Winter K2 Update: Climbers All over the Mountain

Camp 3 through a telescope from K2 Base Camp

With a good weather window, three teams are on K2 today: Nirmal Purjaand his Sherpas, John Snorri Sigurjonsson with Muhammad Ali Sadpara and his son Sajid Ali and Mingma Gyalje Sherpa with two Sherpa teammates.

While there are reports of high winds at C1 and C2, overall the weather looks good until January 5, 2021, so climbers will get as much of the ropes and camps in before returning to base camp to wait out the winds. This what usually stops winter K2 attempts – high winds. While the progress thus far is impressive, we’ve seen this before. It’s an open question as to what weather January will bring.

That said, I still say if Nirmal Purja sees an opportunity to “run” to the summit, he’ll take it. Stand by.

Mingma G Pushes Higher

Mingma G is pushing hard and has fixed as much of the route as they can.

We three are in camp 2 today. There are no other team here. Tomorrow we will fix 900m rope from here and then decide what to do. We don’t have more rope to fix further.

This report directly to me may have come before NIms and his team of seven arrived.

Nim’s Plan

Nirmal Purja made a carry to C1 yesterday and continued to C2 today. He does have on client back at base camp, a 19-year-old Adriana Brownlee whose father said she only wants to go to the lower camps. She made this update:

Arrived at k2 Base camp!! After a quick 4 day trek from Jhola we arrived on Christmas Day at 10pm at BC … Hopefully I will be setting out to camp 1 and possibly beyond for some winter training after 4 days rest at BC whilst the rest of the team push onwards and upwards – reaching camp 1 today. Today’s weather is currently around -25 degrees and sunny

Nirmal Purja added:

We came to the second camp. We will stay here for the night. Tomorrow morning I will assess the state of acclimatization of the team in order to understand whether we are ready for further ascent or not yet. We are advancing much slower than usual, but this is expected due to extremely low temperatures and a large amount of cargo. Today was a difficult but fruitful day

Snorri Plan

John Snorri Sigurjonsson fixed the ropes to C1 a while back but laid back since then saying their first rotation was tough. Now it appears they are back in the game:

We will stay in camp 1 today and head to camp 2 tomorrow morning 28th. There wind is strong today.

Seven Summits Treks was at the Concordia camp on the trek in, yesterday. They should arrive at K2 Base Camp tomorrow.

Who would you like to see make the first Winter summit of K2?

  • Nirmal Purja Purja Purja Purja or one of his Sherpa teammates (34%, 778 Votes)
  • Anyone, don't care which team. Just get it done (17%, 383 Votes)
  • Mingma G Sherpa or one of his Sherpa teammates (11%, 266 Votes)
  • Icelander John Snorri Sigurjonsson, or Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Sajid Ali (11%, 246 Votes)
  • Young, new unknown climber in the future by "fair" means (10%, 225 Votes)
  • Polish climber in the future (8%, 184 Votes)
  • SST Professional-Class Climbers i.e. Tamara Lunger, Alex Găvan, etc. (7%, 151 Votes)
  • SST Commercial Clients i.e. Atanas Skatov, Luis Carlos Garranzo Ibanez, Colin Obrady, etc. (2%, 46 Votes)
  • SST Expedition Leaders i.e. Dawa or Mingma Sherpa, Sergi Mingote (1%, 24 Votes)
  • Russian climber in the future (1%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,319

Loading ... Loading ...

See this link for all polls

Broad Peak

Broad Peak Winter Expeditions 2021 is about to start with two members: American of Israeli-Russian descent and Hungarian Zoltán Szlankó. Alex flew from the USA to Pakistan on Sunday and Zoltan plans to leave Hungary tomorrow, 28 December. Jasmine Tours Pakistan is supporting this expedition in Pakistan. László Pintér, press officer of the Broad Peak Winter Expedition 2021, issued this press release that shows more of intent to explore than to summit:

Broad Peak winter expedition: departure on 28th December

Russian-American Alex Goldfarb and Hungarian Zoltán Szlankó aim to test themselves in the winter 8000ers environment

Not being sponsored climbers, Szlankó and Goldfarb had their work cut out to put together an expedition to one of the world’s 14 highest summits, in the season with the harshest conditions. With 2020 having been plagued by the novel coronavirus pandemic, insecurity shadowed their preparation. Finally, they are ready to go. However, this has not come without heavy compromises and changes to their original plans. 

Their basic idea was to put together a small team of 3-4 climbers. In the end though, Goldfarb and Szlankó will be the only members of the expedition, which of course limits their possibilities. Szlankó had to let go of his idea of trying a ski descent, so that they can move together on the mountain, which would provide a little more safety. Their small expedition will not use any porters/HAP nor supplemental oxygen.

The greatest compromise though will be the timeframe they can spend on the mountain. Their budget does not allow a helicopter approach to base camp, so they need to trek in. Considering that their deadline to return is early February due to work commitments for Alex, that does not leave them too much room for climbing. 

The team is not aiming for a high publicity stunt. They only chose to communicate centrally to be able to give credible, first-hand information to the media, which seems to have high interest in any winter 8000er expedition. 

Expectations should be kept low, though. They approach the mountain with respect and tailored to their possibilities. They have the utmost respect for the mountain and for the climbers that have tried before, and know that chances of summiting are close to none, even with the greatest luck with the weather. The two climbers want to build up on their winter climbing experience from last winter, when they climbed in Nepal. They both climbed Lobuche East (6119 m) for acclimatization and Alex also summited Ama Dablam (Zoltán reached C3 there).

This is more like an experiment for them for the coming winters. They want to test the conditions in the Karakorum’s 8000ers arena. 

Szlankó is flying to Pakistan on 28th December. He is full of excitement but does not want to get overexcited:

“This is more like a reconnaissance, it is about gathering experience. Because of our limited time frame our chances of a summit bid are negligible, but of course we will do our best to reach as high as possible. We did not want to lose this winter, but we can only make use of a part of it. I am very happy that we can start at all. I am looking forward to climb, to test ourselves and to collect experience and knowledge for future expeditions!”

As a president of the Hungarian Expedition Society, Szlankó thinks that these experiences are very important and valuable for teaching young aspirants of future expedition generations, and spreading knowledge about high altitude climbing.

The expedition’s media partner will be the Hungarian online outdoor magazine, Mozgásvilág. Bilingual news dispatches will be available in Hóhatár, a Facebook group run by Mozgásvilág and dedicated to international mountaineering news.

This press release is free for editorial use, with the condition of referral to the contact below. 

With media inquiries and interview requests please contact:

László Pintér
press officer of the Broad Peak Winter Expedition 2021
+36 70 548 7378


Tenji Sherpa and Vinayak Jaya Malla are going for a no O’s winter expedition. Also on Manaslu, long-time climbers, Simone Moro and Alex Txikon will go for a winter summit.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

Share this post:

6 thoughts on “Winter K2 Update: Climbers All over the Mountain

  1. Dan why are you so negative.? Come on man, at least be positive and hope all of them make it safely and achieve greatness .

    Sometimes it’s mind boggling why before even anything happens people predict / foresee negativity.

    I hope everyone starts this new year on a happy positive note. And wish everyone well this 2021!

  2. The romanian, Alex Gavan, is now “on the road” to K2 trying to conquer it during the winter time.
    We wish him success !

    1. Hello, I think , Alex hasn’t any experience in winter but there are many inexperienced members of the team are waiting for fix line to the top, when they fix line to summit, the inexperienced people will try to reach to summit. I knew few climber’s who have good knowledge about winter climbing, I wish all of them, that came back healthy

  3. Wow! This will Be iconic if they can pull This off in Karakoram winter.
    K2 is brutal in summer and the fact they even made this far is a success. Fingers crossed the impossible will be done.

    One thing I am curious Alan, why were even the Polish climbers unsuccessful on the winter attempt ? Is it just the poor weather that year ?

  4. Alan- Really appreciate and enjoy the updates. Rooting for the teams to work together and make the push for the Summit soon.

  5. again fantastic coverage, 5th January and fixing might be possible but too quick for a summit push, weather even clear on K2 means a tough day to face, winter is very brutal in the Karakorum, hope the progress that is pretty quick at this stage ends up successful!

Comments are closed.