascent of an eight-thousander on 17 February 1980, – and eight years later also the first winter expedition to the 8,611-meter-high K2 in Pakistan.
To date, the second highest mountain on earth is the only one of the 14 eight-thousanders that has never been scaled in the cold season. Zawada would probably not have thought it possible that around 60 mountaineers from 19 countries would attempt K2 this winter 2020/21 – about as many as in a normal summer climbing season.
In the more than three decades that have passed since the first K2 winter expedition, seven teams have left Chogori – as the local Balti people call the mountain – empty-handed. The look back.Continue reading “K2 in winter: An extremely hard nut to crack”
First come, first serve on K2? The first team to attempt the ascent of the second highest mountain on earth this winter has already pitched its tents at base camp, and the second is on its way. After the mountaineering trio around the Icelandic John Snorri Sigurjonsson had arrived at the foot of K2, today another trio set off from Nepal for Pakistan: Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Dawa Tenzing Sherpa and Kili Pemba Sherpa. The three Sherpas have also set themselves the goal of making the first winter ascent of K2. If the weather plays along, the two small teams may have a little time advantage. The largest group on the mountain – under the ticket of the expedition operator Seven Summit Treks – is not expected in Pakistan for a fortnight.Continue reading “K2 winter expeditions: Let’s go!”