K2: Camp 4 Reached…No-O2 Climbers in C3…Summit Push Tomorrow?

K2 Winter 8000ers
The grand finale of K2: the Bottleneck and the Great Serac. Photo from C4 today by Mingma G

Mingma G said that he would climb K2 for himself, his country, and his Sherpa community. So far, he has kept his promise, and his hard work has paid dividends: Mingma G has become the first-ever to reach Camp 4 on K2 in winter. From this point, the final period of the ultimate winter games begins.

Three Mingmas made it to Camp 4 at 7,800m (slightly slower than the usual location) at 3:30 pm: Mingma G, along with Mingma Tenzing and Mingma David, both members of Nirmal Purja’s group. Sona Sherpa, the only member of the Seven Summit Treks team who set off this morning toward C4, turned back shortly before reaching it when he ran out of fixing ropes.

By the way, Mingma, like most Sherpa/Tibetan first names, refers to the day of the week that the person was born. So we know that all three men were born on Tuesday.

Breaking: Mingote and Mohr reach Camp 3 without O2

It’s already dark on K2, so no other climbers are expected to reach Camp 4. Nirmal Purja has just stated (boasted?) on IG that early tomorrow morning Pakistan time he will “lead” the fixing team to the summit. However, we don’t whether he is now in C4, how he will coordinate with Mingma G, who will accompany Purja, or whether he or any of those with him will try without supplemental O2.

As for the rest, Sergi Mingote, Juan Pablo Mohr, Tamara Lunger, and Alex Gavan spent the previous night at Camp 2. This afternoon, Mingote and Mohr reached Camp 3 and pitched their tiny, one-layer tent at 7,002m, above the Black Pyramid, a RaceTracker spokesperson told ExplorersWeb. They are tired but feeling great and are well-acclimatized. Remarkably, neither of them is using supplementary oxygen!

The tents at Camp 3 may be scattered throughout a large area above the Black Pyramid, on a mix of steep and flatter terrain, where seracs may offer some shelter from the wind.

Mingote, Lunger, and Mohr’s tent at C3 at 7,000m. Photo: Sergi Mingote, courtesy of RaceTracker

“Tamara Lunger and Alex Gavan have chosen to remain at the higher Camp 2,” Mingote said. He also mentioned that Sajid Sadpara joined them today, to carry a load for John Snorri. Sadpara then rejoined his father and Snorri at lower Camp 2, where they had remained all day.

These subtly lower and higher camps are a little confusing, but the point is that the climbers at the various Camp 2s are out of sight of one another.

Finally, Mingote mentioned that yesterday’s strong wind remained nasty today but the climbers endured it in order to complete their present rotation.

Mingote says that if the weather remains tolerable, the two powerful teams at Camp 4 (both using bottled O2) may attempt a summit bid tomorrow. As for Mingote and Mohr: “Yes, it has crossed our minds to continue to C4 and give it a try…but we will not fool ourselves: We are climbing too heavily loaded, and without supplemental O2, the wind and cold hit us harder.”

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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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kiko
kiko
4 months ago

Mingma Tenzi (@mt_sherpa) is part of Nirmal’s Team, not Mingma G’s. Mingma G’s team is Dawa Tenzing and Kilu Pemba. you have actually listed them down in your previous articles.

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Jerry Kobalenko
Admin
4 months ago
Reply to  kiko

Thanks, corrected.

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Don Paul
Don Paul
4 months ago

Exciting yes. A very short weather window and huge winds if they don’t get back on time. It looks like a long way from C4 to the summit.

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With_or_Without_02
With_or_Without_02
4 months ago

I thought I read somewhere that Mingma G attempting the summit without 02. I don’t think it matters whether they summit with or without 02. For those who argue that using 02 is cheating, i think it is a slippery slope. You might as well ask them not to climb with crampons or ice axe if you think one should not use anything that will make climbing easier and safer. Also, i can’t help but get the feeling that Angela has something against Nirmal Purja. I guess it is difficult for some to accept his successes.

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With_or_Without_02
With_or_Without_02
4 months ago

Angela while you harp on the use of 02, can you confirm whether the amazing non-02 climbers currently in the lower camps will not be using jumar ascendars or use the fixed lines set up by other climbers in any form.

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Dan
Dan
4 months ago

Bingo. People are being so critical of 02 use but are clearly being selective as every single climber is jugging fixed lines most of the way without scrutiny.

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With_or_Without_02
With_or_Without_02
4 months ago

“Remember that Migma G is climbing without supplemental oxygen. He could be the first to summit K2 in the winter with no Os.” From Alan Arnette’s update today.
Angela, do you have new udpates that he is not using 02 or is it just your prejudice against non-western climber that is preventing you from crediting him.

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Peter Arbic
Peter Arbic
4 months ago

I’d bet nobody has climbed K2 without an ice axe or crampons . Many , I venture to say a vast majority who summited so far however , has done it without bottled O2 . Big difference .

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matteo
matteo
4 months ago

All of the other 8000 were winter climbed without oxigen; and all those clibers before could have easily have climbed those mountains with O2 but they didn’t and waited until they could do it ‘fair’. So the comparison with all the other winter climb will be unfair until k2 is also climbed without o2. note that Everest was winter climbed mostly without o2 in the 80’s, by a low budget (for our standard..) polish expedition. Nepalese team now is equipped with the latest technologies and it’s 40 years after that ascent. that being said, obviously big respect for this ascent,… Read more »

Terri
Terri
4 months ago

What’s with the constant campaign against Nims Purja? If another climber has stated they were leading a fixing team there would be no issue – but because Nims does so he is now ‘boasting’?! Come on – jealous and insecurity coming across much?! The guy may well be confident bordering on arrogant, but he backs every word up with action. He has changed the game and shown he is as strong as any climber on the planet right now.

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ARTLADY
ARTLADY
4 months ago
Reply to  Terri

Amen!

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mijares
Jose Mijares
4 months ago
Reply to  Terri

Changed the game? to worst. All eight-thousand with oxygen and fixed ropes by normal routes. More is not better. And his arrogance doesn’t help much either.

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Terri
Terri
4 months ago
Reply to  Jose Mijares

I don’t think he would argue about the fixed ropes – in fact I think he fixed most of them himself.
More is not better? – I didn’t hear the same attitude from anyone when Ueli Steck climbed all the 4000ers in the Alps in a single summer.

I’m sure lots of people find his ‘arrogance’ offensive, but he backs it up.

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Saran Subba
Saran Subba
4 months ago
Reply to  Terri

If Nims would have been a white guy, there would not be such disscusions, all these people would be praising.

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mijares
Jose Mijares
4 months ago
Reply to  Terri

More does not mean better. Ueli Alps traverse is a different game. If you can’t see difference….Then you proof that you don’t know much about alpinism. The main key is the style, is all about that. STYLE. One single 8.000 from Ueli or Steve House or Tomaz Humar, etc is much much better than dozens of 8.000 from most people.

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Jay
Jay
4 months ago
Reply to  Terri

Can you please not mention Ueli Steck. His were solo climbs…no ropes..and he didn’t even use permanently fixed gear on those hard faces. I.e difficult routes, not ridges, done solo, setting new speed records. Above all, Ueli Steck respected mountains and can you please not disrespect his memory (RIP)

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Myst
Myst
4 months ago
Reply to  Jose Mijares

Yeah try summiting peaks like K2 and Broad Peak within 48 hrs, conduct rescues at death zone while being on expedition. Ill give you a 1000L Tank full oxygen for that ! Try doing that then ! Still can’t believe people keep criticizing, just have a look what Legend Don Bowie had to say about him ! I am not a fan of O2 expeditions myself but man can we be cool to those who do things differently than us ! Its like Armstrong criticizing Elon Musk for SpaceX plans , but guess what boom ! Richest man on this… Read more »

Jerry Kobalenko
Admin
4 months ago
Reply to  Terri

You’re totally right that Purja backs up with his legs what he says with his mouth. But he is also into controlling his messaging more than most other climbers. For example, he never addressed whether he reached the true summit of Manaslu or stopped at a sub-summit with the others. (We asked.) Self-promotion is part of the exploration game, but it would be unfair for someone equally worthy, and possibly equally the leader, such as Mingma G, to find himself in Nims’ shadow on the verge of such a wonderful accomplishment because he’s not as forward.

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With_or_Without_02
With_or_Without_02
4 months ago

Did you also ask Ueli Steck if he really summited Annapurna or did you take him at his word when he said he “dropped” his camera and hence did not have any proof of his summit?

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Jerry Kobalenko
Admin
4 months ago

Before my time. But we are aware that his Annapurna summit is in question.

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dan
dan
4 months ago

In question ? It was a total fabrication.

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Paul
Paul
4 months ago

Mingma G w/o O will have his fame
My guess is Nims has not used O yet and will try to not use if possible but is keeping o as backup if needed in ascent or descent

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Qadees
Qadees
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Having o2 as a backup helps psychologically. The true legends that are upset about the use of o2 on K2 winter have a valid point. Only they understand the true meaning of conquering K2 and other 8000+ peaks. These real legends not only climb without bottled o2 but also fix the ropes & create new routes up these deadly mountains for other climbers to use. In actual fact they even go beyond this, by abandoning their summit attempts to go and rescue other climbers (sometimes even on different peaks). It would only be fair for the first winter summit of… Read more »

Ronald
Ronald
4 months ago

The discussion of Whether they,the project possible team, summited all the true summits will remain, but i understand a lot of climbers do not reach the true summit of manaslu or shishapangma for that matter. And i agree nirmal likes the spotlights, but he is a real strong climber with a positive attitude who is willing to work with others. And he isnt shy to do hard work like fixing lines with his team as he did on k2 2019. The annapurna summit of ueli was also believed because an eyes witness from basecamp says he saw his light close… Read more »

dan
dan
4 months ago
Reply to  Terri

are particularly snide when it comes to Nims. It’s seriously juvenile stuff.

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Saran Subba
Saran Subba
4 months ago

One can’t help but notice a hint of racist supremacy in Angela’s report.

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Dor
Dor
4 months ago
Reply to  Saran Subba

Agreed

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Walid Hamadeh
Walid Hamadeh
4 months ago

WOW!!! Peeps, lets concentrate on the super-human accomplishments here and NOT get HUNG UP on a word that Angela used and may have been misconstrued by the readers. Anyone would be boasting and exploding out of joy when they have worked so hard and for so long to see their objectives finally within reach and will be checked off within 24 hours or so. In my opinion, BOASTING in this sense is more like the high level of confidence within him, within Nims. Confidence + Joy + Conviction = BOASTING

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JC C
JC C
4 months ago

Seriously, once this climb is done, Explorersweb need to seriously consider whether the current writer deserves to be reporting on anything ever again.

Constant negative comments, likely stemming from a racist view of non-Western climbers. Did you make any comments when Adrian Ballinger dragged himself up up the fixed ropes and trail that Nims blazed last year?

It’s incredibly annoying that there is this constant bias against people like Mingma G and Nims, even when he is climbing without O2.

If you don’t like it, go write about the conga line on Rainier or something.

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dan
dan
4 months ago
Reply to  JC C

It’s as if have taken over exweb too. Nothing but vitriol.

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delwyne trefz
delwyne trefz
4 months ago

Thanks for keeping us up to date on the truly amazing effort underway on K2. Somehow I have no energy to engage in debating whether those at the sharp end are boasting. Setting the route on any 8000-er in any season is a phenomenal feat. Setting the route on K2 in winter is something that has never ever been done. So, yeah, I suppose the first person to accomplish this feat might be forgiven if they come across in a way that to some seems boastful! Further, I know there are westerners on the mountain who, should they manage to… Read more »

Cale Underwood
Cale Underwood
4 months ago
Reply to  delwyne trefz

Well said, It’s exciting nonetheless and I hope they all stay safe up there.

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Damian Rhodes
Damian Rhodes
4 months ago

Fake news?!?!

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Robert kurst
Robert kurst
4 months ago

What about colin o’brady? Isn’t he climbing up there to
Or is not really a real climber? I just asking I don’t know
The climbing world yhat well

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With_or_Without_02
With_or_Without_02
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert kurst

I too wonder who are the real climbers. Angela would probably say that Colin is not a real climber but would categorize Sergi as a real climber. However, I believe both Sergi Mingote and Colin O’brady are both tagging along with the seven summit trek team. Angela’s previous article mentioned that Sergi decided to attempt the winter summit this year only after learning that seven summit was planning on a winter summit attempt.

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Erik
Erik
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert kurst

He’s a «climber» (7 summits), but like most other «climbers» of today, he relies on others setting the route for him, so that he can have a handrail to the summit. Oh yeah, and using Oxygen as well to bring the mountain down 2-3000m. Not denying what he’s doing is hard, very hard, but it’s not climbing.

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With_or_Without_02
With_or_Without_02
4 months ago
Reply to  Erik

Most of the “real” climbers there at the moment would not have gone there this winter if the three Nepali teams were not there this winter. Once they found that the Nepali team was going to be there, they knew their tasks would be considerably easier and everyone started jumping on the bandwagon. Now, they try to diminish the Nepali team’s achievement by saying that they are using 02. The so called non-02 teams would not be in the position or have the confidence to attempt the summit without the Nepali team ahead of them.

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Erik
Erik
4 months ago

This. Well said.

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asho
asho
4 months ago

Without the Sherpas no one would even dared to approach K2 in winter.The Westerners knows very well in case of trouble or tragedy they can rely 100percent on Sherpas from Nepal.They are the demi Gods of Himalayas.

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Milos Jankovic
Milos Jankovic
4 months ago

I doesn’t matter will they use O2 or not. They are using fixed lines anyway. What happens today is just race to prestige. Once someone will repeat winter K2 in pure alpine style and dwarf anything done this winter.

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Blabla
Blabla
4 months ago
Reply to  Milos Jankovic

Many of the winter firsts are done expedition style – using fixed lines and preset high camps. How is that any different, having in mind most of the climbers aiming for the summit today fixed the lines on the majority of the route themselves?

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