Winter K2 Update: Chat with Snorri & Manaslu Progress

Alan climbing House's ChimneyAlan climbing House's ChimneyAlan climbing House's Chimney

K2 climbers continue to stay at Base Camp stalled by the weather but Feb 4 and 5 are looking better. I chat with John Snorri at K2 BC and route progress on Manaslu.

Big Picture

It’s all about the weather and snow conditions. K2 continues to play tough. John Snorri tells me he expects the weather to turn ugly after February 15. I think most people left on K2 would like to summit before the end of February, and not March 20, 2021, the Spring Equinox.

The Manaslu teams are seeing how winter conditions can be vastly different from spring. They ran into a huge gaping crevasse forcing them to spend precious time and energy to find a new route. But this one is so big, it will probably greet climbers for the next year, thus redefining the route from C1 to C2, which has been considered the crux on Manaslu.

Snorri & Team – At BC

John Snorri Sigurjonsson with Muhammad Ali Sadpara and Muhammad’s 20-year-old son Sajid Ali are in Base Camp looking at the next weather window in early February 4 and 5. I chatted with John from Base Camp:

Q: Hi John, any thoughts on the next summit window?

JS: Hi Alan Yes we see window 4 or 5 Feb. I make decisions Sunday or Monday We will try without oxygen but all 3 will have safety [ED: extra oxygen bottle] in our backpacks. I believe when it comes to it I will use. My priorities is to summit.

Q: Understand. Feeling confident? Did you replace your masks lost in the wind?

JS: Yes I’m really ready and going to give all for this s push. We went yesterday to source [ED: base of snow slope under where they found dome of the gar] and found one set of mask and regulator.

Q: I read where you said a 4 day round trip is possible given how fast you got the C3 last time. John, that’s aggressive.

JS: We 3 are pretty sure if there will be any chance to reach the summit in this window we will. And we are looking forward to stand on the summit with the Pakistani flag and Icelandic flag Want to make our nations proud 🇮🇸

Q: Will you need to fix new lines?

JS: I believe we can use 3 days to summit and 1 day to go back to bc. All I know is there are line missing on the way.

OK, if they go in a few days, I fully expect a few from SST to join them including Tamara Lunger with Juan Pablo (J.P.) Mohr Prieto and perhaps Antonios Sykaris with Dr. Atanas Skatov.

Seven Summits Treks – Climbing will continue if there is good weather

Seven Summits Trek’s has their team at base camp. By my count, there are 17 members (perhaps fewer) and about 20 Sherpas still left. However, with this large of a team and the wide range of experience, I’ll never be surprised to see a few climbers get ahead of the pack.

Tamara Lunger gave this optimistic update:

Still difficult days for me! I have not been well, in the last days: stomach ache, diarrhea, pains all over my body, I feel down and I don’t know how long this physical discomfort will last because the altitude – 5000 m. – doesn’t allow you to recover so easily.

Until two days ago I thought that my dream of climbing to the top was to be put aside, but yesterday morning I woke up with a smile and a light breeze and the sun kissing my face. And all of this brought me back into the right energy, at least mentally!

I’m so grateful in any case for this space, also for the spiritual space here, and for @jp.mohr, who I’m getting to know and already admire, and who gives me strength to look forward with courage and passion.Another challenge that I will try to face with love, acceptance and positivity, patience…

Manaslu: Route to 6350m

Simone Moro, Alex Txikon, and Iñaki Alvarez are at Manaslu Base Camp. Tenji Sherpa and Vinayak Jaya Malla are also at Manaslu Base Camp ready to move higher when winds allow. Simone gave this update:

Work in progress towards Camp 2, I watch my climber partners from Base Camp. The altitude reached today is 6350 mt. Tomorrow there is the changeover and it is our turn to find and close the route to Camp 2. Inaki, Tenji, Vinayak and the photographer Abiral will go with me. We expect to be in the higher camps for 2/3 days.

Alex added:

Hello from BC! After 4 long and hard days of work, we are back to recover. Today we have equipped up to 6,350m ⛏⛏Simone, Iñaki and company will take over tomorrow. Let’s go!! I feel great good vibes💥Although I’m sad due to departure of Fernando J. Pérez, journalist from El Correo who went here with us and had now to return to Bilbao, I send him a hug

K2 PostScript

MIngma G posted a video of him climbing House Chimney during their winter 2020/21 K2 summit:

Mingma climbing House Chimney winter 2020:21

Compare that to my climb up the Chimney in July 2014. Note the total lack of snow. The video was taken by Matt DuPuru:

Alan Arnette climbing House Chimney in 2014. Video taken by Matt DuPuy:

Climb On!
Memories are Everything


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5 thoughts on “Winter K2 Update: Chat with Snorri & Manaslu Progress

  1. Hi Alan. Great read as usual. Love the way you’re covering k2 winter attempt.

    Can I ask your view on the Nepalese winter summit, why did not other teams summit in the same window as them as the weather looked great in their summit video.. would love to hear your thoughts.. thanks!

    1. I believe that John Snorri and team called off their summit attempt to go to the aid of a climber missing on Broad Peak. I believe the climber was Alex Goldfarb who was later found dead.

    2. Thanks for the kind words Abbas. The others were not acclimatized, the window was incredibly short and those guys were unusually strong working together in a very unique style. They saw a brief window and jumped on it, others just weren’t ready.

  2. Just wanted to thank you for all your posts alan. I love the mountings but dont have the courrage to take up climbing il stick to the hikes on footpathsat 2000m in the swiss alps. Your coverage and knowledge is the best by a mile really enjoyed the interview with adrian a couple of days ago. Thanks again and please keep up your great work.

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