Winter K2 Update: Oxygen Update. Next Chapter in Winter K2.

Mingma G on K2 Summit

As the exuberance winds down for the first-ever winter summit of K2, there are still scores of climbers hoping to join the parade. While there will never be another first, or even tenth, they will have a mark on their summit card that few will ever hold and I wish them a safe climb.

However, some will position their summit, if achieved, as a “first” and parlay it into a book or speaking deals but the world will know the ten who made winter history on K2.

Big Picture

Big winds, perhaps over 100 mph at Base Camp and stronger higher on K2, are in the forecast. It’s time to hunker down. This wind event could last into the weekend, but next week looks better, as in windchills back to “only” -50F. Overall the daily temperatures seem to be warming a bit as we inch closer to spring. There are still many climbers on the SST team that have not completed their acclimatization rotations, so we may not see the last summits, if there are any, until February.

Mingma G – Trekking Out

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa told me directly on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, that he is heading back to Skardu, and when I asked him, he said he did use supplemental oxygen. I am not 100% sure, but I strongly believe so did the other 8 Sherpas on the summit team. He will post photos when he gets to Skardu.


Mingma G on K2 Summit
Mingma G on K2 Summit

As I’ve said many times, I’m extremely happy and proud for Mingma. He had a strong vision to summit K2 on behalf of Nepal and found a way to get it done. Well done, well done.

Snorri – Tagged C3, Back at BC

John Snorri Sigurjonsson with Muhammad Ali Sadpara and his son Sajid Ali have signaled they will stay as long as it takes. They should be back to K2 Base as they helped wi the search for Alex Goldfarb near Broad Peak.

Seven Summits Treks – Members Waiting on Weather

Seven Summits Trek’s has their team at base camp. By my count there are 18 members and about 20 Sherpas still left.

Manaslu – Bad Weather at Base Camp

Simone Moro, Alex Txikon, and Iñaki Alvarez are back to Manaslu Base Camp after making a carry to Camp 1. Tenji Sherpa and Vinayak Jaya Malla, both Nepali internationally certified mountain guides (IFMGA) are at Manaslu Base Camp ready to move higher.

Alex Txikon posted:

Terrible weather. Today was one of those days meant to stay in your sleeping bag and don’t go out. I’ve been in the kitchen since I got up at 8, with my feet getting colder … We can’t stop thinking about Sergi and about the sorrow his family will feel. Be strong. While on the other hand we found out today that Nirmal Purja Purja Purja summited K2 without supplemental oxygen, congratulations!

Climb On!
Memories are Everything



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8 thoughts on “Winter K2 Update: Oxygen Update. Next Chapter in Winter K2.

  1. Hi Alan, great coverage and i’m following it fanatically!!! From what i’ve read is it true that Sona Sherpa, member of the SST team was the first one to reach the summit (just a few meters below) and waited for the rest to form the group for the top??

    1. My understanding is they all stopped a bit short of the summit to gather and then step on the true summit as one unified team, thus no one person can claim credit for being first.

  2. Hi,

    Just read article with an interview with Mingma G in Kathmandu Post, he said that they Nepal Embassy arranged helicopter for the Summit Team to go to Skardu on Tuesday. Are you sure he is walking down? As well he said that 8 of 10 suffer frostbites so the helicopter will be recommended instead of 5-6 days hike down in the freezing weather.

      1. I hope that the frostbite are not very serious and all of them could return to mountains soon.

  3. Alan – by far my favorite place for coverage on the big mountain expeditions!
    Sona Sherpa seemed to be the only member of SST in the initial summit group. Will he be sticking around to help continue guiding the rest of the SST clients, possibly bagging a 2nd winter summit in the same expedition? Or is he heading home, and the rest of the SST guides will be helping the clients?

  4. Thank you Alan! So happy for Mingma, he is one of the best climbers I know and also so kind. I truly hopped he had summited without O2, but huge achievement anyway.

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