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Jan 182021

Nim’s – No Os Winter K2 Summit

Nims’s posted on his website that he didn’t use supplemental oxygen for his K2 summit:

K2 winter was a beast of a challenge. I firmly believe that a feat of such caliber is never possible if you don’t have a purpose or if it is only aimed for your own self glory.

I have always known what my mind and body are capable off. To lay it out straight, on my previous evolutions I had been carrying oxygen from 8000m and above, but I was personally satisfied with my work efficiency up to 8000m. It was my choice and I had my own reasons and ethos.

It was a tough call this time inorder to make that decision whether to climb with or without supplementary oxygen (O2). Due to the weather conditions and time frame, I hadn’t acclimatised adequately. I was only able to sleep as high as Camp 2 (6,600m). Ideally climbers need to sleep OR at least touch Camp 4 before heading for a summit push. Lack of acclimatisation, developed frost bite from the first rotation and slowing down other team members, risking everyone’s safety, were the key uncertainties associated.

The safety of my team is and always have been my top priority above all. I have lead 20 successful expeditions so far and all my team members have returned home the exact way that they had left home i.e. without loosing any fingers or toes.

I took a calculated risk this time and I pressed on without supplementary O2. My self confidence, knowing my body’s strength, capability and my experience from climbing the 14 x 8000ers enabled me to keep up with the rest of the team members and yet lead.


There are many cases, where climbers have claimed no O2 summits but followed our trail that we blazed and used the ropes and lines that we had fixed. Some of which are widely known within the inner climbing community. What is classified as fair means?

Personally, it had never been a major deal for me and it still isn’t. Coming from a United Kingdom’s special forces background, you have been and done all sorts but we don’t make a big fuss about everything. It is a personal choice. Nature and the mountains are for everyone. You make your own call !

Nims Winter K2 Summit

I’ve not been able to confirm if Mingma G summited without supplemental oxygen.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything



  19 Responses to “Winter K2 Update: No Os Summit”


    Good to see Nims cite his British SAS training as one of the reasons he was able to complete this amazing feat! Good for him! I salute!!!


    Hi Alan
    Adam from Kenya here.I have been a huge follower of your Blog.Come everest season, I follow your blog daily.Been doing so for the past 5 years but never commented before.
    The feat accomplished last year by Nirmal Purja is astounding and what the Nepali team accomplished for K2 this year more so. Very few have managed to scour the tops of Himalayan Mountains without any form of Sherpa Assistance.Those who are critical are those clutching at the saying “those grapes are sour”


    Although it apparently was a great physical accomplishment for the ten sherpas to be the first to summit K2 in the winter they don’t have to prove to the world Sherpa’s are the best climbers in the world after all almost all assents of 8k peaks would never have been accomplished without Sherpa support. If mountain climbers don’t feel good about themselves before they climb I don’t think summiting will change that.


    How did the 2 sherpas go all the way down to BC, was that safe – smart choice??


      Good question, from camp 3 or 4 to summit and return to base camp through the night. Incredible stamina.


      George, if physically possible, it best to get as low as possible after an 8000er summit, so these guys just put the explanation point on how strong they are.


        I read that it took them 36 hours to do so. No sleep – rest descenting all the way down??? They are superhumans!!!


          I understand they left C3 at 2:30 am on 16/1/21, rested a bit at C4 then summited at 17:00 and returned to C3, unsure of time but probably it took only a few hours so maybe 20-21:00. Thus on their feet for around 19-20 hours. Two Sherpas return to BC without overnighting at C3, so they were on their feet for perhaps 24-26 hours.


        Hi Alan, I read that they returned to base camp due to frostbite, so it looks like it was driven by necessity (I’m sure they’d rather have rested at C3 instead!)


    Climbing is such a speed specially in winter k2 where chilled wind speed is more than 100km/h and temperature – 45 high altitude low oxygen level and he climbed high speed with no supplemental oxygen, what the hell is this, it will make doubt, i saw all others professional climbers without oxygen and climber in summery season take plenty of time due to oxygen deficiency take enough time to submit.


    Having run up and down lesser Himalayan peaks with Sherpa (as well as Rai/Tamang/Gurung/Limbu) climbers over the past several decades, I can only say it’s about time the world got a chance to see what they’re made of.
    10 up, 10 down with no injuries and at least one oxygenless ascent to boot! Ekdam Kushi Lagyo, bhai-haru! Ki Ki So So Largyalo!


    Amazing! This guy normally (in summer) comes of one 8000er and goes straight onto another, and another etc. He is physiologically different, he also knows that. But I thought in the photograph of him back at base camp that he looked unwell, certainly not ready for another 8000er. That and his dark nose did make me wonder if he went with no O2.
    I love how he took his time with that statement.


    JOB DONE ! K2 WINTER WITH NO SUPPLEMENTARY OXYGEN …..Bonding together, putting any differences aside and closing this incredible winter climbing chapter by way of teamwork and giving the often under appreciated people of Nepal something to be proud of.



    It is, people risked like that in the past. eg Simone Moro and Tamara on Winter Nanga Parbat.


    What do you think of his statement dear Alan? I want to believe it but without acclimatization above 6600m I really don’t know, it’s hard to believe… Is it biologically possible? Maybe he is superhuman after all… 🙂

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