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Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
Jan 142021
K2 from Concordia 2014 by Alan Arnette

Climbers are all over K2 pushing to get rotations in, but Saturday looks to be a perfect summit day! Teams have now established Camp 3, and the ropes are at 7600-meters/25,080-feet, a serious sign of progress.

Big Picture

As anticipated progress is being made but with challenges. The fixed-line to the traditional High Camp at 25,080’/7600m but the huge winds up high caused teams to sleep in crevasses and not tents. This has happened before. These are the elevations of the traditional camps:

  • 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

The adventure and mainstream press are all over this winter K2 attempt with sensational headlines, for example, the trivial rockfall yesterday. Yes, a rock or two hit climbers, but nothing serious as the climbers themselves confirmed, but it did generate press coverage. That said, it won’t surprise me if we see a serious rockfall incident before the season is over.

So be a bit careful what you read (or take away from the headlines). Progress is being made, it looks good. I put the summit odds at 9 in 10 or 90%. I think it’ll be done, including at least one without supplemental oxygen. The climbers are strong, motivated, and determined.

The computer forecasts have Saturday a perfect day for a summit, winds 5 to 10mph and wind chills “only” -50F!!! Big winds return next week, so the time may be right for the ten people at Camp 3. Working together, the ten consisted of Nim: five (including Nim’s), Mingma G: three (including Mingma G), and Seven Summit Treks: two.

I’m starting to see some of the non-Nepalis say they are rethinking their commitment, especially after the rockfall yesterday … and that rockfall was perfectly normal for K2, summer, or winter.

These are the teams on K2 this winter:

Nim’s – At C3 with Mingma G and SST Rope Team

Nims’s plus four teammates are at C3:

The last 48hrs + have been a gruelling one, as we had to repeat the heavy load carry in preparation to progress further. Each team member’s [load] weighed more than 35kg. Really pleased with the team’s progress so far and super proud. Today our camp site is at 7400m. We managed to fix the lines upto 7900m. [ed:later revised to 7600]

It’s still unknown if Nims is climbing with or without supplemental oxygen. Nims teams consist of Mingma David, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Pemchhiri Sherpa, Gelje Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, and Sandro Gromen-Hayes.

Mingma G – At C3 with Nims and Rope Team

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa and his two teammates are also at Camp 3.

This time this, Nepalese Winter K2 Expedition is for the nation. We will make the National proud. As plan We are here in camp3 with other proud Nepalese team. Tomorrow we will take rest here because of high wind. we 10 Nepalese brother will update our plan tomorrow afternoon. good night from K2 C3
Remember that Migma G is climbing without supplemental oxygen. He could be the first to summit K2 in the winter with no Os.

Snorri – C2

John Snorri Sigurjonsson with Muhammad Ali Sadpara and his son Sajid Ali are at Camp 2. John posted these updatee:

We are feeling fine, our camp is in shelter from most of the wind. It looks like we can keep our track and head to C3 tomorrow. The weather in C3 was really bad last night and Nims and his team had to sleep in a glacier crack over the night.

We just arrived to C2. Lot of rocks collapsing down towards us on 100 km speed, dangerous moments we had there. We are tired and will stay here overnight. The plan is to stay 2 nights here then go to C3 on the 15th. The weather will be bad here in C2 tomorrow so hopefully we can get through that day. All our gear is fine, the only thing that is missing is 1 oxygen bottle, we will recover that in BC. The other teams that are here is Mingma in C2 and Nims on his way to C3.

So the team is climbing in mixed conditions experiencing high winds and random rockfall. Sounds like K2! You can follow on their tracker.

Seven Summits Treks – Ropes and Winds High

Seven Summits Trek’s commercial team of 22 clients and 21 Sherpas in support has climbers from Base Camp to Camp 2 with their rope team at Camp 3. Dawa gave this update:

This afternoon the SST Sherpas, along with the team of Nirmal Purji, set up a third high-altitude camp. Today we will stay overnight in this camp and tomorrow we will go to the fourth camp. Other members of the SST expedition ascend to the second camp. Today Mingma Sherpa’s team will join us in the third camp.

Others are fighting the winds and destroyed camps as Atanas Georgiev Skatov tells us:

I arrived at Camp 2. Despite the cold and fatigue, I am fine. Unfortunately, the tent that was left in Japanese Camp 1 was destroyed by the strong wind, but the situation was brought under control. Thank you for the good wishes and the support you give me, means a lot to me!

Sergi Mingote, Juan Pablo Mohr, Tamara Lunger, and Alex Gavan are all reported at traditional Camp 2 above House’s Chimney.

Broad Peak – At Base Camp – Quiet

Zoltán Szlankó and Alex Goldfarb are now at base camp but there are no recent updates.

Manaslu – At Base Camp

Simone Moro, Alex Txikon, and Iñaki Alvarez arrived at Manaslu Base Camp:

We are already at BC! We’re ok, acclimating to the altitude and gradually building what will be “our home” for the next few weeks. Very good feelings.

Tenji Sherpa and Vinayak Jaya Malla, both Nepali internationally certified mountain guides (IFMGA) are at Manaslu Base Camp ready to move higher.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything


Comments on/from Facebook

  9 Responses to “Winter K2 Update: Ropes to High Camp”


    Thanks Alan, Paul and Ilian!


    Looking forward to you new message Alan with the good news from today. Tomorrow it could be interesting…


    I found a good podcast talking about some Alzheimer’s research. I hope it’s ok to post here. I wasn’t sure what email to use to send it to you.

    Thank you for the updates. I read them religiously.


    Hey Gavin, these are the climbers currently on K2 with trackers I’ve managed to collect:

    Atanas Skatov –
    John Snorri Sigurjonsson –
    Sergi Mingote –
    Juan Pablo Mohr Prieto –
    Magdalena Gorzkowska –

    Hope it is of some use ;).


    Bold predictions Alan! How many of the teams have trackers? I followed your ascent right to the summit in 2014 and it was a lot of fun. Gavin