K2: Nepalese mountaineers claim historic first winter ascent
Today, Saturday 16 January 2021 at 16:58 local time, a team of 10 Nepalese mountaineers completed the highly coveted first winter ascent of K2, the second highest mountain in the world and the last 8000er to be climbed in the coldest season. News of the successful summit was provided by Chhang Dawa Sherpa from K2 Base Camp. The climbers who summited are: Nirmal Purja, Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Geljen Sherpa, Pem Chiri Sherpa, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Mingma G, Dawa Tenjin Sherpa, Kilu Pemba Sherpa and Sona Sherpa.
"WE DID IT, BELIVE ME WE DID IT - JOURNEY TO THE SUMMIT NEVER DONE BEFORE. The Karakorum's 'Savage Mountain' been summited in most dangerous season: WINTER. Nepalese Climbers finally reached the summit of Mt. K2 (Chhogori 8611m), this afternoon at 16:58 local time." Chhang Dawa Sherpa 16/01/2021
In splendid sunshine a team of extremely talented Nepalese mountaineers has just made the historic first winter ascent of K2, at 8611 meters the second highest mountain in the world and, until a few minutes ago, the last eightthousander to be climbed in the coldest season. At first it was unclear who precisely reached the summit but only a few minutes ago Nirmal Purja, the 37-year-old Nepalese who climbed all 14 highest mountains in the world last year in a record-breaking six months and six days, confirmed the list of summiters: Nimsdai Purja, Mingma David Sherpa (Team Nimsdai), Mingma Tenzi Sherpa (Team Nimsdai), Geljen Sherpa (Team Nimsdai), Pem Chiri Sherpa (Team Nimsdai), Dawa Temba Sherpa (Team Nimsdai), Mingma G, Dawa Tenjin Sherpa (Team Mingma G), Kilu Pemba Sherpa (Team Mingma G) and Sona Sherpa (SST).
Currently there are few details about the ascent via the Abruzzi Spur; the team had planned on setting off at 1:00am last night from Camp 4 at 7800m, which was reached only yesterday after a considerable effort and delays caused by last week’s terrible storms that had devastated Camp 2. From Camp 4 the climbers were finally able to see the terrifying Serac and the narrow Bottleneck gully at 8200 meters which leads to the exposed Traverse and then the summit slopes. Last night Nirmal Purja announced that he would lead the team to the top. According to information posted by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa during the "summit push", at 11 am local time the team had negotiated the Bottleneck, while a few hours ago Chhang Dawa Sherpa from base camp explained that the team "planned to stop 10m below the summit, form a group (all 10 climbers) and get the summit together!"
As mentioned, there is little information at present - it is unclear, for example, if and when supplementary oxygen was used - but at the moment there are understandably far more important matters to deal with. The climbers are all still all at an extremely high altitudes and, as is well known, there are various other climbers on the same route trying to take advantage of the small weather window before strong winds and storms set in. These include Tamara Lunger and Alex Gavan, Sergi Mingote and Juan Pablo Mohr, John Snorri, Muhammad Sadpara, Sajid Ali Sadpara and Magdalena Gorzkowska.
In the meantime though history has been written: 66 years after the historic first ascent of K2 at the hands of Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli, in splendid sunshine today the summit was reached for the first time in winter, by a proud team of Sherpa and Nepalese climbers. Before celebrating though, for them - and for everyone else on the mountain - the next few hours are absolutely decisive. Fingers crossed.
UPDATE 16/01/2021 16:20 CET
Spanish mountaineer Sergi Mingote died earlier today while descending from K2. The Catalan mountaineer was descending from Camp 1 to Advanced Base Camp when he fell to his death.
UPDATE 16/01/2021 18:00 CET
From K2 Base Camp, Chhang Dawa Sherpa has stated via FB that "10 climbers safely reached to the C4, all fine and in a good shape." Chhang Dawa Sherpa 16/01/2021
UPDATE 16/01/2021, 19:25 CET
From K2 Base Camp, Chhang Dawa Sherpa has stated that: "All team reached C3 now, among 10 climbers 8 will stay at C3, Sona Sherpa and Gelje Sherpa are descending down to Basecamp."
8000ERS FIRST WINTER ASCENTS
1980 Everest - Krzysztof Wielicki, Leszek Cichy (POL) 17/02/1980
1984 Manaslu - Maciej Berbeka, Ryszard Gajewski (POL) 12/01/1984
1985 Dhaulagiri - Andrzej Czok, Jerzy Kukuczka (POL) 21/01/1985
1985 Cho Oyu - Maciej Berbeka, Maciej Pawlikowski (POL) 12/02/1985
1986 Kangchenjunga - Krzysztof Wielicki, Jerzy Kukuczka (POL) 11/01/1986
1987 Annapurna - Jerzy Kukuczka, Artur Hajzer (POL) 03/02/1987
1988 Lhotse - Krzysztof Wielicki (POL) 31/12/1988
2005 Shishapangma - Piotr Morawski (POL), Simone Moro (ITA) 14/01/2005
2009 Makalu - Simone Moro (Ita), Denis Urubko (KAZ) 09/02/2009
2011 Gasherbrum II - Simone Moro (ITA), Denis Urubko (KAZ), Cory Richards (USA) 02/02/2011
2012 Gasherbrum I - Adam Bielecki, Janusz Golab (POL) 09/03/2012
2013 Broad Peak - Maciej Berbeka, Adam Bielecki, Tomasz Kowalski e Artur Malek (POL) 05/03/2013
2016 Nanga Parbat - Simone Moro (ITA), Muhammad Ali Sadpara (PAK), Alex Txikon (ESP) 26/02/2016
2021 K2 - Nirmal Purja, Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Geljen Sherpa, Pem Chiri Sherpa, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Mingma G, Dawa Tenjin Sherpa, Kilu Pemba Sherpa, Sona Sherpa (NEPAL) 16/01/2021