Karakorum Winter Season Ends; K2 Aftermath Continues

K2 Winter 8000ers
Candles lit in Skardu as a tribute to decased K2 climbers
Candles flicker on the streets of Skardu as a tribute to the fallen climbers. Photo: John Snorri's FB page

Winter climbing has ended in Pakistan, but the echoes of this unprecedented season continue to reverberate.

Forecasts of wind and heavy snowfall have prompted the Polish team on Laila Peak to pack up their Base Camp a little early. Avalanche danger aborted their summit push yesterday, and conditions are not going to improve before meteorological winter ends in eight days.

Meanwhile, locals lit up the streets of Skardu with candles at sunset yesterday as a  tribute to new national hero Muhammad Ali Sadpara, as well as to John Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr. All three were officially declared dead two days ago.

Gilgit-Baltistan authorities have promised that Ali Sadpara’s legacy will never be forgotten. They are naming Skardu Airport and the city’s military school after him and have announced support for his family and home village. The region’s minister, Raja Nasir Ali Khan, also had kind words for Sajid Sadpara. “The courage shown by this gentleman, waiting alone at high altitude for long hours in bone-freezing cold, then descending all alone with sad feelings, is unprecedented,” Khan said. “He is a hero.”

Juan Pablo Mohr’s relatives came all the way from Chile to hold a tribute ceremony of their own just outside town. Tamara Lunger, who had stayed in Skardu, joined them.

JP Mohr's family came from Chile to Pakistan to pay tribute

Tamara Lunger and JP Mohr’s family pay tribute to the deceased climber. Photo: Tamara Lunger

Search to light up the dark sides of the story

The survivors are back at home, letting the bitter or sweet experience sink in. The successful Nepali summiters, who all work in the mountain tourism industry, have finished their celebrations and are now focusing on the upcoming spring season.

Information about the climb itself is still surprisingly thin. Mingma G is has provided some details during media interviews. In his own article, he also gives details of the first stages of the summit climb, including the secret agreement to join forces with Nirmal Purja and SST’s Sona Sherpa to form an all-Nepali team. He describes the first part of the summit climb, in particular how they managed to skirt a wide crevasse before the Bottleneck. Climbers who went up two weeks later, including Snorri, Mohr, and the Sadparas, were not informed of this obstacle or the way around it, sources have told ExplorersWeb.

We have heard no details about the Bottleneck, the traverse, and the final sections. Nor is it clear how some managed to wait a considerable time for others at -45ºC in order to step together on the summit. No group picture confirms that all 10 were up there.

Mingma David shared a photo, below, on Instagram recently, showing young Gelje Sherpa on the Shoulder, 150 to 200m below the Bottleneck.

Approaching the Bottleneck on K2

Gelje Sherpa approaches the Bottleneck on K2. Photo: Mingma David Sherpa

Gelje is clipped to a yellow rope, which confirms that ropes were fixed on the way up (along the entire route, Nirmal Purja has said). Some days ago, Nazir Sabir of Pakistan openly accused the summiters of retrieving ropes as they descended, and Magdalena Gorzkowska of Poland confirmed the competition/tension by reporting that the Sherpas said that “If someone followed them during the summit push, they would cut the ropes because they wanted the summit only for themselves.” Here is the video in Polish.

Meanwhile, the Seven Summit Treks clients are digesting the events on K2 themselves, especially the traumatic arrival at Camp 3. Two climbers were severely frostbitten, and one of them is still in the hospital. Their stories are filling some gaps, but opening new questions.

ExplorersWeb sent questions to both Mingma G and Chhang Dawa Sherpa a week ago. We will publish their answers if they reply. We will also be publishing interviews with expedition members in the coming days. Sadly, five climbers will never be able to tell their stories.

+8

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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Kurt
Kurt
2 months ago

Given the fight about route fixing on Mt. Everest few years ago involving Simone Moro, Ueli Steck and the Sherpas of Everest, we can’t automatically dismiss the statements from the people present. I think that the SST team members going for the summit that day and Mr. Sadpara’s son can easily confirm whether there were fixed ropes left by the Nepalis or not. This should end the speculation and accusations. Why isn’t anyone asking them this simple question? If the ropes were there, it would be very low to blame the Nepalis for anything, Just because their team was better… Read more »

Blabla
Blabla
2 months ago
Reply to  Kurt

Because it is ridiculous to believe that they would descend at night without fixing a line on their way up and even more ridiculous to believe they would strip their ropes off the mountain on their way down at -40 -50C to prevent others from getting to the summit (???) instead of saving up their energy and focusing on their safe approach to the lower camps after some 24hrs of non-stop climbing. If that doesn’t sound absurd enough, many of these guys are high altitude rescuers and they have hundreds of rescuse missions between them. How could anyone even believe… Read more »

Kurt
Kurt
2 months ago

I have a sense that the Western climbing establishment is dismissing the recent accomplishments of the Nepalis on the climbing scene (the 14x8000m and K2 winter summit). It seems that they perceive Nims and the other Nepalis as publicity-seeking and not real climbers which, in their eyes, lessens their successes. There were many arguments re O2 use and style. This resentment will cause the Nepalis to be even more bitter towards their former clients and “foreign friends”. The Western climbing community should support the emerging climbing scene in Nepal and Pakistan and not dismiss it out right as they are… Read more »

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
2 months ago
Reply to  Kurt

Someone has got to interview Messner about this Kurt.

+1
anon
anon
2 months ago
Reply to  Kurt

you hit the nail on the head! I feel exactly the same

+1
Saran
Saran
2 months ago
Reply to  Kurt

I couldn’t have written better. One thing is clear that it seems Angela has some bitter personal problem with Sherpa team or perhaps she cant take it that non western climbers achieved this feat. Very poor journalism to spew out her personal venom against a team when she writes for a general public. Her choice of word depicts unhealthy criticism. Until proven otherwise, the Sherpa team made the FWA of K2. She should not try to lessen someone’s achievement even if she have personal disagreement. No one has yet confirmed about rope issues, not even Sajid Sadpara, and she was… Read more »

lima
lima
2 months ago
Reply to  Saran

It could be this reason that the Nepali team is so hesitant to talk to her and not responding to enquiries made by her or vice versa

+1
Lein
Lein
2 months ago

Everyone has their own truth. It just shows that climbing has deep, dark side to it. It’s a competition on every level, and any accomplishment by one side, are a bitter truth to others. And now since Nepalis team starting to get alot more recognition, the whole situation overall will get even nastier.

+2
Last edited 2 months ago by Lein
Don Paul
Don Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  Lein

This kind of climbing is like that. My background is in rock climbing, where your partners become your best friends in life, and there are many more stories of people putting themselves at risk for others, than the kind of competition you see on these “seven summits” and now K2. We hate this and think it is demeaning to our sport.

+6
Tara
Tara
2 months ago

Angela, you may interview Slovenian climber Tomaz Rotar, a SST member who was reportedly with Snorri all the way to the crevasse between the C3 and The Bottleneck. At that point he turned back since he felt the crevasse was too much of an obstacle on top of all the hardship.

+6
Don Paul
Don Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  Tara

According to the Mingma G interview in Outdoor Journal: When we started climbing the big wall below camp four, we found a huge crevasse which was impossible to cross but we didn’t lose our hope. We scouted more to the right side but it was still the same. Then we descended back a little and tried to find our way on the left side. Again it was the same so we descended all the way back just above camp three and then branched out even farther. There we finally found a narrow crevasse covered by some fallen ice where it… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Don Paul
jessica
jessica
2 months ago
Reply to  Don Paul

In the article though, it says that sadpara’s team was not notified of the alternative route, so they wouldn’t have expected a change in the fixed lines. This, I think, would explain the confusion as to whether or not the fixed lines were there at all. Other climbers could have been looking in the wrong place for possibly buried ropes. I am not a climber and have only been following the information that has been released, so I don’t know procedure for switching lines at all. What concerns me is the lack of detailed information from the Nepali team from… Read more »

Malik Nasir Khurshid
Malik Nasir Khurshid
2 months ago
Reply to  Tara

Sadpara son Sajjid already told from the first day that he last say all three climbers at bottle neck.

+1
barbara
barbara
2 months ago

from a more metaphorical reading it seems for me that the discussion about untold crevasses and lost or cut ropes mirrors the gaps and lacking lines of sense of the/ a whole story. of what really happened. death is always lacking sense. and death by accident also. i don’t and do understand why there is so much fantazising, so much ongoing rumors. but i don’t understand why there is this disrespectful and microparanoid scapegoating against the nepalese team. sewing a totally logical story and “knowing” (by tension, of course) all meaningful details for a good and bareble sense-making means for… Read more »

Farukh Ali
Farukh Ali
2 months ago
Reply to  barbara

All the points mentioned in the article are valid. ExWeb is analytical in their reporting and they seek the evidence before they write anything for their audience. You’re only upset because they do evidence-based reporting. If the details were made public on day one, nobody would raise these questions. No one is discrediting/disrespecting Nepalese team. The summit video didn’t show all 10 climbers in one frame. Also, there was no group picture showing all 10 climbers on the summit. These are valid points. People want them to provide evidentiary support to their claim. I got to know about crevasse below… Read more »

Paul
Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  Farukh Ali

Mingma G gives that interview in January and it was published on 21 January, so for sure it is not something that they wanted to keep it in secret. There is no reason to blame the Summit Team of 10 of any wrongdoing.

+7
Farukh Ali
Farukh Ali
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul

I said, I’m not blaming the Nepalese team for what happened to John Snorri’s team. Read the last paragraph again.

And the interview by Mingma G, published on 23rd January says, crevasse below C4 (between C3-C4). That everyone knew. Here’s the link;

https://www.dreamwanderlust.com/news/k2-in-winter-for-national-pride-justice-and-face-saving-inheritance-enthused-mingma-g

I’m talking about the crevasse below the bottleneck mentioned in the article above. That’s new.

+2
Paul
Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  Farukh Ali

But I think that are the same crevasse, before Camp 4. There was no serious crevasses after Camp 4 / before Bottleneck, and Mingma G never say nothing about crevasses before Bottleneck, don’t know from where Angela took it, there is no source about info.

0
so sad
so sad
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul

the crevasse: https://www.outdoorjournal.com/featured/when-we-unite-nothing-is-impossible-my-story-on-k2/

also “wherever possible, we cut old ropes from previous climbs and used them. Using old ropes and fixing our new 300m rope, we reached 7300m just below the ice section at camp three.”

+1
Paul
Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  so sad

Yes, this is the same crevasse just before Camp 4, after Camp 4 they not report about any crevasse. So in this article is nothing new compared to the one from 23 January.
Mingma G was fixing lines mostly for himself(he was 3 Sherpa independent team), he didn’t have to carry on brand new ropes on all the mountain so I am not surprised that he was using some old ropes that he trusted. Anyone that was going after him and was not happy about the quality of ropes could fix own, new one.

+2
Don Paul
Don Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  so sad

I’ve met hundreds of climbers over the past 30 years, and read climbing stories all the time, but I’ve never heard of anyone doing this before. They don’t know if they’re climbing on ropes from last year, or from the 1990s. At least they cleaned up the route a bit.

+2
damiengildea
Editor
2 months ago
Reply to  Farukh Ali

There at least eight Nepali climbers visible in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkszaawGCi0 The fact that two might have been out of frame, or a bit below, or a bit in front, does not constitute a lack of “evidentiary support of their claim”. So many people accepted the claim of Ueli Steck to solo a new route on Annapurna south face in 2013 but he had NO photos at all of any of the upper mountain, let alone the summit. There is no photo of Edmund Hillary on Everest in 1953 – maybe Tenzing did a self-timer shot on his axe like… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by damiengildea
Candace
Candace
2 months ago
Reply to  damiengildea

Playing “devil’s advocate” for a moment… That video was obviously edited to remove the selfie stick. This opens the door for people to question what other edits might have been made. Why in 2021 did it take so long for videos or even still pics to trickle out?

+1
Jerry Kobalenko
Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  Candace

Candace, at ExWeb we originally thought the video had been edited in post as well, but there are little units, such as the Insta360, that offer that “invisible selfie stick” as an in-camera feature. Still editing, but not quite the same as manipulating in Final Cut Pro.

0
Uttam
Uttam
2 months ago

In their K2 winter summit video, one can clearly see the shadow cast by the selfie-stick and the camera on the Sherpa climber holding it. Also his outstretched right hand constantly reminds one the selfie stick has been “edited out”. Perhaps they naively wanted to provide the world an unobstructed view of their final victory march to the K2 summit, although they need not have done that.

+1
Last edited 2 months ago by Uttam
Meer
Meer
2 months ago
Reply to  Candace

No, the selfie stick is not visible with gopro 360

0
Max Madera
Max Madera
2 months ago
Reply to  damiengildea

Not completely true, as there was one sherpa from 7ST and, perhaps (as gathered from some reports) they were using ropes from other groups as well. If you use other’s material to go up and cut the ropes after you descend, then you certainly deserve more than harsh criticism. Of course I give 0% credibility to those stories. Those guys were descending very quickly very late and after summiting they would gain nothing with such antics, even if they were more competitive and secretive than what is common. I guess it would be interesting to get more details from Sajid,… Read more »

Bulgarian seaman
Bulgarian seaman
2 months ago
Reply to  damiengildea

Excellent point of view, which lead to the following questions: Why these two companies at the BC offering their paying clients 80k€ to go up on the fixed ropes, if the companies itself relying on the Nepalese team to fix the ropes. Please ask this company. 100% there was scandal between them, in the real life they are competitors. As I mentioned long time ago the Chief Sherpa did double strike, advertising the company from the top and top up bank account from the clients. The Nepalese joint venture group are not idiots to be used in such way. I… Read more »

Mikael Funch
Mikael Funch
2 months ago
Reply to  Farukh Ali

Good points here. Its Hard to find a sport more competitive and with such high stakes of life/death. Nepalis had everything to win here on the last Big. Would be unnatural and far to romantic naive to expect gentleman agreements and world unity on this matter up there. Snorri and Co misjudged the weatherforecasts and took some decisions. I bet they all knew that this was a highly competitive game and they were on their own. No one betrayed them, but some information lacked in their group and in the end we still dont know what happend to them after… Read more »

Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago
Reply to  Farukh Ali

Crevasse was not just below bottleneck, but between C3 and C4. Nepali team had to take a different route to reach C4 because of crevasse. Read this article: https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/digital_features/an_oral_history_of_the_first_winter_ascent_of_k2-13368

+2
Helen
Helen
2 months ago
Reply to  Tenzin

And here:
30m below Camp-4, we found a big crevasse which we could not cross. Then we tried finding an alternative way more on the right without any success. Again, we tried a little more on the left – again, no luck. So, we had to come all the way down a bit above Camp-3. From there, we moved more on the left through the Cesen route. We could cross the Serac and reach Camp-4.”
“K2 in Winter for National Pride, Justice and Face-Saving Inheritance…”

0
Abbas
Abbas
2 months ago
Reply to  Farukh Ali

I think the whole fuss around the winter summit is due to the fact that there were ONLY Nepalese up there – in other instances, mostly, you would have a few people (from different countries/groups) corroborating the events (although i do understand that there have been solo summits and we have taken their word for it) .. but this time just because there was a history of the winter attempt literally a year ago which wasn’t fruitful – and the fact that some article shed some negative light on Mingma G (not all the sherpa team – which is wrong)… Read more »

Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago
Reply to  Farukh Ali

After so many speculations and accusations, now it is clear with the new interview of Gorzkowska that Nepali didn’t cut the ropes, in fact kept new ones for the later climbers. About the crevasse, Nepali team mentioned it way before Feb started… it was just before c4 not below bottleneck that they encountered it… if there was a crevasse below bottleneck encountered by later climbers, it must be a new one which nepali team didn’t face. About weather 10 team members reached the summit or not, we will know in time since mingma david in his new interview said he… Read more »

Malik Nasir Khurshid
Malik Nasir Khurshid
2 months ago
Reply to  barbara

Sadpara son Sajid already stated from the first day when return that he say all three climbers last at bottle neck,what tragedy accurs is at bottle neck,how John Sanorri satellite phone gave signal at 7 pm 5 feb it’s a question.

+1
Helen
Helen
2 months ago

A signal close to C3
source in comments here

0
Stephen Frank
Stephen Frank
2 months ago

Just verify ropes were in place, the son can do this. Cutting the ropes and leaving them to freeze in snow cover would be a super villain kind of evil.

+1
Tom
Tom
2 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Frank

Were Nepalis competitive? Sure they were. Were they nationalistic? Sure they were. Did they want the summit just for themselves and not share it with anybody else? It seems so. Did they prevent others from summiting? This question should be answered and I do not blame anybody. Just facts, please.

+6
Farukh Ali
Farukh Ali
2 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Frank

I don’t think son would know what was the condition of ropes on the upper section of bottleneck because he turned back. If the ropes were interrupted before the technical part (bottleneck), they would have chance to return instead of proceeding forward (since they were a small team and were running 2-3 hours behind the schedule).

Again, it’s a theory and we don’t have evidence for missing ropes yet.

+3
Paul
Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  Farukh Ali

But only Sajid is the one that could say anything about the ropes there and he said that the rope was in place. As well, he left at 10am from bottom of the Bottleneck and at 12noon when he saw them last time they was at the beginning of Traverse so it took them less than 2h do climb Bottleneck. The Sherpa Team spent at last 2.5h for climbing Bottleneck.

+4
so sad
so sad
2 months ago

What of the findings from search and rescue in regards to tracing John Snorri’s last telephone call?
https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2021/02/19/ali_john_and_juan_pablo_will_live_forever_in_our_he/

0
Don Paul
Don Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  so sad

I think the family got them from the phone companies, not the army. It’s a dubious claim, and the yes whole thing is so sad.

0
nick
nick
2 months ago

I think you should refrain from repeating the nonsensical tidbits created by Gorzkowska. First she accused her team of poisoning her, now she has some secret information from the Sherpas. Information that somehow only she knows. Are we to believe Gorzkowska that the same Sherpas that were trying to poison her yesterday now suddenly changed their mind and started sharing their intimate lives – with a Polish Instagram climber? And if you have any doubt about what Gorzkowska is all about, go to her Instagram page and note the neglige selfies she posted during her K2 “climbing” expedition. That woman… Read more »

MuddyBoots
MuddyBoots
2 months ago
Reply to  nick

I read the translation of one of Gorzkowska’s interviews, and she mentions being “poisoned” on other expeditions, so I took this to mean food poisoning, a term for the stomach bugs from unsanitary food and water prep, very common on all these expeditions! Since you speak Polish, is this not the case? In that same long interview (on sport.onet.pl) I thought she complimented the Nepali teams capabilities, EXCEPT when she said Mingma G. “lied” to Snorri about whether they were going to the summit, or just checking/readying the high camps. And I suppose she only heard Snorri’s report feelings about… Read more »

Paul
Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  nick

Agree 100%. Gorzkowska is talking lots of stories to media to make everything dramatic. She is not credible at all.

+2
MuddyBoots
MuddyBoots
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Can you post links to any of these interviews? I only found the one on sport.onet.pl, and that was very interesting. I doubt we will ever know what happened, but there should be useful learnings from interviews of climbers who were at, or ascended beyond camp 3. So looking forward to Explorersweb continued reports. I still think this disaster had more to do with the lack of tents and perilously crowded conditions at camp 3 than about any competition or bad actions by the Nepali team. No one has presented even a hint of evidence of rope cutting or removal.… Read more »

Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago

Now this sounds very unlike you. Filled with hatred and jealousy. Western colonization attitude of not being able to digest that an inferior race has done it seems clear. Dont spread rumors. And dont twist things.

+6
Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago
Reply to  Tenzin

Sherpas are not cruel and evil. Rather the opposite. Dont portray them with what you imagine. They are the most compassionate and selfless people. Do you think sherpas will actually cut ropes off if someone was following? Do you really believe that? I feel like you are the one who probably will do that never sherpas. They may joke but they will never actually do such cruel things. Many sherpas have died saving westerners’ asses. Remember that!

+9
Last edited 2 months ago by Tenzin
damiengildea
Editor
2 months ago
Reply to  Tenzin

Sherpas are not cruel and evil. Sherpas are not the ‘opposite’, either. No one group of people can be categorised so simply. That is one of the tools of racism, even if the traditional power imbalance in expedition climbing means that now we want only positive things for the Sherpa people going forward. Sherpas are just people, like the rest of us (albeit with a better genetic and physiological adaption to high altitude!). Some of them are compassionate and selfless, some of them are greedy assholes. Some are ambitious, some are lazy. Some are honest, some are not. Sherpas are… Read more »

Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago
Reply to  damiengildea

To accuse someone or even to spread rumors you need a solid proof. Do that and i will keep quiet.

+2
Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago
Reply to  damiengildea

According to your logic. You cannot praise any country or countrymen. It would be a tool of racism.

+2
Last edited 2 months ago by Tenzin
Gregory
Gregory
2 months ago
Reply to  Tenzin

you’re not getting it are you? There can be good sherpa and bad sherpa, just like in every other group, i.e. Mingma G = bad, Nims = good, for example..

0
Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago
Reply to  Gregory

I understood that. And i agree. But i dont see why praising sherpas as most compassionate would be a tool of racism. It’s like saying Japanese are most disciplined would be a tool of racism. Anyway. I guess i am just frustrated with the way the article is written. It has no solid proofs but only heresies. That’s all. I am sorry if anyone is upset.

+2
World is evil
World is evil
2 months ago
Reply to  Tenzin

Typical Pakistani and their bull shit news and fucking jealous weaterns… Plus none of the Nepalese climbers had forced them to climb the mt.. Loooooooosers pointing fingers as if the dead ones were forced to summit the mt..

0
Last edited 2 months ago by World is evil
Heather D Jones
Heather D Jones
2 months ago

Thus is the way of mountaineering/high altitude climbers. Everyone knows the risks involved, not to say that anything deliberate should ever happen….however, the Nepalese team got a chance to summit and took it. I believe anyone else would have done the same. I feel that Sherpas, etc are excellent climbers in their own right and they are finally able to get a little recognition for what appears to be a sometimes thankless job. If ropes were cut etc, then that would be a heinous thing to do but I don’t know as the team would or could do something like… Read more »

Nat
Nat
2 months ago

https://escalando.eu/24646/gran-polemica-con-la-expedicion-cancelada-de-migma-g-al-k2
An article from last year’s expedition. Quiet interesting claims from Tomaz if you look back.

+1
Peter
Peter
2 months ago
Reply to  Nat

That’s the thing, I was following last years expedition as well… and the thing is, I believe everything that has been said about Mingma G so far. He obviously has some issues with John Snorri and his team, I don’t know if it’s because he “hates westerners” or what it is.. but I wouldn’t trust him for a second.

+1
Nat
Nat
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter

I just re-read this article last week, and I was like ok, he kinda hit the nail on the head last year. Neither would I Peter.

+1
Joanna
Joanna
2 months ago
Reply to  Nat
lima
lima
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter

Mingma G. was diagnosed with pneumonia when he checked himself into a hospital on return. Call it intuition, malaise or selfishness that made him give up the winter K2 2020 expedition, but it saved his life!

+3
Uttam
Uttam
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter

I don’t, for a second, believe in Snorri and Tomaz’s baseless accusations lobbed at Mingma G either. Mingma G made the right call to abort the K2 Winter 2020 expedition citing his health issue (which was diagnosed as pneumonia on his return) and bad weather & bad weather forecast. Even Tomaz Rotar has admitted in his post that the weather was much worse in K2 Winter 2020 than this K2 Winter (2021). There were some other secondary reasons like Kilu Sherpa getting hit by iceblocks and falling into a crevasse, injuring himself. Tomaz (himself a doctor) recommended Kilu be evacuated to a… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Uttam
jajo_majo
jajo_majo
2 months ago

https://www.gore-ljudje.si/Kategorije/Novosti/le-angeli-imajo-krila Here are some interesting facts from Tomaz Rotar who was with Snorri at 8000m and turned back due to a big crevasse en route which he taught was impossible to overcome. He encountered Ali, JP and Sajid on the way down and states that it was nearly impossible that Sajid who was last would catch up with Snorri at that time and also that he was using oxy at that time. However he also puts some doubt on the Nepalis summiting, wich in my opinion is a disgrace and an act out of bitternes and maybe hate towards Mingma… Read more »

Joanna
Joanna
2 months ago
Reply to  jajo_majo

Very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

+1
jajo_majo
jajo_majo
2 months ago
Reply to  Joanna

Thank you. Yes it looks like all of them were using O2, and if I understand correctly they didn’t use the alternative route of the Nepali 10 to bypass the crevasse. So this rises a question how did they manage to get across.

0
Max Madera
Max Madera
2 months ago
Reply to  jajo_majo

These are fairy tales. Tomaz Rotar was not in the expedition this year and, as far as I remember, never reached 8000 meter nor were close to it in the previous winter.

+3
Mat
Mat
2 months ago
Reply to  Max Madera

Tomaz Rotar was of course in expedition this year and his story is by far very realistic. He was never ever bullshiting, always straight and honest.. I was waiting for his lines, especially when he was all the time somewhere in the backstage that even in Slovenia many didn’t know, what he was up to. As I’ve presumed, he mind his business, doing everything just for reaching the top. I’m not surprised, that at the end he was ahead even from Snorri and Sadpara… Quiet guy with oustanding strength and mind, hard to imagine. “Kapo dol” in Slovenian or Hats… Read more »

Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago
Reply to  Mat

Reposting a comment: Mingma G. was diagnosed with pneumonia when he checked himself into a hospital on return. Call it intuition, malaise or selfishness that made him give up the winter K2 2020 expedition, but it saved his life!

0
Uttam
Uttam
2 months ago
Reply to  Mat

What you mean – that Mingma G came up with lame excuses to abort the K2 Winter 2020 expedition? Hogwash! Mingma G was right to abort that expedition citing his health issue (which was diagnosed as pneumonia on his return) and bad weather & bad weather forecast. Even Tomaz Rotar has mentioned in his post that the weather was much worse in K2 Winter 2020 than this K2 Winter. There were some other reasons like Kili Sherpa getting hurt [for which Tomaz (himself a doctor) recommended Kili be taken to Skardu] and another Chinese client quitting. Ordinarily most climbers abandon K2… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Uttam
Max Madera
Max Madera
2 months ago
Reply to  Mat

I apologize. I got it totally wrong talking from memory when I should have checked instead. Indeed this (so far missing) account adds an important piece in the puzzle. Thank you for bringing it here.

0
Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago
Reply to  jajo_majo

The big crevasse is the one also mentioned by Mingma. Not only Rotar but few others also turned back. The fixed line in this passage was put by Mingma, possibly 700 M rope given by John Snorri. First to leave camp 3 was Snorri, followed by an hours delay by Sajid. Ali left an hour after Sajid. Both caught up with Snorri at C4 site. That’s when they came across JP, who was fit and in high spirits. All four made it to bottleneck on fixed ropes.

0
Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago

Not sure if Rotary was there. Some speculate it could be Colin.

0
Don Paul
Don Paul
2 months ago

Did Sajid reach the crevasse? I don’t think he mentioned it. I wonder how Ali, Snorri and Mohr crossed. Maybe a tension traverse on a fixed rope there? Or was there no rope, as Tomaz Rotar says. Is it possible that they fell into the crevasse?

0
Last edited 2 months ago by Don Paul
Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago
Reply to  Don Paul

Yes. He crossed it. That’s why he was at bottleneck. According to him ropes were perfect.

+2
Mountain
Mountain
2 months ago

I do think rope were perfect brother, but there are so many fake news circling around the media. Magdenlina Gorzkowska of Poland , this lady also faking and given such a nonsense interview in their media. News should be fact and verified one. Even a heartless person would not cut rope by impairing their own safety on that weather condition. I do respect Angela opinions but she needs to do thorough research on those personnel who summited K2, and those reached near the top including Sajid Sadpara. News should be fact, not targeting single mountain community in negative way. Another… Read more »

Don Paul
Don Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  jajo_majo

WOW.

0
Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago
Reply to  jajo_majo

Do check the moon quarter on night 4-5 Feb. He talks of full moon.

+1
Helen
Helen
2 months ago

I looked it up after reading the article. There was a waning crescent moon.

0
Joanna
Joanna
2 months ago

Tomaz Rotar doesn’t say anything of full moon, I haven’t found it in translation to Polish (not that far from Slovenian) and from understanding these parts in Slovenian – it’s only said about a moolight (when he meets JP Mohr ascending without a headlamp) and about landing on a Moon (that is easier than getting there where they got – in the beginning of this report). Antonis Sykaris says Tomaz Rotar ‘has come from the crevasse’ and Colin didn’t move from the tent (Colin’s wife wrote about it as well on his instagram on the 4/5th after phone call from… Read more »

Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago
Reply to  Joanna

Thanks

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Tara
Tara
2 months ago
Reply to  Joanna

Right. Rotar turned back at the crevasse since he didn’t know where to cross it, it was impossible at that point. He was just behind Snorri all the way to the crevasse. Snorri continued climbing – searching for a place to cross the crevasse, while Rotar started descending, on the way down met the rest of the four, Sajid being a couple of hours behind Snorri. Google translation from Slovenian to English is just awful, sometimes ridiculous. Sure it’s better just to try to understand by Polish words, it’s similar enough. I think Angela is prepairing an interview with Tomaz… Read more »

MuddyBoots
MuddyBoots
2 months ago
Reply to  jajo_majo

Very interesting piece by Rotar, but wish there was a good translation to English. Google translate is better than nothing, but on some of the fine points Rotar’s story is still not clear (in G-translate). However it sounds like Rotar doesn’t believe that those he met when he turned around or on his descent could have crossed the crevasse. And it is still not clear whether these climbers followed the new route from camp 3 used by the Nepali team, the traditional (summer) route, or something else. But Rotar’s piece is very moving, although I disagree with his questions about… Read more »

jajo_majo
jajo_majo
2 months ago
Reply to  MuddyBoots

They probably folowed the Nepali route, because in the article he states that he is shure that the rope fixed across the crevasse was from the nepali team.
Anyway, an interview with him would be nice to read.

0
MuddyBoots
MuddyBoots
2 months ago
Reply to  jajo_majo

Good point, thanks

0
Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago

This is a detailed oral history of the Nepali k2 climb this winter . Nims posted on his insta story today.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/digital_features/an_oral_history_of_the_first_winter_ascent_of_k2-13368

+3
Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago

Completed a series of interviews and verifications on the K2 Tragedy. Will shortly lay bare my conclusions.

+1
Jajo majo
Jajo majo
2 months ago

Did you talk with Rotar?

0
jajo majo
jajo majo
2 months ago
Reply to  Jajo majo

Because in the link I gave he’s stating that he was with Jon at the crevasse and decited to go down and there are some pretty detailed encounters with others that he mentions one of them beind Sajid at dawn just above C3.

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Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago
Reply to  Jajo majo

Spent hours with Sajid discussing each technical detail. Discussed all grey areas, particularly the cliff/crevasse before C4, ropes and fact that like always, JP was on a solo.

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Max Madera
Max Madera
2 months ago

Great work, Samson! A big thanks from the climbing community. Explorersweb should give you the opportunity to write it here. I have never seen so much input from Nepalese and Pakistanis giving information (and translations, links, etc.) which adds so much to the usual reports.

0
jajo_majo
jajo_majo
2 months ago

Did you talk with anyone beside Sajid?

0
Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago
Reply to  jajo_majo

Tour Operator, Nazir Sabir, Sher Khan and whatever information we are getting here. As blogs keep flooding, so will the fog of war

+1
guwinster
guwinster
2 months ago

I’m ambivalent about the whole rope thing. I doubt the Nepalis cut the ropes. What would be the point? They already summited first, and someone else will inevitably achieve a second winter summit. At best cutting ropes would leave the Nepalis as the only winter summiters for 5-10 years. They won’t be the only winter summiters forever. …and if the Nepalis retrieved the ropes and brought them back down, so what? Obviously the nice thing to do would be to leave the ropes. However a good climbing rope costs at least $2 (USD) per meter, right? If they actually fixed… Read more »

Uttam
Uttam
2 months ago
Reply to  guwinster

With reference to your “If the Nepalis were borrowing that much rope from people …”, what if it was just the other way round? What if John Snorri suggested to Nirmal Purja, “Hey man, here’s my 700 m rope, in case you need it to fix the Bottleneck and the traverse”, and Nims replied, “Sure man, thanks!” Doesn’t remotely sound like Nims borrowing rope from John Snorri to me, when seen from this angle. My point is: How we tell our story or paint a scenario or make assumptions – choosing which climber(s) we want to sympathize with or which… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Uttam
guwinster
guwinster
2 months ago
Reply to  Uttam

I guess my main point is if the Nepalis were using other people’s ropes, those people would be asking about their ropes, and by extension the route itself. Would the Nepalis cut or steal literal kilometers of rope they borrowed from other people? I doubt it. There is a high likelihood they would be found-out in which case they would be blackballed by the high-alt community. In addition to my previous point, I also doubt that Snorri and the Sadparas were uniformed about the crevasse. If Snorri lent the Nepalis some rope, he undoubtedly would ask what they did with… Read more »

Uttam
Uttam
2 months ago
Reply to  guwinster

Fair enough, your main point noted!
I also wonder if, on their way back down from the K2 summit, any of the 10 Nepali Team members ran into Snorri’s team (the trio would have been on the slope somewhere), and if so, whether they had any exchange of words (like Snorri asking: “Hey man what did you do with my rope?” or “What’s the situation like up there?” etc etc).
I think not, otherwise we’d probably have heard about it by now.

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androidapkpure
2 months ago

I’ve met hundreds of climbers over the past 30 years, and read climbing stories all the time, but I’ve never heard of anyone doing this before. They don’t know if they’re climbing on ropes from last year, or from the 1990s. At least they cleaned up the route a bit.

0
Mountain
Mountain
2 months ago

Mountain boy

0
Mountain
Mountain
2 months ago

I have been reading Angela article for nearly 2 months now. She seems totally bias with the news and wants to destroy reputation of Nepali mountaineers. First of all, I don’t think they would cut the rope cuz they have to descend down, another point is they would never do it cuz they are professionals climber and someone would find later they damage the rope. Also, they already summited and were first climber. Cutting rope doesn’t make any sense. If you look Nims history back, he has rescued a lot with his team, even gave his oxygen in above 8000… Read more »

Yuriy
Yuriy
2 months ago

It’s been more than a month after the event, but it seems some people can’t reconcile with the fact that the Nepali team conquered K2 in the winter. There is a series of the articles on this website with statements of “lack of details”, pushing of discussions about irrelevant issues (crevasse, ropes, selfie stick etc) and igniting unnecessary controversies. Do we need a detailed report from them describing every single step on the mountain? They summited, provided enough evidence and should get all the credit for the achievement. There are questions about the Snorri’s team, but it has nothing to… Read more »

Phipu
Phipu
2 months ago

This is not a hike in a national park, where rangers are responsible for your safety. This is also not a client – customer relationship between the Nepali summiter’s and the other climbers. So they have absolutely no obligation to secure the route, set fixed ropes or mark dangers on the route. Sure they can make agreements but we never heard of it. That means other climbers are responsible for their own safety. It’s their obligation to ask if they want information. It’s their obligation to set fixed ropes to make the descent alive. It’s their task to analyze the… Read more »

Yuriy
Yuriy
2 months ago
Reply to  Phipu

Snorri and co tried their luck 3 weeks after Sherpa’s attempt. At that time the terrain could have looked entire different (crevasse bigger or smaller, new crevasses, ropes damaged or gone), so the previous tips on the route might have been totally unhelpful. They were on their own, developing a new route and plans and making their own decisions.

+4
Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago

To bring more truth into my story telling, all of you can communicate with me on samson.sharaf@gmail.com including google meet. I am also on https://www.facebook.com/samson.sharaf/ and https://twitter.com/Samson_Sharaf

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Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago

On 5 February 2021 as John Snorri, Muhamad Ali Sadpara, Sajid Sadpara and Juan Pablo Mohr were challenging K2, a plume of cloud hung over the summit. As events unfolded, this plume became the dreaded K2 weather. With many contrasting and conflicting statements by those who returned from Camp 3 and 4 on that fateful night, and the fake news media, my effort is to clear the ‘Fog of War’, dig out facts and tell a story closest to reality. 
https://sharafs.wordpress.com/2021/02/23/clearing-the-plume-k2-winter-2020-21/

+1
Yuriy
Yuriy
2 months ago

Thanks for your report. So Sherpas turned out not so evil as described by some – they left ropes and briefed other teams on the crevasse.

When the Nepali climbers encountered that crevasse on their way up they couldn’t cross it and had to descend almost to C3 and then fix the new route in order to avoid the crevasse. According to Sajid it has widened in 3 weeks, but they “sprinted and jumped across it”. Something doesn’t add up here…

0
Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago
Reply to  Yuriy

You are talking of crevasses before camp 4. Sajid mentions crevesse before Bottleneck. Two different locations

+1
Yuriy
Yuriy
2 months ago

Thanks for this clarification.

0
Joanna
Joanna
2 months ago

Thank you very much for this report! So Tomaz Rotar mixed the order of when he met who of the four climbers when he was descending from the crevasse? And Snorri-Sadparas team had 1 tent in C3, not 2 as Antonis Sykaris said? Was it B.L. with 2 Sherpas with them in that tent on the evening of the 4th? In Polish newspaper today in an article explaining the “cutting ropes joke” it’said (on the basis of their interview with Ali Sadpara’s menager Rao Ahmad) that the Nepalis told Sajid they go for a summit push when they met in… Read more »

MuddyBoots
MuddyBoots
2 months ago

Super work, Samson! Thank you! Can you clarify a couple things to help make fitting various accounts together clear and without a doubt? Just trying to make sure I understand this correctly. 1) The Sadpara/Snorri team and Mohr followed the new route and lines, installed by the Nepalis, around the huge crevasse between camps 3 and 4 with no problems…correct? 2) Then these climbers found that a smaller crevasse before the Bottleneck, reported by the Nepalis and fixed with rope, had in fact widened in the weeks between these attempts. Rotar considered this higher crevasse impassable, but the Sadparas and… Read more »

Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago

John snori team fixed ropes till camp 1… from there on nepali team fixed all the way… i wonder if Mingma g borrowing ropes from JS is true also… i didn’t hear anything about that in nepali team interviews.

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Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago

@Joanna, 1. And Snorri-Sadparas team had 1 tent in C3, not 2 as Antonis Sykaris said? Was it B.L. with 2 Sherpas with them in that tent on the evening of the 4th? Sajid told me that Snorri, Ali Sadpara and He were sharing only one tent in C3. Because of the mismanagement by Seven Summits, there was a crises and they shared the tent with two Sherpas and one European climber. He does not know his name, but was known to Snorri. He also complained about the Oxygen Regulators. 2.  Nepalis told Sajid they go for a summit push… Read more »

Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago

Thank you for your research

0
Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago

About weather reports and how others were left behind. I will post here an excerpt from Mingma G interview… “Our plan was to meet at C3 on the 14th. There were a few foreign friends, they were following our plan too. We got a weather report on the 14th which was very accurate, but there was some problem with the foreign group’s weather report, predicting winds at 7,000m or so at 60 km/h, but our report was predicting very good weather on the 14th. So the rest of the climbers stayed at C2, but my team and Team Nimsdai continued… Read more »

Tenzin
Tenzin
2 months ago

Some excerpts from Mingma G interview regarding dates of fixing ropes… “Before us there was only John Snorri’s team in BC from Iceland. They were at BC almost two weeks prior to us. When we reached BC on the 18th, they had fixed the lines to C1…” “On 21 December my team started our plan. We didn’t want to cause controversy because lots of people follow different calendars, some follow the astronomical calendar and some follow the meteorological. The astronomical window starts from 20 December, so we wanted to start from 21 December and we went to C1 with very… Read more »

Uttam
Uttam
2 months ago

Read in Alan Arnette’s blog that Snorri’s 700m lines were used by Nims to fix Bottleneck and the traverse. I guess then this was the same rope that Sajid handed to Mingma G’s Sherpa(s) at C2, yes???

0
Samson Simon Sharaf
2 months ago
Reply to  Uttam

Yes

0
MuddyBoots
MuddyBoots
2 months ago

Many thanks for this detailed interview and explanation, and sincere thanks to Sajid. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for Sajid to go over these details so soon after the death of his father and climbing companion Snorri. Hopefully Sajid’s willingness to discuss this with you will end some of the ridiculous conspiracy-mongering we have read and heard. You are of course very correct to limit your piece to beyond Camp 3, but many of us still believe that the horrendous conditions there sapped the strength, and time, from the climbers. And that makes this tragedy not only sad,… Read more »

Mountain
Mountain
2 months ago

Thank you,Samson Simon Sharaf for providing fact news. It has cleared up many questions lingering up on my mind. As there are so much fake news circling around and people are not doing proper research. No one can deny there was obviously competition and it’s human nature.But, Nepali team has not cut rope, I personally think noone does that evil act. It’s nice to know that they fix the rope upto top and also share information with Sajid . Mountain is a dangerous sports and due to weather condition and other reason Ali Sadpara, Snori and Paulo couldn’t return back… Read more »