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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 alanarnette.com.

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

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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.

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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: www.simonemoro.com, www.tamaralunger.com, 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.

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Winter Everest and K2 – Progress on K2.

Shattered tents at Camp 2 on K2

With good weather, the Polish K2 team established their highest point yet this season while the Everest team is forced to sit at base camp waiting for lower winds.

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 – Pushing Hard

The Polish team are enjoying low winds for a change but expect high winds to return on 25 February according to this interview with expedition leader Krzysztof Wielicki. He noted that the temperatures are higher, approx. -13 ° C in the shade, before it was below -20 ° C. They must be feeling great with all the team climbing, the route getting set, camps established. Their patience is paying off.

Today, Sunday 18 February 2018, Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko were reported to have climbed House’s Chimney to Camp 2 near 22,110’/6700m. They used the ropes that were placed last summer. They will spend the night just below the Chimney as it is at the base of a large wall (hence the Chimney) and blocks the strong winds that usually shatter Camp 2 (see image at top of post from 2014). Tomorrow, they will climb the Black Pyramid in hopes of establishing  Camp 3 at 23,760’/7200m on this rotation. The other climbers, Marek Chmielarski, and Janusz Golab are either at Camp 1 or 2 with the intention of climbing higher and Artur Malek and Maciej Bedrejczuk returning to base camp.

K2 routes

K2 Routes: Abruzzi and Česen

Meanwhile in an excellent demonstration of respecting the mountain, Wielicki sent the Pakistani High Altitude Porters back up the Česen ridge to remove ropes and tents. Well done!

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

.. more on : – http://www.alanarnette.com/blog

Autor : Alan Arnette

* source: –   Progress on K2

** 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).

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Winter Everest and K2 – Can They Summit?

K2 Winter base camp 2018

With about one month to go before the end of winter, it may be time to wonder if either team will make their winter summit. There was talk of a 20 February summit push but the winds seem still too high, however the forecast is improving.

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.

The Big Picture

Climbing these peaks in the winter is all about weather, specifically cold and wind, wind, wind. Both the K2 and Everest teams are coping with the cold but when the wind gusts over 40mph/65kph it gets virtually impossible. All the climbers have the skills, are strong and experienced so their capabilities are not in question. But even the strongest person cannot withstand 100mph wind gusts.

On Everest the Jet-stream sits on the summit for most of the year only relenting in late May and again in early October. Most summit pushes require a minimum of four days from base camp. On Everest, an extremely aggressive schedule would breakout like this:

  1. EBC – C2 at 21,000’/6400m
  2. C2 – C3 at 23,500’/7162m  or South Col at 26,300’/8016m
  3. Summit Bid at 29,035′ / 8850m
  4. Back to C2
  5. Back to EBC

They could climb in high winds through the Icefall but probably not above C3 around 23,500’/7162m. They did have fixed ropes almost to the South Col, but that was a couple of weeks ago and they could be buried under new snow or frozen in since then.

On K2, it is a similar schedule. They have reached C2 at 22,110’/6700m but have no ropes through the Black Pyramid or above. With the icy conditions, I would assume they want to put the ropes in before or during a summit push. They have found old ropes but it is exhausting and time consuming to chop them out of the ice. Their schedule might be:

  1. K2BC – C2 at 22,110’/6700m
  2. C2 – C4 at 25,080’/7600m
  3. Summit Bid at 28,251’/8611m
  4. Back to C2
  5. Back to K2BC

Winter K2 – Pushing Hard

The Polish team continues to push, even in high winds knowing the clock is ticking. Marek Chmielarski and Artur Małek reached Camp 1 and Saturday, 17 February 2018,  Janusz Gołąb, Maciej Bedrejczuk, Denis Urubko and Adam Bielecki (who was injured by rockfall, is returning to the climb) will leave K2BC. This is the most climbers they have had on K2 this season suggesting they are pushing hard to acclimatize in anticipation of a summit window. There does appear to be reasonable winds up to the 8,000-meter level for the next week.

Denis Urubko chopping out old rope on K2 courtesy of russianClimb.com

Denis Urubko chopping out old rope on K2 courtesy of russianClimb.com

Rafał Fronia, who had his arm broken by rockfall, is back home in Poland and did a radio interview. The money quote was :

If people are acclimatized and will weather window, the chance is one hundred percent. In contrast, if you run any factor, because we do not know what will happen, well, the chances are zero. This is a good team of good people who can climb and they will come up on this, but under some circumstances.

Thanks to Altitude Pakistan, this is a brief summary of the previous attempts:

During the first winter attempt in 1987/88,  the team noted that they only had 10 days of good weather during their three months expedition. Krzysztof Wielicki, the leader today, was a climber on that expedition. They didn’t reach C3 on the Abruzzi until March 6th and then harsh winds stopped them almost killing two of the climbers with severe frostbite.

The next attempt in 2002/3 was lead by Wielicki and attempted the North Pillar. It was a team of climbers from Poland, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Georgia – they didn’t get along. Denis Urubko was also on this effort and stayed with the team after others left. Marcin Kaczkan and Urubko were the only climbers to attempt the summit on 25 February but Kaczkan developed HACE and they abandoned the attempt and the expedition.

In 2010/11 a Russian team reached 7,000-meters at the end of January by the Abruzzi but again high winds forced a retreat, then one member died at base camp and the effort was called-off.

So, as you can see these winter attempts are a huge gamble, complete with deaths. They rush to establish the route during brief periods of suitable weather but spend most of their time waiting at base camp. When they do go for the summit, it has been the winds and illness that have stopped them. Of course both Urubko and Wielicki know this well as they were there.

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

.. more on : – http://www.alanarnette.com/blog

Autor : Alan Arnette

* source: –  Winter Everest and K2 – Can They Summit?

** 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).

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38th anniversary of the first Everest winter ascent.

February 17, 1980 – First winter ascent by Andrzej Zawada’s team from Poland: Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki.

This was also the first winter summit of any of the world’s fourteen 8000 metre peaks.

Completed in 1980 by a team of phenomenally rugged Polish climbers, this ascent was led by … Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki reached the summit on February 17.

wielicki-cichy
Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy celebrate winning Mount Everest in Winter.

One might say that winter expeditions into the Himalayas were invented by Polish people, mainly by Andrzej Zawada, becouse he is considered as the originator of the idea.

It’s important to remind that first 7 of all eight-thousanders mountains were reached by Poles who became famous and British mountaineers called them “ICE WARRIORS”.

These first 7 peaks were reached by Polish climbers between the years of 1980 – 1988. That is why those times are also called “The Golden Decade” of Polish Himalaism.

You can see..

Krzysztof Wielicki – detailed diary of First winter ascent of Mount Everest, Please click the links below :

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 1

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 2

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 3

Polish winter expedition 1980: Everest – part 4

* more on –   37th anniversary of the first Everest winter ascent.

** I invite you to relationships with expeditions Polish mountaineers.

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38 rocznica zimowego wejścia na Mt. Everest: droga do sukcesu.

February 17, 1980 – First winter ascent by Andrzej Zawada’s team from Poland: Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki.

This was also the first winter summit of any of the world’s fourteen 8000 metre peaks.

wielicki-cichy
Completed in 1980 by a team of phenomenally rugged Polish climbers, this ascent was led by … Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki reached the summit on February 17.

Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy celebrate winning Mount Everest in Winter.

You can see ..  – National Polish Winter K2 Expedition 2017/18.
–  Krzysztof Wielicki: Historia zdobycia K-2.

38 rocznica zimowego wejścia na Mt. Everest: droga do sukcesu.

38 lat temu 17 lutego 1980 r na szczycie Mount Everest stanęli pierwsi ludzie w zimieKrzysztof Wielicki i Leszek Cichy. Obydwaj Polacy staneli na wierzchołku najwyższej góry świata o godzinie 14.30

Należy przypomnieć iż na drodze do tego sukcesu były takie wydarzenia jak wyprawa zimowa z 1973r, która dokonała pierwszego wejścia zimowego na Noszak (7492 m) – najwyższy szczyt Hindukuszu Afgańskiego. Szczyt zdobyli wtedy : Tadeusz Piotrowski i Andrzej Zawada.

Zawada był pomysłodawcą i głównym orędownikiem wypraw zimowych i to za jego sprawą udało się zorganizować m.in wyprawę na Everest. Nie zraziły go pierwsze niepowodzenia w zdobyciu ośmiotysięcznika zimą co miało miejsce podczas nieudanej wyprawy na Lhotse (8501 m) w 1974r. Osiągnął wtedy wraz z Zygmuntem A. Hainrichem wysokość 8250m, a to skłoniło go do pozytywnego myślenia, że zdobycie ośmiotysięcznika w zimie jest możliwe. Wyprawa mimo , że nieudana miała też inne walory, zdobyto nowe doświadczenia i rozpoznawano teren, co miło zaowocować w przyszłości.

Zawada przez dłuższy czas nie mógł przekonać do swego pomysłu władz Nepalu, które uznawały jedynie dwa sezony: wiosenny i jesienny. Dlatego gdy władze wydały pozwolenie na organizowanie polskiej wyprawy narodowej, która miała zdobywać Everest drogą przez południowy filar na wiosnę 1980r to nie spowodowało to zaniechania przez Zawadę starań o wyprawę zimową. Długotrwałe starania (ich początki to 1977r) oraz wsparcie ze strony polskiej dyplomacji w Kathmanu nie od razu dały pozytywny skutek, Nepalczycy długo zwlekali, aż wreszcie w listopadzie 1979r wydali zgodę i polska wyprawa narodowa dostała jako pierwsza zezwolenie na zdobywanie Everestu w sezonie zimowym.

Mount Everest od południowego zachodu (fot. Krzysztof Wielicki)

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Winter Climbs 2018: Is it Almost Go Time on Everest?

Since our last update on the winter climbs there hasn’t been a whole lot of progress, but the future schedule is starting to become a bit clearer. Meanwhile, over on K2, things remain contentious, with one member of the team clearly unhappy with the current situation.

We’ll start in Nepal, where Alex Txikon and his team have been relaxing and waiting in Base Camp. Everyone seems to be in good spirits while they watch the weather forecasts for an opportunity to make a summit push. Currently there is a projected weather window that could come next week on February 20, which means that everyone could be on the move as early as tomorrow to get themselves into position for a dash to the summit. The weather models predict that the wind speeds will die down at last, granting access to the top.

Of course, Alex, Ali Sadpara, and the rest of the squad will carefully pour over the data to ensure that it is safe to make the ascent, otherwise they’ll just end up wasting energy. But, if there is a chance that they could complete the climb, it seems like they are poised to do so. Remember, the Basque climber will be going up without the use of supplemental oxygen, so this winter climb is far from a sure thing.

Over on K2, the Polish Ice Warriors continue their work on the Abruzzi Route. According to reports, Denis Urubko has now been as high as 6500 meters (21,325 ft) before being forced back down due to poor weather. The team has shuttled gear up to their new campsites but are now forced to stay in Base Camp while they wait for their next opportunity, which coincidentally could come on February 20 as well.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the Poles at the moment is team unity. Urubko continues to criticize his teammates, the group’s leadership, and even their selection of a climbing route. As usual, he seems like the strongest climber in the group, and has been shouldering much of the work up high, but he also hasn’t held back in his critique of how things are going either, taking shots at the other climbers for things like not properly hydrating or assisting with the fixing of ropes. This discord can’t be good for morale and could eventually lead to issues between the men. On the other hand, Urubko might be the team’s best chance for getting to the summit, so it is a fine line to walk for sure.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on things to see how they develop. Right now, the weather is keeping everyone in place, but it seems we’re on the verge of summit bids on Everest, and possibly K2 as well. There are still four more weeks of winter to go however, so there is time for both teams to be patient and wait for the right opportunity.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –  Winter Climbs 2018: Is it Almost Go Time on Everest?

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

Polish famous climbers – The golden decade of Polish Himalayan mountaineering.

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