It’s a Go for Winter K2, But is There Enough Time?

Grace Tseng of Taiwan and the Nepali team aiming for Winter K2 are finally on the move.

Outfitter Dolma Expeditions told ExplorersWeb that problems with visas have seriously delayed the beginning of the climb. But the Nepali members are flying to Pakistan today. According to her posts on social media, so is Tseng.

The team will start the approach trek as soon as possible and should arrive at Base Camp next week.

Still, the odds are against this unusual project. The expedition is entirely focused on young Tseng achieving the first female ascent of Winter K2 (after the first summit last year), and ticking off one more stage on her 14×8,000’ers quest.

Grace Tseng in Nepal last year. Photo: Grace Tseng

Time is running out

Time is clearly against them. The end of meteorological winter, and winter climbing permits, is only six weeks away. Even if they extended their permit till the end of calendar winter, weather windows will be extremely scarce.

The small team size will hinder them. The eight-member team will probably have to rely on old ropes fixed by previous expeditions and they will have to pitch and supply the four high-altitude camps on the route.

Tseng has no climbing partners. Instead, she has hired a strong Nepali team led by Nima Gyalzen. The team includes Chhiring Sherpa, Dawa Sherpa, Furi Sherpa, Ngima Tendi, Ningma Dorje Tamang, and Tashi Sherpa.

This formula worked perfectly for her last fall on Kangchenjunga. There, they had weather and conditions on their side. The Kangchenjunga team also included Gelje Sherpa, who would have been a good fit for K2, since he is one of the 11 climbers who bagged the first winter ascent a year ago. Unfortunately for Tseng, Gelje is currently engaged in a winter project of his own: a new route on Cho Oyu from the peak’s Nepali side.

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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Don Paul
Don Paul
4 months ago

John Long wrote a book called the Icarus Syndrome, about the mythological story of an angel getting too close to the sun. Another metaphor is a moth attracted to a flame. For some people, living on the edge is the only way to live a fulfilling life. Others play a game of Russian roulette, also known as “circling the drain,” which is a kind of suicidal attitude and easier decision to make than actually pulling the trigger. Where Grace Tseng falls on this spectrum, we shall soon see, since “time is running out.”

Apy
Apy
4 months ago
Reply to  Don Paul

Is this what is called “hubris”? In Greek tragedy this excessive pride towards or defiance of the gods led to nemesis, the downfall. I fear that this will be the fate of Grace, as well as the other impatient climbers on Manaslu… Let’s pray that nothing untoward happens to them.

Apy
Apy
4 months ago
Reply to  Apy

She’s off…
https://www.instagram.com/p/CYouUCPv4Bc/?utm_medium=copy_link
Courageous or foolhardy. Time will tell.

Ronald
Ronald
4 months ago
Reply to  Apy

Not sure if this has anything to do with pride or more with selfconfidence or just seeing what she can accomplish with a good team. I just really think she wont make the summit, only 1 team ever accomplished that as we all know and that was a combination of extreme strong climbers, very good weather window and determination and even they almost all had a bit of frostbite etc. I also agree with Apy with the crew on Manaslu, i am afraid an accident is bound to happen. Lets just hope it wont. Good luck to all of them.… Read more »

Old dude
Old dude
4 months ago

I am so happy this is ON. I love following these climbs! Grace is obviously not a novice and has a team supporting her. They will assess conditions and make decisions based on what’s best. Why question her motivation, suggesting its pride. When a man does it he’s being brave. She wants to try, I pray she makes it. What a Rhino to bag!!

Taiwanese Dude
Taiwanese Dude
4 months ago

Glad Grace classifies her as Taiwanese and not Chinese

Non influence
Non influence
4 months ago

Trying to be part of the climbing community as non expirience in the mountains before and then go for a winter climb? I ask myself wth happens in this community

jajo_majo
jajo_majo
4 months ago
Reply to  Non influence

instagram

Updates
Updates
4 months ago

Has anyone considered the visa delays due to tensions of political nature in mountaineering lately in the view(s) of host country? Sometimes goals don’t matter, if hurting the feelings and sensibilities of others. Some of the hurts: Hurt and humiliation of Sajid? Promises to Sajid by way too many elite mountaineering names saying they help Sajid summer 2021 K2 to (1) search for clues of his father (2) assist with rope clean-up, and waste clean-up, but they not show up, of if there, not help. Certain rescue (Sajid there too) where climbers say some words that hurt host country? And… Read more »

Updates
Updates
4 months ago
Reply to  Updates

Then…. the Jan 2021 Winter K2 stopped short of the true summit, by 30 feet… so reaching the true top, by anyone, could break the record of Jan 16, 2021 K2 Winter:

“All ten climbers stopped 30-feet below the summit on a relatively safe spot (still on a 40-degree snow slope at 28,200-feet) so that they could summit together in a sign of solidarity. No individual was listed as first.”

Updates
Updates
4 months ago
Reply to  Updates

Unless…. the evidence collection of cameras, etc. found Summer2021 K2 by Sajid, etc., can gain some evidence of a Februay 2021 Winter K2 summit

Caravaggio
Caravaggio
3 months ago
Reply to  Updates

I think you didnt understand the own citation you have posted….

Lenore Jones
Lenore Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  Updates

They stopped there until they could all proceed to the summit together. Which they did. There is film of it. I’m less knowledgeable about the rest of your claims, but if you misunderstood what you quoted so badly, then I am not going to trust the rest of it, either.

Caravaggio
Caravaggio
3 months ago

Acordding to the comments’ between the lines already posted, her fault is to be rich and beautiful.

She should just be partying, drinking some champagne or driving Ferraris in Monte Carlo. Maybe a jury spot in Miss Universe pageant.

Get a life, people.

Last edited 3 months ago by Caravaggio