Recommended by us.

1. Best story:

National Polish Winter K2 Expedition 2017/18.

Winter Manifesto of Krzysztof Wielicki – Manifest zimowy Krzysztofa Wielickiego /Version polish and english/

Everest and K2 in the Winter by

Would You Pay $95,000 to Climb Everest in Just 4 Weeks?


Everest and K2 Winter Climbs Update.

Everest Plume

The winter Everest summit team is taking the normal spring schedule for their summit bid as they have good weather at the moment but it is deteriorating slightly. The Polish K2 team is resting at base camp.

See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two mountains on Earth. Both expeditions need to summit no later than the spring equinox on March 20, 2018, at 0:15 PKT for K2 and 18:00 NPT for Everest to meet a winter summit definition.

Big Picture

OK, now that the Everest team is on their summit push and the K2 team may start soon, it all comes down to weather. Many websites and media reports are using computer generated forecasts from Mountain Forecast and Meteoexploration but how accurate are these online resources? In my experience as a climber, the daily weather forecasts can vary widely from what really happens on the mountain. One phenomenon is the occurrence of micro bands. This is where only a narrow section of altitude is hit with strong winds while the other levels are calm. I got hit on Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face in 2011 by one of these. Camp 2 and the South Col reported somewhat lite weather, while we were inside our tent, holding it up with our hands to keep it from blowing away. The storm lasted for 12 hours then disappeared as quickly as it arrived.

In previous years of covering Everest, I asked Michael Fagin of his opinion of these types of forecasts. Michael has provide professional weather forecasts for Everest expeditions for over a decade.

Q: Some forecasts are posted on the web, the so called grid forecasts. What are these and who accurate are they?

These grid forecasts take what the weather conditions will be for an exact latitude longitude coordinate. So the grid forecast will give you the exact wind speed for the coordinates for Everest. I have found that the problem with these forecasts is if the forecast is off say 200 miles or so that this can make for an extremely inaccurate forecast. For example. Let us say that the grid forecasts  says Everest summit winds will be 30 knots and the grid forecasts 70 knot winds several hundred miles to the north of Everest. It is not uncommon for the actual forecast to be off by several hundred miles and the real time winds can easily be at 70 knots over Everest. So the forecast of 30 knot wind over Everest vs. real time winds of 70 knots is a big problem. Thus, it is important to get some weather professional analyzing the forecast models and explaining to expedition groups what can happen

Today, I asked Chris Tomer who also provides forecast for climbers through Tomer Weather Solutions  what he sees for Everest right now:

 The big drop in summit wind is still there SAT AM and again SUN AM.  But it’s bookended by strong jet stream wind FRI and MON. The summit air temp of -35F on SAT AM.

I noted in a recent interview with K2 expedition leader Krzysztof Wielicki, that he is getting several forecasts. I assume one of those is from a professional service and has human interpretation. The same for Txikon and crew.

Winter K2 – Resting

The entire Polish team is back at base camp resting. Denis Urubko posted a nice video of he and Adam climbing the Black Pyramid and in  some of the upper Camps. Note melting water, this becomes one of the most critical parts of climbing a big mountain and takes a long time at these altitudes.

You can follow them directly on their website, Facebook, and SPOT tracker.

Continue reading

Winter Everest Summit Bid Starts!

Alex Txikon Winter Everest

After six weeks of preparation and waiting, the winter Everest summit bid has started. The Polish K2 team is back at base camp waiting out a few days of weather.

See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two mountains on Earth. Both expeditions need to summit no later than the spring equinox on March 20, 2018, at 0:15 PKT for K2 and 18:00 NPT for Everest to meet a winter summit definition.

Winter K2 – Waiting for Weather Window

The entire Polish team is back at base camp except for Martin Kaczkan who slept at C1. Only Denis Urubko and Adam Bielecki have slept at 7300m, which expedition leader Krzysztof Wielicki had said previously was the requirement to go on the summit push. We will see if he holds to that for the rest of the team.  They have camp 3 established around 7300m.  There are a few nice pictures of them climbing on their website. has a good interview with Bielecki. One comment caught my attention when he talked about the wind saying at time it was gusting to 100kph/60mph knocking him around:

Wind 20 to 40 km / h is not something that makes a big impression on us. Above 40 km / h there is a problem. It is very important whether they are gusts or constant wind. Up to 7000 m with a wind of 40 km / h, with gusts up to 70 km / h, it can work, if there are higher values ​​it is already hard. We at the descent had gusts above 80 km / h, and even reaching hundreds. Then it is very hard, any manipulation is difficult, even getting into the exit, the snow is blowing in the eyes.Every climber knows what it’s like to be a dupe in the wall. Especially that it is cold.

Winter K2 climbing House Chimney

Winter K2- Adam Bielecki climbing House Chimney

You can follow them directly on their website, Facebook, and SPOT tracker

.. more on : –

Autor : Alan Arnette

* source: – Winter Everest Summit Bid Starts!

** see also: – National Polish Winter K2 Expedition.

Winter Manifesto of Krzysztof Wielicki – Manifest zimowy Krzysztofa Wielickiego /Version polish and english/

Nanga Parbat: 1 Saved, 1 Lost and the Spirit of Mountaineering is Strong.

Tomek Mackiewicz Perhises on Nanga Parbat Following Heroic Rescue Attempt.

Krzysztof Wielicki : Wyścig ze śmiercią – akcja ratunkowa na K2, Netia K2 Polish Winter Expedition (2003/2004).

AddThis Feed Button

Winter Climbs 2018: Everest Weather Window Looks Good Heading into Weekend.

It is go time on Everest at long last. Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara, and the rest of the crew are now on their summit push with a favorable weather forecast heading into the weekend. But conditions on Everest are fickle and since they are climbing without the use of supplemental oxygen, this ascent into extremely cold temperatures is far from a sure thing. Still, this is the opportunity that Alex has been waiting two years for, and it looks like it will be now or never on the world’s tallest mountain.

As we reported yesterday, the team launched its summit bid mid-week and was already in Camp 2. Their last update indicated that they were still there at 6400 meters (20,997 ft) preparing to move up. They may already have moved to Camp 3, but haven’t updated their status yet, which would put them in position to climb to C4 with an eye on summiting on Sunday morning. This is all according to plan, as Alex predicted that the final summit push would happen on either Saturday or Sunday. Exactly when they’ll make the ascent remains to be seen.

Alan Arnette has had a look at the forecasts – courtesy of – and says that winds are expected to subside both Saturday morning and Sunday morning, which means the team will be climbing throughout the night to take advantage of those conditions. Alan also points out they are on a typical schedule for a spring expedition to the South Side of the mountain, with Alex and company not feeling a particular need to rush things.

Continue reading

Winter Climbs 2018: Summit Bid Begins on Everest.

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived on Everest. After months of planning and weeks of preparation on the mountain, Alex Txikon, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, and the rest of the team have launched a summit bid on Everest, and things are already going well. But, as with all things involving the highest mountain on the planet, it won’t be an easy ascent.

The attempt on the summit – the first so far this season – got underway yesterday with the Alex and company reaching Camp 2 in a single push. They’ll likely move up to C3 today and be in their final position tomorrow for a potential push to the top on Saturday or Sunday (February 24/25) of this week.

The forecast calls for a good weather window over the next few days. That is a relative forecast of course, this being winter in the Himalaya. Temperatures on the summit are expected to hover around -40ºF/C, with windchills approaching -80ºF/-62ºC. In other words, it will be brutally cold on the way up, and remember Alex is attempting this summit without the use of supplemental oxygen.

In a post on Facebook Alex has called this the “first and last chance to get to the summit of Everest,” indicating that he expects this to be their only real chance at topping out this winter. With about a month to go yet before the end of the season, I would have expected the team to at least consider a second summit bid should they not make it this time. But, it has been a long couple of months on the mountain and the entire squad is probably ready to get the expedition over with. Hopefully that means they’ll come home with their mission completed.

Meanwhile, over on K2 the Polish Ice Warriors have posted a short and sweet message about their current status. The entire team is now in Base Camp where they are resting and recovering from recent efforts. The group has now gone as high as 7200 meters (23,622 ft) in their acclimatization and gear shuttling efforts. They’ll now spend a few days regaining some strength before launching the next phase of the expedition, which looks to make the first winter ascent of the mountain.

Continue reading

Winter Everest and K2 – K2 Team Reach Expedition Altitude Record.

With continued good weather, the Polish K2 team reached their highest point yet. On Everest, good news, bad news. Both expeditions have set early March for serious decisions.

See this post for full background on the K2 and Everest expeditions and the history of winter attempts on the highest two mountains on Earth. Both expeditions need to summit no later than the spring equinox on March 20, 2018, at 0:15 PKT for K2 and 18:00 NPT for Everest to meet a winter summit definition.

Big Picture

A reasonable question is why the Polish team on K2 is making such good progress on the Abruzzi compared to the Cesen. There are several factors. First, they know this route well. Most of the climbers were there last summer (2017) to get familiar with the route. Second, while rockfall is still present, it is less, thus far, than on the Cesen so they probably move faster with slightly less angst. Third, they are all acclimatized and rested. And finally, they are motivated knowing the clock is ticking closer to 20 March – the end of winter. And of course, these are strong, strong climbers.

Over on Everest, another fair question is if the team have lost their acclimatization after waiting several weeks since they touched almost 8,00-meters. Well, they probably would have preferred to sleep at the South Col since they are not using supplemental oxygen, but it appears they mix “active rest days” in with their time at EBC. This keeps their body used to working at altitude and the red blood cells active. Remember that EBC is at 17,500’/5300m so it is high.

Winter K2 – Pushing Hard

The Polish team are pushing extremely hard to get the route in. Expedition leader Krzysztof Wielicki has targeted early March for a summit push saying that any of his climbers who have slept at 7,300-meters will be given the opportunity to summit. Remember they are not using supplemental oxygen, so the usual process is to sleep as high as possible before going above 8,000-meters. K2 is 8,611-meters. 

There are three pairs of climbers currently doing rotations up and down the Abruzzi Ridge. They need to space themselves due to usually only one tent at each camp. They will bring more tents to the High Camp before launching their bid. High Camp, aka C4, is at 25,080’/7600m. Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko touched 7,400-meters before returning to 7,200-meters C3, to sleep. Maciej Bedrejczuk, Janusz Golab, Marcin Kaczkan and Darek Zaluski have all slept at Camp 2, 22,110’/6700m. It appears all climbers will return to base camp on Wednesday due to poor weather returning, maybe for 5 days.

Bielecki and Urubko found a good route to High Camp, which is usually around 7,600-meters. This section between C3 and C4 is one long snow slope with no technical challenges but there is significant avalanche danger. In 2013, guide Marty Schmidt were killed along with his son, Denali, as they slept in their tent at Camp 3.

Leaving C3 for C4 on K2 in 2014. by Alan Arnette

Leaving C3 for C4 on K2 in 2014. by Alan Arnette

Continue reading

Winter Climbs 2018: Continued Progress on K2, Still Waiting on Everest with One Month to Go.

It will be an unusual week here at The Adventure Blog in terms of updates. I’m on the road a couple of days and then leave the country on Friday. But until then, we’ll share any news we can on what’s happening in the outdoor world of exploration and adventure, including the ongoing winter expeditions that we’ve been following on K2 and Everest, where one team is making steady progress, while the other continues to wait.

On K2, the Polish Ice Warriors are continuing to take what the mountain gives them and are slowly and steadily working their way upward. In the latest update on the expedition it was revealed that Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko have now established camp at 7200 meters (23,622 ft), while other teammates are following behind in regular rotations. The entire squad continues to work on acclimatization and are shuttling gear and supplies up the mountain.

After making the change to the Abruzzi Route the team has had to reinstall fixed ropes and redo some of the work they had already done elsewhere. But, as of today, they still have one month to go to complete the first winter ascent of K2, so there is still plenty of time for them to put everything together, adjust to the altitude, and look for a weather window. But in another week or two, things will start to get tight, so making steady progress is important. Weather will ultimately dictate the final schedule, but the team is putting in the work to get them into the right position to potentially have a shot at reaching the top.

Continue reading

Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger: first winter ascent of Siberian Pik Pobeda.

Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger have carried out the first winter ascent of Pik Pobeda (Tienszan 7,439 m – 24,406 ft), also known as Gora Pobeda and at 3003 meters the highest mountain in Siberia, Arctic Polar Circle.  

After climbing for 7 hours, at 15.37 the other day the Italian mountaineers Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger reached the summit of Pik Pobeda, a 3003 meter high mountain in Siberia’s Chersky Range. This region is classified as one of the coldest on the planet, hence its nickname The Pole of Cold.

Having set off from Italy on 22 January, Moro and Lunger began the long journey towards the mountain’s base camp, reached with the help of reindeer that hauled their gear on sledges. After setting up Base Camp the duo waited for the right forecast and set off for the summit, retiring to BC 11 hours later.

“It snowed all day long, but there was good visibility. It was extremely cold! How cold we do not know yet, we’ll check and tell you.” Moro explained by sat phone. At base camp the temperature had dropped down to -40° C, and in the expedition report that no doubt will arrive in due course, one can expect even colder temperatures.

Link:,, C.A.M.P.La Sportiva, Climbing Technology

* source: –  Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger: first winter ascent of Siberian Pik Pobeda

** see also: – National Polish Winter K2 Expedition 2017/18.

AddThis Feed Button