Winter K2 Update: Quiet

Furtenbach Adventures Broad Peak Base Camp 2018

Minga G tells me the ropes are up to 7300-meters, a bit higher than the previous estimate. However, with the big winds and everyone at Base Camp, it feels a bit academic at the moment.

Big Picture

All quiet from K2 BC with a difficult weather forecast. This is the money quote for the next week or so:

(Days 10-12): Mostly dry. Extremely cold (max -15°F on Sun afternoon, min -33°F on Wed afternoon). Winds increasing (light winds from the WSW on Sun afternoon, stormy winds from the WSW by Mon afternoon).

Courtesy of Mountain Forecast

Mingma G – At BC

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa is resting at BC. He and his small Sherpa-only team said they reached 7300-meters, roughly at the top of the Black Pyramid. But traditional C3 is around 7,200-meter and the SST Sherpas said they reached 7050-meters, so, for me, it’s unclear on the precise altitude, other than above the rocks of the Pyramid.

Snorri – At BC

John Snorri Sigurjonsson with Muhammad Ali Sadpara and his son Sajid Ali are at base camp. Their high has been Camp 2. He said this today:

The winter is hovering over K2. It looks like it’s going to be there until the 20th of January. The wind goes up to 250 km per hour in the higher camps. Meanwhile we are gathering energy, keeping our mindset focused and spirit positive for next ascent

Seven Summits Treks: All at BC

Seven Summits Trek’s commercial team has regrouped at K2 Base Camp. They suggest a summit bid after January 14, 2021. The leader of the SST team, Dawa posted this video from BC:

K2 Winter 2020/21 Base Camp. Courtesy fo Dawa Sherpa, SST

Alex Gavin‘s home team seemed to put  a stake in the ground that they will stay “all winter”:

The expedition is expected to last until the end of winter, the two climbers announced. Their planned route will be via the Abruzzi Spur, the original line of the 1954 successful first ascent of the mountain. During their acclimatization period, between the 5000-meter high Base Camp and the summit, the two plan to set up four high camps at the altitudes of 6000m, 6760m, 7350m, and with the last one at almost 8000m. This expedition also marks the first attempt of a Romanian on an 8000+ meter winter climb.
Traditionally, these have been the elevations of each camp:
  • Base Camp: 17,500ft/5334m
  • Advanced Base Camp: 18,650ft/5650m
  • Camp 1: 19,965’/6050m
  • Camp 2: 22,110’/6700m
  • Camp 3: 23,760’/7200m
  • Camp 4: 25,080’/7600m
  • Summit: 28,251”/8611m

Winter Definition (again)

I wrote a long post about this but the bottom line is that absent of a ruling body, the definition is left to the climbers. Most countries who issue climbing permits use meteorological, Dec, Jan, and Feb but a lot of climbers like to use astronomical which aligns with the solstices – December 21 and March 20 in the northern hemisphere.

For me? I don’t think of March as winter but also think winter begins with the winter solstice. December, so I guess I’m in the middle.

The Definition of Winter for K2 and Everest Climbs

Broad Peak – En Route

Zoltán Szlankó and Alex Goldfarb are trekking the Baltoro Glacier and should be at Base Camp within the next few days.

Manaslu – En Route, Heavy Snow

Over 3 feet of new snow is being reported around Manaslu Base Camp. This is what has stopped many previous winter attempts. We’ll see what happens this year.

Simone Moro, Alex Txikon, and Iñaki Alvarez have left Kathmandu for their winter attempt of Manaslu. They anticipate arriving at Base Camp around January 11, 2021. Tenji Sherpa and Vinayak Jaya Malla, both Nepali internationally certified mountain guides (IFMGA) are also on Manaslu. Currently, they are back in Samagaun resting after doing acclimatization hikes in the area.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything


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One thought on “Winter K2 Update: Quiet

  1. Both. With the temps at -20F and winds at 20 mph, the WC is unacceptable. Yes, there appears to be a short window soon that I’m 100% positive some will grasp. They must hope the forecast is accurate.

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