Update on Winter Broad Peak

Alex Goldfarb (left) and Zoltan Szlanko on Ama Dablam last winter. Photo: Zoltan Szlanko

Russian-American Alex Goldfarb and Hungarian Zoltan Szlanko entered the winter Himalayan scene last year, when the pair summited 6,119m Lobuche East. Two weeks later, Goldfarb and Pemba Ongdi Sherpa climbed Ama Dablam (6,812m), while Szlanko turned back from Camp 3.

Now, Godfarb and Szlanko are going for an even more ambitious goal: winter Broad Peak. Interestingly, the latest attempt on the 8,051m mountain was last winter, by Denis Urubko. Back then, Urubko helped his sick partner, Don Bowie, down the mountain, then launched a bold solo attempt that was ultimately thwarted by extremely dangerous conditions.

Szlanko (left) and Goldfarb will use no porters or O2 on Broad Peak. The winter attempt begins in just six weeks.

The other climbers are not yet confirmed — and of course, the expedition itself will depend on COVID-19 restrictions — but the small team won’t use high altitude porters or supplementary oxygen. It will also have to be an extremely fast winter attempt, since because of prior commitments, the team will have only six weeks from the time Szlanko arrives in Pakistan on December 27 to complete the project.

“They know that chances of summiting are very slim, even with the greatest luck with the weather,” Szlanko’s press team admitted to ExplorersWeb. “This is more like an experiment for the coming winters.”

To save time, they will climb Mont Blanc before going to Pakistan. Mont Blanc’s summit is approximately at the height of Broad Peak’s Base Camp. That way, they can skip the acclimatization trek in and use a helicopter transfer. Szlanko will also carry his skis for a possible ski descent, although the priority remains getting to the summit.

Zoltan Szlanko may try to ski down Broad Peak after summiting in winter.

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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