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 EverestWeather.com – 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.

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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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Video: Reinhold Messner Visits Alex Txikon in Everest Base Camp.

One of the major expeditions we followed closely last winter was Alex Txikon’s attempt to summit Everest solo in winter. There are some rumblings that he might be headed back to try again this year, but I haven’t seen official confirmation of those plans yet. This video was shot in Base Camp last winter and it features a special moment when Reinhold Messner – perhaps the greatest mountaineer of all time – came to visit Alex there. The two men share a common bond of the mountains and talk a bit of strategy for making the ascent in winter.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: Reinhold Messner Visits Alex Txikon in Everest Base Camp

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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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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Video: Krzsztof Wielicki Shares Thoughts on Polish Winter Expedition to K2.

We’ve previewed the Polish winter expedition to K2 a couple of times already and we’re still several weeks away from the team actually arriving on the mountain. But, this is certainly a climb that will draw a lot of attention in the weeks ahead, and this video gives us some insights into that adventure courtesy of Krzsztof Wielicki himself. The 67-year old climber is the leader of the expedition and has considerable experience on major mountains all over the world. This clip is an interview with the Polish alpinist who offers insightful thoughts on the challenge ahead.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –  Video: Krzsztof Wielicki Shares Thoughts on Polish Winter Expedition to K2

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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Polish Team Prepares for Winter Ascent of K2.

A few weeks back I took a look at some of the upcoming mountaineering expeditions scheduled to take place this coming winter. Chief amongst them was the Polish team that is targeting K2 this year, which as you know is the only 8000-meter peak that remains unclimbed during the winter season. Now, we’re starting to get more details on this attempt, and it is safe to say that this team is incredibly serious about reaching the summit of the “Savage Mountain.”

Alan Arnette has posted a story about the expedition, sharing some interesting insights into their approach to the climb. He notes that the squad will consist of Adam Bielecki, Marek Chmielarski, Rafał Fronia, Janusz Gołąb, Marcin Kaczkan, Artur Małek, Piotr Tomala, Jarosław Botor, Dariusz Załuski, and Denis Urubko. The team leader for the expedition famed Polish alpinist Krzysztof Wielicki, who is 67 years-old but comes with a wealth of experience. Wielicki lead the last Polish K2 attempt in 2003 and has summited all of the 8000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen.

Unlike teams in the past who have arrived on the mountain on December 21 – the first day of winter – the Poles are planning on reaching Base Camp sometime after Christmas. They’ll apparently be bringing a lot of gear and supplies with them, as the team reportedly has 600 kg (1322 pounds) of cargo that is being carried by porters, while they’ll bring another 400 kg (881 pounds) themselves. Alan also reports that the Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism is backing the winter attempt on K2 with $275,000 in funds as well.

The current plan is to make the attempt up the Česen Route, although the Poles haven’t ruled out scouting the Abruzzi Route either. If conditions prove better on one of those paths as compared to the other, this gives them the flexibility to change course. As Alan points out, their biggest obstacle is likely to be the weather, which is extremely challenging even during the summer months. Cold temperatures, high winds, heavy snow, and unexpected avalanches have all conspired to keep previous winter attempts from reaching the summit, and this season will likely be no different.

At the moment, we’re still several weeks away from the start of the expedition, but the team is now hurriedly putting their last minute plans together, preparing for journey to Pakistan, and the long weeks ahead of them in a cold and inhospitable place. This climb will not be easy and will test them from day 1, and of course we’ll be following it closely in the days ahead. It should be a fascinating adventure to say the least.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –  Polish Team Prepares for Winter Ascent of K2

** see also: –

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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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