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Feb 052020
K2 from Concordia 2014 by Alan Arnette

Huge news that Mingma Gyalje Sherpa‘s Imagine Nepal has ended its K2 winter effort. The reasons remain vague. The team flew back to Askole by helicopter ending speculation some might stay and join with Urubko and Bowie after their Broad Peak attempt currently underway. But we never know for sure until everyone is back home.

K2 – OVER!!

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa‘s Imagine Nepal team has ended their winter effort for “personal reasons” They had established their Camp 2 at the base of House’s Chimney at 6,600 meters, the lowest altitude reached by any of the eight winter attempts since the first in 1987/8.  tracker.

Snorri posted on February 5, 2020:

Summiting K2 in winter is a formidable task that necessitates all team members being fully prepared, both mentally and physically, to face the challenge. Team members Mingma G of Nepal and Ga Li of China have both expressed that they don’t feel fully prepared to make the scheduled attempt of personal reason. Taking this into consideration and after much deliberation, it has been decided that the mission will not go forward. We thank you for your support throughout the months of preparation and will keep you posted on our future endeavors.

Their logistics organizer, Apricot Tours made a post on Instagram that:

Apricot Tours on the request of team #k2winter2020 organized a helicopter rescue mission of two helicopters airlifting five members of the expedition. All five members have reached Skardu safe and sound. Two Nepali Sherpas, One Pakistani guide (Sirbaz Khan) and Liason Office will walk back to Askole in order to reach Skardu

It’s unclear if it was really a “rescue” mission or they just took a helicopter instead of walking the four days it takes to reach Askole.

Mingma had made a curious past last week about the conditions:

K2 in winter is not like what we expected. It is extremely cold and windy. Our sleeping bags are frozen, clothes are not dried.

The weather has been difficult this winter, but that is no surprise. the team had stopped climbing due to temps hovering around -20F/-29C for days. Minga planned a no Os attempt, even more dangerous given the cold temps.

Broad Peak – Threading a short Weather window for the Summit

Looks like they will make one more attempt during a tiny weather window. Big winds are expected to return this weekend. Denis Urubko climbed to 7,650 meters before turning back due to crevasse danger.

Urubko posted on Facebook:

Don and I are in tent in C2. All OK. Light snow and wind.
I’m cooking soup and have “delicatessens” from Mousyn our BC cook 

Don Bowie added a few days ago:

Denis Urubko pauses just below 7000m on out first foray to Camp 3. We are back in base camp now but Denis later reached 7650m on an exploration of the upper slopes. Looks like the entire route is in for us now, all we need is a decent weather window for the final push.

Denis Urubko’s goal is to complete, what he considers, the first true winter ascent of Broad Peak and then, perhaps, go to K2 within his “winter.” He is teaming with Don Bowie and Lotta Hintsa. Hintsa is not on the summit push.


Txikon on Southeast Ridge – At C2

Alex Txikon and team are now to Camp 2 in the Western Cwm on their way to overnight at Camp 3.  They are at 6457 meters/21,184 feet. Txikon’s posted this update on Facebook and Twitter

We’re in Camp 2 ar 6457! It was tough, the wind hit us hard hile we climbed with 23kg. load each. Mingma the Ice Doc. Turned around at Nuptse’s side while Pechhumbe, Norbu, Tenzen Lama, Oscar and I pushed, jumping crevasses, toward the Valley of Silence. It’s crazy, there’s only five of us – half than on my previous attempts on winter Everest! We struggle for every meter we gain. Yet, we don’t lose hope for a summit chance. For now though, let’s see if we are able to keep fixing the route to C3 tomorrow.

His team includes Spaniard Oscar Cardo, and Nepalese Sherpas Chhiji Nurbu Sherpa, Pechhumbe Sherpa, and Tenjen Sherpa. You can follow him on his tracker.

Jost on West Ridge – Injury Better, Recco Climb to Lho La Base, Now Back at EBC 

German alpinist Jost Kobusch, is back climbing, albeit not a lot, due to a foot injury. Yesterday, February 4, 2020, he gave this update on Facebook:

Good news!🎊 The foot is significantly better than the last days! Yesterday, I took a closer look at the collapsed route and thus covered the distance that caused the pain. Although stabilized with kinesio, it was quite a strain on the foot, especially the forefoot. In the evening I applied a blood flow stimulating warming ointment. It really kicked in and did its job (so much that it hurt)!🔥 In any case it helped very well! Today it feels much better and if it stays like this, I can put weight on the foot again!

In review, he plans on a winter, solo Everest climb without supplemental oxygen and no Sherpa support. This exact style has never been attempted or accomplished. Jost has now been at EBC for about a month. You can track his location on this excellent map from 3D Reality Maps.

Winter 2019/20

Everest At Camp 2

K2 – Over

Broad Peak, then K2? – On BP Summit Push

  • Denis Urubko – On Summit Push

Batura Sar – Climbing at C1

Ama Dablam

  • Zoltán Szlankó, Alex Goldfarb – Summitted

Gasherbrum I/II – Over

  • Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger – Over

Climb On!
Memories are Everything



  6 Responses to “2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs:K2 Winter OVER, Broad Peak Summit Push Underway”


    “Denis Urubko’s goal is to complete, what he considers, the first true winter ascent of Broad Peak “. This implies there has been a winter ascent that he does not consider to have been in true winter. Can you give details? Sorry if I missed it in an earlier post.


      The first winter ascent was on 5 March 2013 by Polish alpinists Maciej Berbeka and Adam Bielecki, outside of Urubko’s February window.


        Can’t there be both a meteorological winter first and an astronomical winter first?


          Of course. This debate often is based on personal views, given there is no central authority to mediate it. It’s similar to the Bass vs. Messner list for the 7 Summits.


        It’s worth mentioning that there were total of 4 climbers who reached the top of Broad Peak on that date: Maciej Berbeka, Tomasz Kowalski, Adam Bielecki and Artur Małek. Unfortunately on the descent Berbeka and Kowalski were pronounced missing and later were declared dead.

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