Winter K2 News, Ama Dablam Summit Push

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After a final puja, climbers set off from Ama Dablam BC toward the summit. Photo: Madison Mountaineering

It’s another 40 days before the ever-growing Winter K2 team sets off for the Karakorum, but the equipment has already arrived in Base Camp, well ahead of schedule.

Equipment for winter K2 has already reached Base Camp. Photo: SST

At the same time, new members have signed up for the challenge. The latest is Waldemar Kowalewski of Poland, who returns after a first attempt on winter K2 with Alex Txikon’s team in 2018-19.

Back then, he experienced the brutality of the mountain first hand. While carrying loads to Camp 1, he was struck by a falling chunk of ice and injured his neck. He had to be evacuated, barely two weeks after arriving in Base Camp.

In July, Kowalewski returned and summited K2 using supplementary O2. This time, he is determined to go no-O2. He will acclimatize by climbing volcanoes in Ecuador, including Chimborazo.

Waldemar Kowalewski.

Good weather continues in the Khumbu Valley, allowing Ama Dablam teams swift progress. Garrett Madison’s group set off for Camp 1 today, aiming to make Camp 2 tomorrow and the summit on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, other teams are pouring into Nepal, mostly heading for the Khumbu Valley, with sights set on Ama Dablam and the surrounding trekking peaks.
Regular ExWeb commentator Damien Francois from Belgium reported last week from an unusually quiet Namche Bazaar. Mostly everything was closed, as he and his EverQuest partners arrived to rest and celebrate their Lobuche summit. Next, the team will go for Island Peak, then Ama Dablam. Francois noted that the “Dablam” in its name means diamond in Tibetan, and refers to the glacier that hangs from the summit ridge overlooking the SW Face. That glacier is now almost gone. “It’s just a little bump, a huge difference from last year,” Francois wrote.
Most years, the climbing season would be nearing its end, but more small teams are trying to squeeze in last-minute expeditions, despite wintery temperatures. A few peaks, including the aesthetic but relatively low Ama Dablam, have lured climbers in late autumn and winter before, when the weather is cold but stable. Hoping to salvage something of this year, Seven Summit Treks has announced that they will keep Ama Dablam Base Camp open until January.

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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John A Mathews
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Love your reporting, thanks for your efforts to chronicle these adventures!