K2 Winter 2017: Final Preparations by alanarnette.com.

Autor: Alan Arnette

K2

After multiple attempts to summit K2 in winter, a Polish team is finalizing their plans to attempt the last 8000er not summited in winter. They will arrive in Pakistan after Christmas this year, 2017.

K2 is the world’s 2th highest mountain at 28,251’/8611m. It is located in northwest Pakistan about 30 miles from the border with India. K2 is called the Mountaineer Mountain and the Savage Mountain for its deadly and difficult reputation.

Additional Member

The expedition has been in the planning stages for years but perhaps one of the biggest last minute changes is that elite Kazakstan alpinist Denis Urubko will join the team. He has held Polish citizenship since February 2015. See this recent interview with Urubko in Alpinsimonline. 

The entire expedition is being lead by 67 year-old Krzysztof Wielicki who lead the last Polish K2 attempt in 2003. Wielicki has summited all of the 8000ers without supplemental oxygen.

This report from PPA revealed a tremendous amount of gear being transported to base camp: 600 kg (1322 lbs) of cargo in addition to 400 kg (881 lbs) they will travel with as they move to base camp. This includes thousands of meters of rope, anchors, pitons, snow bars, tents, food, stove, fuel and a lot more that’s part of modern expeditions.

The Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism has funded the expedition to the tune of $275,000. Jasmine Tours in Pakistan is the ground agent for the team and will provide 6 high altitude climbers from Pakistan for the expedition support.

The team is composed of Adam Bielecki, Marek Chmielarski, Rafał Fronia, Janusz Gołąb, Marcin Kaczkan, Artur Małek, Piotr Tomala, Jarosław Botor and Dariusz Załuski in addiiton to Urubko and Wielicki.

K2 routes

K2 Routes: Abruzzi and Česen

It is planned that they will take the Česen aka Basque Route but may evaluate the Abruzzi as well.

The most significant obstacle the Poles will encounter is the weather. Even in the summer it is unpredictable, harsh and deadly. High winds have blown climbers off the summit, avalanches have killed climbers in their tents at high camps and some have simply disappeared. But the weather is the wild card. They will need winds under 60 kph/40mph for a safe ascent.

It appears the team will do the standard siege style climb establishing four camps as they set the route with a fixed rope and stock camps with food and fuel. They will not be using supplemental oxygen while climbing.

… more –  K2 Winter 2017: Final Preparations

Autor : Alan Arnette

* source: –  http://www.alanarnette.com/blog

** see also: – Everest and K2 in the Winter by alanarnette.com.

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Everest and K2 in the Winter by alanarnette.com.

Recommended by us…. amazing website …

Everest and K2 in the Winter.

Will there be a winter summit of Everest and finally on K2 this winter? This is always a question as we approach winter. And teams usually keep their plans quiet. The recent suspects include Alex Txikon on Everest and the Poles on K2.

To claim a true winter ascent of a northern hemisphere peak, the summit must be reached during the calendar winter of the northern hemisphere. For 2017/18 this begins with the winter solstice on December 21, 2017 at 11:28 am EST and ends with the spring equinox on March 201, 2018 at 12:15 pm EDT.

Also to be fully certified as a winter ascent, not only the summit has to be reached within the winter calendar, but the start of the expedition cannot be before winter solstice either. Practically this means that the Base Camp must be reached after the winter solstice.

8000ers in Winter

As this table shows, Polish climbers have dominated first winter ascents of the 8000 meter peaks.

K2 This Winter?

Of course, K2 remains the only 8000er not summited in winter. Last year, Nanga Parbat succumbed to the team of Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara, Simone Moro, and Tamara Lunger. It took 31 winter attempts before summiting Nanga in winter.

Now on K2, Krzysztof Wielicki, 67, who was in the first team to scale Everest in winter in 1980 will lead the Polish K2 attempt this winter.

Funding had been a problem but it appears they have received $275,000 from the Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism according to this article.

They will be a team of 10 but only four will be on the “summit team.” They will climb in traditional siege style establishing several camps along the route. Of course weather is the primary concern as K2 is always hit with high winds but in winter the jet stream tends to sit on top of it with 200 mph winds and experience heavy snowfall.

The team is scheduled to include: Janusz Goląb, 50, with a Gasherbum I ascent, Artur Małek, who made the first winter ascent of Broad Peak, Marcin Kaczkan, K2 in the winter of 2002/03 to 7,600m and summited K2 and Nanga Parbat in the summer, plus Marek Chmielarski, summits of Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak.

Other team members include Rafał Fronia (Lhotse and Gasherbrum II), Piotr Tomala (Broad Peak and Cho Oyu), Dariusz Załuski (filmmaker / climbed five 8,000-metre peaks) and doctor Krzysztof Wranicz.

They are not sure which route they will take but it most likely will be either the Abruzzi or the Česen.

See this post for a nice overview of K2 winter attempts. But these are the highlights from Gripped:

  • 1980 Reconnaissance: Pol Andrzej Zawada and Canadian-resident Polish national Jaques Olek
  • 1987/88 Attempt: 13 Poles, 7 Canadians and 4 Brits / made to Camp 3
  • 2002/03 Attempt: 14 climbers from Poland, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia / made Camp 4
  • 2011/12 Attempt: 9 climbers from Russia / made Camp 2
  • 2014/15 Near Attempt: Denis Urubko and team lost permit

Climb On!
Alan
Memories are Everything

* source: – Everest and K2 in the Winter

** see also – Polish Team Prepares for Winter Ascent of K2.

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Major Winter Expeditions Aiming at Big Mountains in 2018.

With the autumn climbing season in the Himalaya all but over, we’ll now turn our attention to the winter ahead. While there are never a large number of expeditions that take place during that season, the ones that do are usually incredibly interesting to follow. This year looks like it, will be no different as it is already shaping up to be a challenging one.

The big focus for the winter will no doubt be on K2, where the Polish Ice Warrior squad have set their sights on the only 8000-meter peak that remains unclimbed during the toughest, most dangerous season of all.

As we all know, K2 is an incredibly challenging mountain to climb under the best of conditions. But during the winter, it gets considerably more difficult thanks to high winds, heavy snows, potential avalanche conditions, and brutally cold temperatures. To date, it has turned back all attempts, and left a trail of fatalities in its wake.

The Polish team will arrive in K2 Base Camp next month just at the start of winter. They’ll want every day of the season at their disposal, as it could potentially take a full three months to complete their objectives. The ten man squad while be led by 67-year old Krzysztof Wielicki, a veteran of numbers Polish winter expeditions dating back to the 1980’s, including the first successful winter ascent of Mt. Everest. While he won’t be going up the mountain himself, his years of experience and wisdom will help lead the team.

We will of course be following their expedition closely and cheering them on. For many, the winter ascent of K2 is the last major mountaineering objective to be achieved. It remains to be seen if that will happen this year.

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ExWeb Interviews K2 Summiteer Vanessa O’Brien.

It looks like ExWeb is back up and running, at least in some capacity. The site, which had gone dark pending a sale to a new owner, has had a few updates posted in recent days, including an exclusive two part interview with Vanessa O’Brien, who summited K2 this past July. By virtue of her dual citizenship, she became the first American and British woman to climb that mountain, which still ranks amongst the hardest climbs in the world.

In the interview, Vanessa talks about the difficulties she faced on the climb, including a tough 16-hour summit push. This was her third attempt on the mountain, and she touches on the frustration and challenges of coming back to a place that has provided so much difficulty in the past too. She also speaks at length about her role as the leader of the team, often finding herself playing “good cop” and “bad cop” as needed.

Other topics of discussion include what it was like to be in K2 Base Camp this year, why other teams didn’t find the same success that her’s did, and how reaching the top has impacted her after the expedition ended. Vanessa shares what it was like to ‘pass through hell to reach heaven,” an indication of just how difficult the climb was, but the relief that was felt when they actually made it to the top.

For some fantastic insights into what it is like to climb the “Savage Mountain,” you can read part 1 and part 2 of the interview for yourself. For anyone interested in big climbs in the Karakoram, Vanessa has some fascinating insights and information to share.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – ExWeb Interviews K2 Summiteer Vanessa O’Brien

** see also: –

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Super-Sherpa Nabs Sixth 8000-Meter Summit of the Year with Autumn Climb of Nanga Parbat.

Even though I already posted an update on the fall climbing season today, I thought this story was worth sharing on its own. It seems that Nepali mountain guide Mingma Gyalje Sherpa has had a year for the record books, as he has now recorded his sixth 8000-meter summit of the year after topping out on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan yesterday. This is his second summit of that mountain over the past few months, confirming a disputed summit from this past summer.

While the details of the latest expedition are still a bit cloudy, Mingma checked in from Pakistan earlier today confirming the summit and that all of the team were back down safely. He did tell adventure sports journalist Stefan Nestler that it was an 8 person squad that went to the top, having reached the summit yesterday.

Reportedly conditions were good and the view from the summit of Nagna Parbat was excellent, allowing the super-sherpa to confirm not only this successful climb of the 8126 meter (26,660 ft) peak, but also the one that he completed with a group of clients back in June as well. At the time, visibility was poor and it was difficult to tell if they had reached the true summit. It was enough for Mingma to even cast doubt on their success. But, with an unobstructed view this time out, he now has no doubts that they did indeed reach the top.

To recap Mingma’s accomplishments for the year, he first summited Dhaulagiri and Makalu this past spring in Nepal. Then, in the summer he took a group of clients to Pakistan to pull of the triple header of Nanga Parbat, K2, and Broad Peak. Now, he has returned to that country to claim a second summit of Nanga Parbat as well. That’s not a bad mountaineering career for most climbers, but that was what he accomplished in 2017 alone.

Of course, he doesn’t have any plans to slow down anytime soon. Mingma is barely off the mountain in Pakistan and he has already announced an expedition to Kangchenjunga for 2018. Looks like he plans to nab all 14 8000-meter peaks before he is done, with only a few more to add to his resume.

Definitely an impressive performance from this amazing climber and guide. I’m looking forward to following more of his adventures in the future. Congrats to Mingma on an amazing year.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Super-Sherpa Nabs Sixth 8000-Meter Summit of the Year with Autumn Climb of Nanga Parbat

** see also: –

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The New York Times Takes A Look at Climbing K2 in Winter.

It’s not often that mountaineering gets good coverage by the mainstream media, let along the paper of record. But, this past weekend, The New York Times took an in-depth look at what it takes to climb K2, the second highest mountain on the planet, during the winter – something that has yet to be accomplished.

The story in The Times introduces readers to a team of Polish climbers who are preparing to take on “the world’s most lethal mountain” this coming winter. The story does a good job of not only providing readers with a sense of history for Polish winter climbing in the Himalaya, but also the sense of pride and accomplishment that has come along with the impressive feats that those climbers have accomplished in the past. For them, there is only one big challenge yet to be conquered during the coldest months of the year, and that’s K2.

Readers get a sense of what it is like to climb a major Himalayan peak during the winter months, when cold conditions and howling winds can leave alpinists stuck inside their tents for days on end, waiting for a proper weather window just to go out and acclimatize, let alone make a summit push. It is a harsh and unforgiving environment that has crushed the dreams of many climbing teams, and has left far too many men and women dead in its wake. Add that to the fact that K2 is already one of the most difficult and dangerous mountains on the planet, and you begin to understand why it is such a crazy endeavor.

The New York Times story is quite extensive, and an excellent read for those of us who already have a sense of what it takes to climb a big mountain in winter as well as those being introduced to the concept for the very first time. I’m sure more than a few readers were left wondering why anyone would want to do this at all, but if you read this blog with any kind of regularity, chances are you’ve already moved beyond that question.

Winter is still quite a few months off yet, so its hard to think about it too much at the moment. But, it will also be here before we know it, and the Polish team is busy preparing, plotting, and training to get ready. Once they get underway, you can bet we’ll be following their progress closely. Until then, you’ll just have to read the article to get ready for the challenge they face.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – The New York Times Takes A Look at Climbing K2 in Winter

** see also: – Polish famous climbers – The golden decade of Polish Himalayan mountaineering.

 

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Winter expedition to Nanga Parbat 2011/2012: Pakistan wrap-up – details on Nanga Parbat new route attempt.

Simone Moro takes us into the world of winter mountaneering. After his first winter ascents of Gasherbrum II he introduces us to his next project: to climb Nanga Parbat with Denis Urubko.

Winter expedition to Nanga Parbat 2011/2012

Pakistan wrap-up: details on Nanga Parbat new route attempt. (Posted: Feb 02, 2012 02:46 pm EST)

(Angela Benavides) Brilliant sunshine is treating all climbers to a nice winter break, unfortunately the current window came a bit early for summit pushes. Yesterday Denis spoke of the new route he and Simone hope to do on Nanga Parbat. Messner, who once commenced it, hopes the two will finish it. Nanga Parbat: Denis and Simone for a double-firstAlthough known as the Messner route, the South Tyrolean actually never completed the line that Simone and Denis have deviated to. Should they succeed, they would thus bag a double…

* CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING

Unfavourable Conditions Stalls Summit Attempt for Moro and Urubko. (Posted: January 31, 2012)

Nanga Parbat base camp 4230m -16 C°

Today was supposed to be the last day of rest and tomorrow the planned departure for Denis and Simone to begin the planned one week stretch of climb to attempt the summit. But as it is ultimately important to have the right weather conditions, the team must now wait a few more days as the forecast for the next days is not favourable.

In a message from base camp, the team said;

“Karl Gabl, our weather guru in Innsbruck, should have authorized us to go. Unfortunately the forecast is not good and only two days of good weather is expected, following with snow and wind up to 140km/h at 8000mt altitude. So we will have to wait and it looks like we have to wait for a while.”

   Winter expedition to Nanga Parbat 2011/2012

Weather Conditions Confirm Forecast; Moro and Urubko Train Instead. (Posted: February 1, 2012)

Nanga Parbat Base Camp 4230m – -12° C

   Winter expedition to Nanga Parbat 2011/2012

Karl Gabl is always right! The weather today began with sun so we started to train a bit. A 4 hours walk down to Kutgully using snow shoes and setting up a route for the shepas who will come tomorrow bringing food and fuel to sustain us for the next month.

We walked pretty well and set a really good path through the valley. On the way back from Kutgully the sky became cloudy but we expect some light snow fall tomorrow as forecasted by our weather guru in Innsbuck.

Story: Simone Moro/ Denis Urubko
Photo: Matteo Zanga

* Source : – http://www.thenorthfacejournal.com/category/nanga-parbat/

* Related Links : – winter-expedition

** Previous story :

Winter expedition to Nanga Parbat 2011/2012: Moro and Urubko expedition Video Dispatch.

Winter expedition to Nanga Parbat 2011/2012: Simone and Urubko Acclimatize at Camp 3 – 6600m.

Winter expedition to Nanga Parbat 2011/2012: Moro and Urubko Reach Basecamp 4230mt.

Winter 2011-12 Pakistan teams

Simone Moro blog
Denis Urubko blog
Matteo Zanga blog
Russian K2 winter expedition
Russian Climb
Polish GI winter team
Alex Txikon
Gerfried Göschl
Carlos Suarez blog

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