K2: Small Setback for Purja, Sherpas Continue Toward C4

K2 Winter 8000ers
A frosty Nirmal Purja. Photo: Nirmal Purja

Nirmal Purja and Mingma G are back in Base Camp, but the work won’t stop on the mountain. Seven Summit Treks leader Chhang Dawa, together with Pasang Nurbu, Lhakpa Temba, and Sona Sherpa left Base Camp this afternoon to fix the route toward Camp 4 on January 2 and 3, despite the forecast winds.

Left to right, Pasang Nurbu, Lhakpa Temba, Chhang Dawa and Sona Sherpa have left to fix the route toward Camp 4. Photo: Seven Summit Treks

Yesterday, Nirmal Purja’s team joined Mingma G’s group to finish fixing the route to Camp 3. They then decided to spend a second night in Camp 2 to improve acclimatization. However, “the plan to make all my team members sleep at Camp 3 was unsuccessful,” Purja reported. “I must admit my team [was] slightly late to be in the better position to attack K2″ during a potential summit push when the weather improves, he added.

Sergi Mingote plans to head up toward Camp 1 and Camp 2 tomorrow. As time goes on and climbing subgroups form, old friends Mingote, Juan Pablo Mohr, Mattia Conte, and Carlos Garranzo are bonding with Alex Gavan and Tamara Lunger. “We also share tents with Antonios Sykaris and Atanas Skatov, and we get along really well,” Mingote said.

K2 Base Camp. Photo: Arnold Coster

Magdalena Gorzowska and her group will also usher in 2021 from above Base Camp. Earlier today, she checked in from Camp 1, after a “tough day” to get there in -40ºC .

While all the expeditions share the work, Colin O’Brady, a client on the SST team, continues to sell himself to the U.S. media as if he were the main man on the mountain. Yesterday’s appearance on NBC’s Today “details his plan to scale K2 in winter”. The interview mixes a Q & A recorded before departure with some video uploaded during the trek and the arrival in BC. He spoke about his adventure on the “most dangerous mountain of the world…at -80(!) degrees” as “that project everyone considers impossible”.

Few in the adventure community are troubled by O’Brady’s accidental celebrity for his semi-crossing of Antarctica. Luck is part of the game, and all explorers have to sell themselves somewhat to survive. But it’s not just or mainly about selling. It is, unfortunately, becoming clear that rather than build toward a truly visionary success, as his fitness, resources, and growing adventure experience might permit, O’Brady will continue to promote solid, B-level endeavors as world-shattering (Antarctic ski), or tag along on guided projects, such as the Antarctic row and here on K2, and try to market it to the wider public as “his” impossible feat.

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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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Danielle
Danielle
9 months ago

Thanks for the update. Rooting for all the teams to continue communication and teamwork! It was disappointing to see Today Show segment with Colin with no mention of the extremely experienced climbers also at K2. Many hardworking teams were already up on the mountain blazing the trail and setting up lines while he had only just stepped foot at base camp when that segment aired.

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Don Paul
Don Paul
9 months ago

No doubt 7 Summits also has top level climbers, but they just got there. They don’t do acclimatization. Sergi just posted that his pulse has been double normal since he got to BC, but it sounds like he’s headed up. Carlos was vomiting on the hike in, coming from sea level. The strategy of fixing the entire mountain for the season, from bottom to top, is probably the only way to do it, but going up fixed lines is probably all the Seven Summits graduates have ever done before.

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Jerry
Jerry
9 months ago

Just wanted to say a sincere thank you Angela, your factually checked and accurate updates are eagerly consumed and debated, we are breathless with anticipation, hope, nerves and fears for all who are attempting such a daunting challenge.
I can think of no better start to 2021 than a first winter summit of K2, a message that hope, fortitude, perseverance and cooperation can overcome challenges some deem impossible.
Happy 2021!

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Asim
Asim
9 months ago

Its good to read your posts with meticulous coverage and detailed analysis. In some part i am also deeply concerned about teams, as you all people on this forum. My best wishes to all at Concordia.

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Heather D Jones
Heather D Jones
9 months ago

Just a little FYI…..we who follow these amazing feats know who the real heros are and I for one am amazed. As for the publicity whores…you may be able to fool some people, but most importantly, you will never be able to fool yourself.

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Trish
Trish
9 months ago

Cheers to you Angela!! Thank you for keeping us posted. Happy New Year to you dear girl.
Wishing everyone has a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year.

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Real climber
Real climber
9 months ago

Obrady disgusts me. I hope he expires on K2 and we can be rid of this fool. His exaggerated horseshit makes life harder for real climbers and explorers.

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Real climber 2
Real climber 2
9 months ago
Reply to  Real climber

I’m a Real climber too, miles away from the level of these super-humans, but wishing death on anyone in the mountains has gotta be bad karma, don’t you think?

+1
Damien François
Damien François
9 months ago
Reply to  Real climber 2

I have written exactly here over and over again: wishing death to people is disgusting. Those who dislike comments encouraging climbers are just as disgusting and should NOT be here. Anyone attempting K2, especially in winter, deserves respect. Publicity whores who srvive at -40°c at BC too, except, they have to ba called what they are, too: publicity whores. My friend and guide Jamling Bhote has summited K2 twice (4 xp in total, a.o. 2008) and told me: never again. That says a lot… Alan Arnette, Pemba Gyalzen, the Polish, Russian climbers, they all have explained how monstrous the montain… Read more »

ARTLADY
ARTLADY
9 months ago
Reply to  Real climber

That’s trailer trash talk, that is. Wishing that anyone you don’t respect should DIE on K2? My goodness, what a terribly tacky thing to think, let alone say. You SHOULD BE ashamed.

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ARTLADY
ARTLADY
9 months ago

There certainly seems to be a lot of snobbery amongst the climbing community. And pray tell, inform me, name one adventurer who doesn’t make speeches and give lectures (for hire), and write books and articles to make a living? Goodness folks, calm down and back off of Colin O’Brady! Find something IMPORTANT to bitch about. Everyone has the right to try…any adventure, and this young man does, too. His lessons won’t be taught to him by your negativity. The Mountain will teach him his lessons. Or maybe The Mountain will welcome him! I wish a safe summit for everyone, and… Read more »

Jennifer
Jennifer
9 months ago
Reply to  ARTLADY

I agree and well said – the mountain will teach the lessons. And I have respect for his accomplishments and abilities. However – in my humble (but educated) opinion, he should be sharing with/educating his thousands of followers the larger scope of the team effort that is climbing K2. Seven Summits role, Sherpa support, rope fixing, oxygen, etc. More transparency will go far in quieting critics. His climbing partner is doing an excellent job in that arena, starting with the very first post on his blog.

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Oliver
Oliver
9 months ago
Reply to  Jennifer

“…humble (but educated)”

A man is never so proud as when striking an attitude of humility.
-C.S. Lewis

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someone
someone
9 months ago
Reply to  ARTLADY

I have been on an expedition with obrady and I have heard him wishing death to someone. He presents and conducts himself nicely only in media

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Louis-Philippe Loncke
9 months ago
Reply to  someone

WOW. Was that on a Mountain or in Greenland? (I think he trained in Greenland for Antarctica)

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Louis-Philippe Loncke
9 months ago
Reply to  ARTLADY

I know a lot of people who do expeditions without sponsors and later do no talks, no books, no films. They coma and do and keep a few photos for themselves or on their own social media.
If your point is about really “not making a living”. Well I don’t. 17 expeditions. 12 world firsts. Heard of me? Probably not. Day job since 1999. 3-4 paid talks in 15 years. No film, no book. No real sponsors. (A bit of gear here and there, some expeditions I did with zero sponsors.)

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Louis-Philippe Loncke
9 months ago

Of course I’d like to do more talks, make a few films and write (myself) a few books. But fame does help to launch a “career”. Not there yet. I still love doing expeditions. It’s like a puzzle to be solved that you do outdoors.

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Ang Phubsy
Ang Phubsy
9 months ago

Was wondering, what is the preferred soundtrack while the teams are climbing?

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Damien François
Damien François
9 months ago
Reply to  Ang Phubsy

Silence, I guess… Do you climb?

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Jerry Kobalenko
Admin
9 months ago

A REMINDER: At ExWeb, we love when readers comment passionately on stories and debate the issues. So often, it advances the conversation, inspires follow-up stories, forces us to dig deeper. But that doesn’t apply to swearing at or personally insulting other commenters. Those comments will be deleted. And while it’s fair game to say you *think* someone might die on an expedition — because of the danger/inexperience ratio or whatever — this is hardly the place to *hope* that they do, even if you don’t like them.

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Alex Hibbert
9 months ago

Here here. Revolting comments, wishing death on people who revolt you, make you yet more revolting than they.

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Dennis Swier
Dennis Swier
9 months ago

Glad to hear there’s a Pole on the mountain, Magdalena Gorzowska. All the better it’s a female. Go- go MG (mountain 🏔️ goddess
From 🐆 Jaguar Paw in Seattle

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Louis-Philippe Loncke
9 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Swier

Would be awesome to have her first on K2 winter 🙂
She seems super fit.

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mijares
9 months ago

Colin O`braddy is really a case to study, in the best tradition of all the great liars in history.

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Walid Hamadeh
Walid Hamadeh
9 months ago

I have to say that Angela’s updates have been refreshing to read and she is without a doubt providing exposure to the real heroes of the mountains, the rope fixers/the Sherpas. Risking their lives so that others can claim stardom and heroism. With that many groups competing for the bragging rights I wish them all a safe return.

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Rupak Bhattacharya
Rupak Bhattacharya
9 months ago

Thanks for the regular updates. What seems to have escaped most viewers is the fact that the K2 BC is now too crowded for comfort let alone safety. Considering that K2 in winter is the last BIG prize left on the 8Ks,and a surplus of GoreTexed egos with individual summit ambitions lurking at BC makes for a rather unpalatable situation pregnant with possibilities,more of a disastrous nature than celebratory. Once the clear weather window kicks in,it will be a rush to be the first,not first among equals but first among the most smart and manipulative. Brotherhood of the rope,I suspect,hopefully… Read more »

Damien François
Damien François
9 months ago

Nims has done alot or rescues, accoding to his SBS ethics, when completing his Project Possible. I was at EBC when he tried to save Dr. Chin on Annapurna. We followed the drama closely since Chin’s training partner from Singapore was a client in our Ever Quest team.
I read Nims’ book and the rescues he and his team performed were heroical.

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MinorMusic
MinorMusic
9 months ago

This is super cool and interesting. All I want is for them to take ALL their stuff back down the mountain, please! K2 is not a garbage can or landfill. Keep it pure!

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