Andrzej Bargiel Aims to Ski K2 – Diary part 1.

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in the Diary : Andrzej Bargiel Aims to Ski K2.

Andrzej Bargiel departured for his next adventure. This time, the aim will not be any of the eight-thousanders. Nevertheless, the goal that the Polish extreme skier set for himself is even more ambitious than the previous ones. “This is definitely the most challenging expedition of my life” – he confirmed.

The aim of the expedition is to conquer five highest peaks of the former Soviet Union, which is a prestigious mountaineering award called “Snow Leopard”. This is also the title name of the expedition. Previously some hundreds of climbers won the trophy but Bargiel wants to achieve this goal in his own style. By using skis on his way up as well as during the descents, he aims to break few speed records. The uniqueness of this project is greatly enlarged by the fact that the expedition involves the presence of the CANAL + DISCOVERY crew – a strategic partner of the project – that will create a documentary series illustrating Andrzej’s struggles with an ambitious and dangerous challenge. The premiere of the series “Andrzej Bargiel – Snow Leopard” will take place in autumn on CANAL + DISCOVERY channel.

The Snow Leopard Award includes five peaks reaching over 7000 meters. The first one, which Andrzej will face, after landing in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek and transfer to the city of Osh, is situated in the Pamir range – Lenin Peak (7134 m). On the easiest of the five peaks the polish skier will probably spend the most time, passing the monotonous process of acclimatization. After a succesful summit, the crew will fly to Tajikistan to challenge the last two peaks on the list: Korzeniewski Peak (7105 m) and the highest peak of the country and the Pamir mountains – Communism Peak (7495 m). It is still commonly known under its former Soviet name, although since 1998 its name has been officially changed to Ismoil Somoni Peak.

As fourth in line comes Pobeda Peak situated on the boarder between Kyrgyzstan and China, the highest peak in the mountains of Tien Shan, which is also considered to be the most dangerous one. Last, but not least, is Kazakhstan’s highest Khan Tengri (7010 m) with its capricious weather.

Andrzej Bargiel – 25 June at 21:06

We finally made it to Gasherbrum II basecamp. Weather is good and cold (-10C) so we are getting ready for going up. On the pics few more shots from trekking. Stay tuned for more updates ✌🏻

Dotarliśmy do bazy pod Gasherbrum II, gdzie przeprowadzimy aklimatyzację 😎 wysokość ~ 5000m. Ciepło nie jest, bo termometr wskazuje -10 stopni Celsjusza. Pogoda sprzyja, więc szykujemy się do akcji górskiej ✊🏻

Fot: Marek Ogień Photographer

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Andrzej Bargiel – 22 June at 21:06

We have reached Urdukas Camp, which is situated near by stunning Trango Towers….

Dotarliśmy do Urdukas, obozu położonego w otoczeniu przepięknej grupy wież Trango.

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Andrzej Bargiel Aims to Ski K2.

Andrzej Bargiel shredding up the slopes in La Grave, France.
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel is again heading to the Karakorum to try to become the first person to complete a ski descent of K2.

Ski-mountaineers have tried to descend K2 in the past, sometimes with fatal consequences. Italian Hans Kammerlander had planned an attempt in 2001, only to turn around 400 meters from the summit after watching a Korean climber fall past him to his death. Nearly a decade later, in 2010, Swedish ski-mountaineer Fredrik Ericsson died after a fall near the infamous bottleneck section. Kammerlander has said that “somebody will do it, but he’ll need a lot of ability and a whole lot of luck”.

Andrzej Bargiel climing in La Grave, France.
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

This is Bargiel’s second attempt. Last season he abandoned due to high avalanche and rockfall risks. The video below shows some teaser footage from the build-up to the 2017 expedition.

Bargiel is a seasoned extreme athlete who has previously skied Shisapangma and Broad Peak. This year, before attempting K2, he intends to acclimatize by climbing and skiing down Gasherbrum II, the lowest and most accessible of the 8000m peaks in the Karakorum.

16/06/2018, Bargiel landed in Skardu, the last stop in Pakistan before the Karakorum.

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* source: –

** see also: – Spring 2018 Himalayan Recap.

– 15 days Nepal Everest Base Camp Trekking .

– Overview of Trekking Routes in Nepal.  Expedition in Nepal with Nepal Trekking Routes (Ama Dablam, Annapurna, Makalu, Manaslu, Pumori)

– Nepal Celebrates 65th Anniversary of First Ascent of Mt. Everest.

– Today is 65th Anniversary of Everest’s First Ascent.

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Polish Climber Evacuated From Makalu After More Than a Week on the Mountain.

I’m on the road today, so there will only be a handful of updates, but wanted to pass along this story. Over the past week or so, I’ve mentioned a couple of times that the spring Himalayan climbing season has pretty much wrapped up for the year, with all of the teams heading home. It turns out, that wasn’t completely correct, as a couple of climbers found themselves stranded on Makalu, and needed a rescue yesterday.

According to The Himalayan Times, Polish mountaineer Lech Wieslaw Flaczynski summited Makalu – the fight highest peak in the world – back on May 24, but ran into some difficulty on the descent. Climbing with his son, Wojciech Bartlomiej Flaczynski, both men topped out together last week, but when they turned back down the mountain, the elder Flaczynski lost his head lamp and then started to feel weak. To make matters worse, high winds struck the top of the mountain, making it very difficult for them to reach Camp 4. They ended up spending the night bivouacked high on the mountain.

The following day, the two Polish climbers were able to descend to Camp 4 and ended up staying there for three nights due to poor weather conditions. During that time, they started to run out of food and Lech developed altitude sickness.

When the weather cleared, the father and son team descended to Camp 3, but found no tents to take shelter in as all the other teams had already left the mountain. By this point, Lech was running out of bottled oxygen and was feeling very weak, so Wojciech moved back up the mountain towards C4 to look for a spare tank. He found one higher up the peak, which helped to keep his father alive. He says they ate chocolate, biscuits, and ice to stay alive.

A few days back, the duo were able to descend down to Camp 1 at 6600 meters (21,653 ft) where they were able to call for help. A rescue helicopter was scrambled to pick them up yesterday and they were flown to Kathmandu for treatment, where both father and son are said to be doing fine.

The bigger question here is why were they left on the mountain in the first place? The two men were climbing as part of team led by Spanish climber Jesus Morales Manzanares and supported by Seven Summits Treks. Somehow, that team abandoned them, didn’t alert anyone to their status, and just left Makalu. I’m not sure how or why that happened, but an investigation into the rest of that story should probably be in order. It’ll certainly be interesting to hear more about this story as the details come out.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Polish Climber Evacuated From Makalu After More Than a Week on the Mountain

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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Nepal Celebrates 65th Anniversary of First Ascent of Mt. Everest.

The spring 2018 Himalayan climbing season may be over and all of the teams have gone home, but that doesn’t mean that Mt. Everest is ready to give up the spotlight just yet. Today – May 29 – represents International Sagarmatha Day in Nepal, celebrating the date on which Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first went to the summit of the world’s highest peak. To commemorate the occasion, the Nepal government is honoring several record-breaking climbers and organizations on the 65th anniversary of the first ascents of the mountain.

According to The Himalayan NewsKami Rita Sherpa and Lhakpa Sherpa were both given the Tenzing Hillary Award for their recent summits of Everest. Kami set a new record for all climbers by claiming his 22nd successful summit of the mountain, while Lhakpa extended her record for female climbers to 9 summit. The award includes a Rs. 500,000 prize to each of them, which converts to about $4625.

Additionally, the Nepal Mountaineering Instructor Association was also honored for its work by receiving the National Sagarmatha Prize, which is worth Rs. 100,000 ($925). This award was given for the general work the organization does in preparing guides and climbing instructors within the country.

Awards were also given out to four Sherpa brothers who climbed the mountain together, setting a Guinness record, as well as another group of siblings who set a record for most summits by climbers from a single family as well.

As you can probably imagine, Mt. Everest brings a great sense of pride to the Nepali people, in part because it contributes to the country’s economy on such a high level, but also because it is such a natural wonder. Of course, this leads to celebrations each year on this date, but the 65th anniversary of Hillary and Norgay’s first ascent calls for an even more special occasion. It is unlikely that they could have ever predicated that the mountain would become as popular and crowded as it has in recent years. In 2018 alone, more than 700 people climbed to the summit, which would have seemed impossible not all that long ago.

On this Sagarmatha Day we salute all the Everest summiteers and the great history of the mountain.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Nepal Celebrates 65th Anniversary of First Ascent of Mt. Everest

# see also:

– Polish winter expedition 1980 – First winter ascent of Everest, part 1

– Polish winter expedition 1980 – First winter ascent of Everest, part 2

– Polish winter expedition 1980 – First winter ascent of Everest, part 3

– Polish winter expedition 1980 – First winter ascent of Everest, part 4

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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The Definition of Winter for K2 and Everest Climbs.

K2 Abruzzi Route Map

With the drama dissipating from K2, the Polish team remains at base camp waiting for better weather. Everest is now officially over but the debate about when winter ends, will continue forever. 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.

Big Picture – When does Winter End?

One of the big questions this season on both K2 and Everest is “When does winter officially end?” If you have been reading my blog  you might have seen comments from readers with clear views, for example from one reader “They can summit after February, but it won’t be winter.” Other simply say it is at the Spring equinox on March 20, 2018 at 12:15 pm EDT. The reality is, it depends on where you live and the local customs and definition.

First off, both Pakistan and Nepal issue climbing permits with different fees according to the season. On Everest, for example, they charge USD$11,000 per person for a spring permit – the most popular time. But for a winter permit, the least popular time, it drops to USD$2,750. Both countries’ tourism ministry define winter as December, January and February for permit purposes. They simply take the year and divide into four equal parts. For most people born and raised in this environment, that is what defines the seasons.

However, many people, including myself, were raised and taught that the seasons are defined according to the astronomical definition which is based on how the sun hits the earth and the shortest and longest days each year, in other words the equinoxes and solstices.

Then there are the seasonal definitions influenced by length of day and temperatures. Obviously March 1 at the North Pole compared to being on the equator are very different. Also, if it a rainy time of year or dry. To make matter even more complicated, the Hindu calendar has six seasons!! But hold on, it gets worse (or different 🙂  )  Australia and New Zealand use the meteorological definition, so spring begins on September 1 each year. Ireland uses an ancient Celtic calendar system to determine the seasons, so spring begins on St Brigid’s Day on February 1. In Finland and Sweden, the dates of the seasons are not based on the calendar at all, but on temperatures. To make your head spin a bit, take a look at this chart courtesy of Scribd

So if the Poles summit K2 in March will it be winter or spring? The answer is “yes.”

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K2 Team Focuses on the Summit. Another Everest Attempt?

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

Denis Urubko remains at base camp along with the drama. Now that he is off  the team, the remaining climbers are focusing on a potential summit push around mid March.  Alex Txikon suggested he ended his winter Everest attempt with his permit expiring on 28 February but today said maybe not! 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.

K2 Team Wants More Acclimatization

A few days ago Marcin Kaczkan and Maciej Bedrejczuk tried to reach C3 at 7,200-meters but only got to 7,000m before weather, once again, forced a retreat. They did get the fixed line through the Black Pyramid. Marek Chmielarski and Artur Małek slept at  C2, 6,500m. Today all four climbers are back to base camp where they will take a few days of rest. All climbers are reported to be in good health.  Wielicki has said he intends to continue running the expedition according to the schedule for a summit attempt in early March.

The latest from their Facebook account :

After returning to the Base both teams were tested: Marcin Kaczkan, Marek Chmielarski, Maciej Bedrejczuk and Artur Małek. Despite the heavy load: wind, temperature, physical effort, all parameters of the boys are in the full standard, without any complaints or injuries.  After 2-3 days of regeneration, the boys will be completely ready for further action in the mountains. KW, Expedition Doctor

The highest anyone on the K2 team had reached was when Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko touched 7,400-meters. At the moment, it appears that Adam Bielecki and Janusz Golab are the strongest climbers and have the best chance for a summit bid but Golab wants to spend one night at 7,200-7,400-meters (C3) before the attempt. In other words, there is another rotation before they feel it is time for the summit push. Thus we are looking at least a week or more.

K2 Abruzzi Route Map

K2 Abruzzi Route Map


Urubko – No Apologies and Banned from Internet

Urubko reached around 7,700-meters/26,262 feet, just above Camp 4, on his solo push before poor weather (high winds and low visibility) forced him back. This was about 300 meter higher than he and Bielecki touched during an acclimatization run a couple of weeks ago.

He reached the usual spot for High Camp or Camp 4. From there the climb is straightforward snow slope to the base of the huge serac. You go through the bottleneck to reach the traverse, which is a couple hundred meters of near vertical ice wall. Once past this section, it is a long, but straightforward climb to the summit. In a normal year, from C4 to the summit might take 6-8 hours assuming the ropes are in. Given he had to set some kind of protection, or free climb the traverse, Urubko was looking at an enormously long day from Camp 3 – close to 24 hours round trip. He made a wise decision to turn back.

Now back at base camp Urubko will depart on 28 February to begin his trip home.

Denis Urubko on winter K2

Denis, speaking to the press before his access was cut-off (see below) made his position clear in an interview with Poland’s

I do not think I have to apologize to anyone. They also are not angels. Wielicki allowed me to enter the third camp, and then told me to come back for reasons I do not understand. This is not a situation to say “sorry” . Me no one apologized for their mistakes. My opinion remains the same .

It was my chance to do something, and not to sit all the time in the basecamp. I am glad that I made the summit attempt. If I did not, I would be furious. Not won the summit, it was too big a risk. Conditions were very bad: lots of snow, zero visibility. Back was the only right decision. Now I can focus on other projects, prepare for climbing elsewhere.

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Winter K2 – Denis Urubko Abandons Summit Effort, Leaves Team.

Update: Denis Urubko has decided to leave the team. He didn’t summit. The Polish team made this announcement today:

Denis Urubko, in accordance with their beliefs about the end of the winter season, decided to leave the Winter Expedition to K2. This decision was accepted by the members of the expedition who did not see the possibility of further cooperation with Denis after his attempt to gain self apex.

Denis Urubko believed that winter ends at the end of February. The Polish expedition team leader, Krzysztof Wielicki, believed it ends with the spring equinox on March 20, 2018 at 12:15 pm EDT. This disagreement was well known before the expedition started with Urukbo voicing his opinion in a November 2017 interview with Alpinsmonline Magazine where he suggested that he would be a loyal member of the team.

Apparently frustrated with the pace of his teammates and feeling he was strong enough to attempt the summit, he set out alone after not convincing the next strongest climber, Adam Bielecki, to join him. Bielecki Tweeted:

Denis probably goes today to C3. I’m worried about it very much. He proposed a common exit but I suggested to better rest and wait for reasonable weather. He went alone. Meanwhile, we do our own. Bedro and Ducks assume C2 and Arthur and hops came just to C1.

Krzysztof Wielicki the Polish team‘s expedition leader was not surprised and felt a level of empathy for Urubko. He said in an interview

– It seemed that everything was OK. Denis came for breakfast in the morning (on Saturday – ed.), They sat until late, then left the base without telling anyone and went alone up. In the first camp he met with Marcin Kaczkan. Marcin asked him to talk to Krzysztof Wielicki on the radiotelephone but he did not want to carry out this conversation and went further up. He slept in the second camp tonight. Probably because there is no communication with him. Today should come to this tent, in which he and Adam spent two nights at 7200 m above sea level

On the other hand I understand it a bit, because sometimes I also had such situations that I did something solo. But here, however, we were a team, he was invited to the expedition. (…) It turned out, however, that this challenge (…), meaning getting K2 in the season – it seems to him that the season ends on February 28 – it was so great that he even sacrificed our relations.

K2 Polish Team all over the Mountain

Krzysztof Wielicki added in an additional interview on

He is well acclimatized and very efficient. It’s great. I give him a chance to enter. Because it is a really strong player. The forecast is that half and half. Worse is the descent. It will be tomorrow when the summit is likely to be attacked. Then still it is relatively. But in the afternoon the weather breaks. And very worried about his descent. How come rain and snow is to be strong and the wind is coming back from the top can be completely lost. Overcast and fog can not see anything. Skipping that did not nice – I was just afraid for him

The latest from Wielicki just posted on their Facebook account :

Denis Urubko is coming down. Currently in c2.

There is no official word on if he summited but probably not. Let’s wait to hear from Denis directly.

Marcin Kaczkan and Maciej Bedrejczuk were headed towards C3 and Marek Chmielarski and Artur Małek are going to C2. Wielicki has said he intends to continue running the expedition according to the schedule for a summit attempt in early March.

The highest anyone on the team had reached was when Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko touched 7,400-meters before returning to 7,200-meters C3, to sleep. It is believed Urubko had reached C3, rested before leaving it for the summit today, 26 February, 2018. The winds above 8000-meters is around 45 mph/70kph which is a bit higher than is acceptable for climbing. With Denis not using supplemental oxygen, he will risk frostbite developing quicker so that had to enter into his decision to return without the summit.

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

.. more on : –

Autor : Alan Arnette

* source: –  Winter K2 – Denis Urubko Abandons Summit Effort, Leaves Team

** 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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