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Jan 032021
Down Climbing K2 Black Pyramid

With this small weather window, climbers are stampeding K2 to try and get an acclimatization rotation in before the winds return on Tuesday and stay strong throughout the week.

The good news is the temperatures are predicted to warm a bit, could be above 0F at Base Camp! The first ones up to the high camps, Mingma, and Nirmal Purja are resting in Base Camp, avoiding the crowds while Snoirri and team have returned to C2 with difficulty.

Big Picture

There are four main teams on K2 this winter:

Mingma G – At BC, “Great Cooperation!”

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa is back at BC after getting the fixed rope to 7000-meter, roughly at the top of the Black Pyramid. Mingma confirmed directly to me that he, Nirmal Purja, and three Sherpas worked together to fix the lines in the Black Pyramid section. Minga told me directly that has some issues with new boots:

We are now in base camp. I am waiting for my leg to recover. I got new la Sportiva Shoes which cut my legs in several places

MIngma G hurt feet K2 Winter 2020/1

I also asked him about his experience on the Black Pyramid and plans this week:

We didn’t have crowd when we were above base camp. But now it is very busy up there. All the climbers are now acclimating now and we are here in bc for rest.We are waiting for good weather to deposit our equipment to camp3 and try to fix camp4 in next rotation. If we fix 200m rope more then we reach c3. We have crossed all the rocky part. At black pyramid’s snow, we have our camp. We have fixed till 7300m. You know c3 is avalanche prone so we didn’t fix that snow part only.

And he sent me this video of them on the Pyramid:

Fixing the Black Pyramid in winter 2020/21 by Mingma G Sherpa


Nim’s – At BC

Nirmal Purja and Co. are at BC waiting for the next good weather window. Nirmal Purja teams consist of Mingma David, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Pemchhiri Sherpa, Gelje Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, and Sandro Gromen-Hayes.

Snorri – At BC

The GPS tracker for John Snorri Sigurjonsson with Muhammad Ali Sadpara and his son Sajid Ali shows them at Camp 2. He gave this update:

We have arrived in Camp 2 me, Ali and Sajid. We plan to sleep in C2 tonight. The ascent was difficult so it is good to get some rest now. Tomorrow we will decide what we do because the whether is changing and it looks like it is getting bad. I will update you tomorrow. You all stay safe until then.

Seven Summits Treks Commercial: Climbers at C1 and C2, Sherpas Fixing Ropes to C4

Seven Summits Trek’s commercial team is at K2 Base Camp and has sent four Sherpas to the upper camps with the goal to fix the route to Camp 4 and prepare for a summit bid after January 14, 2021. Sergi Mingote is at C1 and gave this post to Desnivel:

Days 14 and 15
Camp I K2 (6.028m / -38 ºC)
Pulse at rest: 55
Blood oxygen saturation: 86

Hello !!! Today my energies and my spirits are very different from yesterday. Two days in height that have been the face and the cross .

But we go by steps. Yesterday we left the CB with the intention of reaching C1 and leaving it equipped with all our equipment. We went out together Juan Pablo Mohr, Tamara Lunger, Alex Gavan, Mattia Conte, Antonios Sykaris with his Sherpa and myself .

Juan Pablo and I carried a lot of weight . Perhaps more than would have been smart. And we pay for that in time and effort, since it took us more than nine hours to reach the 6000 meters of the C1 . It was already night, and it was an odyssey to pitch the tent. In addition, there was quite a wind and a cold that was difficult to bear, which ended with Juan Pablo and me in the store, without the desire or space to melt ice. Tamara, Alex and Mattia decided to stay lower, about three hours from C1, where they pitched their tents. In the Japanese countryside .

We have not slept practically anything and today it woke up worse than yesterday. We have doubted whether to go down to the CB or spend one more day here, but finally we have decided to stay. They have reached Ali Sadpara with his son and John Snorri , and continue for C2. Tamara has just arrived and is hydrating in our tent, and Alex and Mattia are about to arrive .

Now yes, much more hydrated, I see everything clearer. The wind is now strong and it will be an entertaining night . I’ll explain tomorrow.

“Dream big, friends, tomorrow more”

Others wanted to go to C2 but discovered how steep the route was to C1 and stopped there.

Broad Peak – En Route

Zoltán Szlankó and Alex Goldfarb are now at Skardu, en route, and should be at Base Camp within the next week.

Manaslu – En Route

Simone Moro,Alex Txikon, and Iñaki Alvarez are in quarantine in Kathmandu for their winter attempt of Manaslu. Tenji Sherpa and Vinayak Jaya Malla, both Nepali internationally certified mountain guides (IFMGA) are also on Manaslu. They are currently in Samagaun, their closest stop to Manaslu Base Camp, on January 1.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything


Comments on/from Facebook

  14 Responses to “Winter K2 Update: Climbers at C1 and C2”


    Hi Alan,

    I Just want to say that in spite of the fact that I disagree with your opinion at times, I respect you and I respect that you do not censor those who may think different than you or others in the adventure community. I am really pulling for the SST team and hate the disrespect they are getting from all corners of the globe. Thank you much for this forum and have a fantastic day!


    Hi, I read that Colin O’brady is also climbing K2 at this time; he is currently at 20000 ft. Are all climbers listed here or is there a specific criteria that yoou consider? Thanks and wishing everyone a safe climb.




    Great update Alan and many thanks for the detailed summary of each team. Mingma’s video was great to see. Such beautiful scenery! All my best wishes to all the climbers attempting this incredible challenge and adventure. Great reporting Alan and keep it coming!


    Thank you for the reporting. I look forward to it every year.


    Thanks Alan. How do you feel about the progress that has been made? Are they doing better or worse or the same as you would predict based on your experience?


      Thanks, Sharon, I think they are about on schedule due to great December weather. With so many strong rope fixers on the Hill this year, I will not be surprised to see C4 in by mid-January. And with so many super-strong climbers, a summit in the second half of January.


    Great updates, Alan. Amazingly, I’m finding I’m tracking this year’s K2 winter efforts like it were the moon landing… You have great intel and are summarising the various teams’ progress very clearly.

    Not being experienced with Himalayan expeditions, when they are fixing the ropes, what are they doing exactly? Putting pitons into rock and securing the route? Or using more temporary protection / anchors?

    Thanks Jeremy


      Thanks, Jeremy. There are many, many pitons already driven into the rock that are used each year. Also, new slings are put in around rock outcroppings to “fix” new ropes. So it’s a combination. I don’t think I saw any “temporary” pro used at all, but there could have been. I must say, seeing a 40-year-old iron piton driven into the rock securing my lifeline was, well “interesting” 🙂