Winter K2 Update: Summit Push Soon

38 years after the first winter reconnaissance, climbers on K2 are preparing to push towards the summit with a credible chance of making history.  Saturday, January 16, 2021 looks to be a good summit day as we been discussing all week. A Nepal Sherpa was hit by rockfall suffering serious injuries.

Big Picture

A new winter altitude record, 7800-meters, has been set by @mingma.g with @mingma_david_sherpa , @mt.sherpa, and Sona Sherpa (SST.) Nirmal Purja will lead the summit team and they suggest there will be no one person claiming the summit but rather a team summit on behalf of Nepal.

This has been Mingma G.’s plan all along with his Sherpa team plus Nirmal Purja had one client who was more interested in Base Camp than the summit. Both gentlemen have expressed a deep desire to show the world that Nepalis are just as credible climbers as any other nationality on the planet.

Karrar Haidri, Secretary, Alpine Club Of Pakistan, along with Dawa Sherpa of SST gave me this update:

Summit Push on K2 – tonight (1AM approx.) SST team has a plan to get to the top by 13:00 tomorrow (16th Jan). 👉🏻Wating for the remarkable ascent. 10 Climbers: a. Nirmal Purja b. Gelje Sherpa c. Mingma David Sherpa d. Mingma G e. Sona Sherpa f. Mingma Tenzi Sherpa g. Pem Chhiri Sherpa h. Dawa Temba Sherpa i. Kili Pemba Sherpa j. Dawa Tenjing Sherpa

I’ll provide updates on a new post throughout the push as I get new information.

Jangbu Sherpa

Jangbu Sherpa with SST was hit by rock between Camp 1 and the Japanese Camp, relatively low on K2. He was hit in the head and eye suffering a serious injury but is now in stable condition. He will be helicoptered back to Skardu for treatment. This is the fourth evacuation this season: two members and two Sherpas.

The computer forecasts have the winds now a bit higher for Saturday at 10 to 15 mph and wind chills “only” -40F!!! Big winds return next week, so the time may be right for the ten people at Camp 4.

These are the teams on K2 this winter:

The traditional Camp locations are:

  • 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

Nim’s – At C4 with Mingma G: Ready for the Summit

Nirmal Purja’s plus four teammates are at C4:

The combined effort from the teams made some remarkable progress this afternoon. As per the mega plan, big well done to our team lead by @mingma.g with @mingma_david_sherpa , @mt.sherpaand Sona Sherpa (SST) for successfully fixing lines up to Camp 4 at 7800m, The Highest Altitude Ever Gained at K2 in Winter ! Later today, I will be leading the fixing team to the summit. We hope to stand on the summit together. Stay tuned for more updates !

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

Mingma G – At C4 with Nirmal Purja: Ready for Summit

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa and his two teammates are also at Camp 4.

Today 15 jan at 3:30pm we 3 mingma made it to camp4 on k2. Sona brother returned back 30 below from c4 coz his part of rope and gear were already used. We see the final route now.
Remember that Migma G is climbing without supplemental oxygen. He could be the first to summit K2 in the winter with no Os.

Snorri – Tagged C3, At C2

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

We have touched C3 and left our gear there. Back to C2 to have some biscuits with caviar spread that I brought from Iceland. At this moment we have acclimatized well.

I suspect they will return to BC and wait for the next summit window if one appears. You can follow on their tracker.

Seven Summits Treks – Members Making Progress

Seven Summits Trek’s commercial team of 22 clients and 21 Sherpas in support has climbers from Base Camp to Camp 3 with their rope team at Camp 4. Dawa gave this update:

Sherpas finally fixed Camp IV 7800m this afternoon in K2, along with Nirmal Purja and Mingma G.
• Sona Sherpa (SST)
• Mingma David (Nirmal Purja team)
• Mingma Tenzi
• Mingma G
Lets wait for tomorrow !
👉🏻Members ascending C3 ! @

Others are fighting the winds and destroyed camps as Atanas Georgiev Skatov‘s home team tells us:

Nasko is now in Camp 2-K2. Despite the cold and fatigue, it is good. Unfortunately, the tent that was left in the Japanese camp 1 is destroyed by the strong wind, but the situation is under control. Thanks for the good wishes and the support you give him! She means a lot to him!

Other climbers on the SST permit are scattered between C2 and C3: Sergi Mingote and Juan Pablo Mohr are at C3. Tamara Lunger and Alex Gavan are at traditional Camp 2 above House’s Chimney.

Broad Peak – At Base Camp – Quiet

Zoltán Szlankó and Alex Goldfarb were 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: Alex gave this update:

Greetings from Manaslu C1 at 5.700m We left at 8 am, in this order: Simone, Kalden, Nurbu, Lur, June, Iñaki, Jon, and in a second shift, Cheppal and I. We transported material on the sleds. Since we charged up to the maximum we were slow but everything was fine. Cheppal, Kalden, Nurbu and I will spend the night up there. I will keep you updated, really nice sensations

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


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16 thoughts on “Winter K2 Update: Summit Push Soon

  1. As for the climbers using special equipment such as hand and foot warmers and special glove, and those criticizing them, have you ever spent extended time outside in -40 degree weather, with windchill on top of it? I have, for many hours in Central Asia in winter (Kazakhstan) while cross-country skiing and just generally surviving. And then doing it for many days in a row, with temps at night getting even colder? I won’t begrudge hamro Nepali bhai-haru (our Nepalese brothers) doing this at all. It will be great if they can summit, and even better if none of them end up losing digits to frostbite. Hamro Nepal, ramro Nepal!

  2. Alan, I understand for SST climbers that are not yet fully acclimatized but why Ali Sadpara & John Snorri didn’t give a try for the summit push together with the Nepalis? They were at C3 and decided to go down despite the good conditions… Lack of energies? Too many people? Are they following another strategy? Thanks!

    1. This is a small window with winds picking back up on Sunday through the rest of the week. These 10 are super strong and fast so they can manage it. Slower climbers might get in trouble so being conservative is smart.

      1. With due respect there is no thing as ‘super strong’ when it comes to climbing a mountain in today’s world. If those 10 are super strong then why are they using the foot warmers, oxygen and special gloves for summit? Or taking benefit of the winter window when the conditions are more favorable. A super strong climber should be able to face the harsh winter/winds the way it’s on K2 and not take advantage of easier window.

        Climbing K2 in winter is more about a competition than pure mountaineering for those 10. It will bring more sponsors money and clients if they are first to summit. I believe you can see the branding on their clothes to get the idea what this is all about.

  3. So happy to have discovered your blog! Thanks for the updates Alan. Excited about the summit push and it’s absolutely well deserved that the Sherpa team have a good chance to summit.

    1. Thanks a lot for the link! The heated insole part is also interesting, never thought about this. And quite funny interview 😉

  4. I second, third and…etc all the kudos for an amazing and detailed daily updates Alan. Finally, the Nepalese are having the light shine on them and without their incredible efforts none of the Western Clients will be able to summit (previously mentioned as well) – “Nepalis are just as credible climbers as any other nationality on the planet”. Cheers and Summit with Pride!!!

  5. Thank you very much for your updates. Through your blog we are reliably informed and we live the historic winter ascent of K2. The Summit firstly belongs to the Sherpa eagles !
    Good luck to everyone who is now going up to k2!!
    From Greece

  6. Holding our breath here in Ireland and wishing success and a safe descent to all. May the gods of the mountains be with you.

  7. history is in the making, undoubtedly there is high chances of summit, the Rock man is indeed MINGMA G! he is the star climber and earned the respect from all over the world from the mountaineering community! wishing the team best of luck!

    1. Mingma G stands tall here, now and forever!
      One must include every bit of effort by every other team and individual climbers who kept this flame alive and little by little pushed towards a historical achievement!
      All those who appluaded for these efforts, wished and prayed for the heroes. And all those who lost their loved ones!

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