K2: Away They Go; Some Already Behind Schedule

K2 Winter 8000ers
Sajid Sadpara summited K2 in summer 2019 at age 20, becoming the youngest ever to climb the world's second highest mountain. Now he takes it up a notch by trying it in winter, without extra oxygen. Photo: Elia Saikaly
There are 27 climbers, including Sherpas, currently heading for the summit of K2, Seven Summit Treks told ExplorersWeb. According to plans, they should be resting either in Camp 1 (6,000m) or 100m below, in the so-called Japanese Camp 1.
No-O2 climbers Juan Pablo Mohr and Tamara Lunger left Base Camp today at 5 am local time hoping to reach Camp 2. They wanted to keep one step ahead of the main group on the lower slopes, figuring that they would slow down higher up and so reach the top around the same time as everyone else. But that plan is already in disarray, as Mohr’s tracker shows that the pair eventually stopped at Camp 1 (6,085m) for the night.
Their next moves are uncertain. Originally, they were the only team intending to pitch a Camp 4 on the mountain, where they planned to rest briefly before their final summit effort and perhaps also on the way down. The only sure thing is that all 27 climbers have set Friday, February 5 as their summit day. Everyone knows that the winds will start picking up again on the afternoon of February 6 and that the clock is ticking.

Tamara Lunger grabs a few last hours of rest in Base Camp before setting off. Photo: Tamara Lunger

John Snorri and the Sadparas, better-acclimatized thanks to their long stay and early work on the mountain, have spent the day in BC, resting and commemorating Ali Sadpara’s 46th birthday. “There was little time to celebrate since we are getting ready to leave tomorrow at 4 am,” said Sadpara.
Like Mohr and Lunger, they hope to skip C1 and push all the way to C2, located below House’s Chimney, at around 6,500. Note that there is also a higher Camp 2 at 6,750m, above the Chimney.
The relatively low location of Snorri’s Camp 2 suggests an exhausting journey on Thursday: At 8 am, they surmount the Chimney and the Black Pyramid until reaching Camp 3, at around 7,300m. After a short rest,  the three climbers set off at 9 pm the same day, under a waning moon, toward the summit. “We estimate it will take us 15 to 16 hours to reach the summit by noon local time on Friday,” said Snorri.
Both Ali and Sajid Sadpara have said they will not use supplementary O2, except in a medical emergency. John Snorri remains undecided, but the team’s oxygen masks were blown away by the wind last week, complicating their situation. It is unclear whether they have been able to borrow spare masks from others in Base Camp.

Some of the summit-bound climbers on SST’s permit, earlier today. Photo: Magdalena Gorzkowska (middle, gigantic orange suit)

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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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Walid Hamadeh
Walid Hamadeh
10 months ago

Hey Angela, keep those updates flying in as the attempt of the second batch of climbers for a K2 summit during winter 2020/21 is as exciting as the Nepalis one. They all demand the world’s respect as they attempt to conquer one of the most dangerous summits that nature have gifted. Climb on with success!!!

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Luke
Luke
10 months ago

Yee! More selfies! Awesome!

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K2 Summit Photographer
K2 Summit Photographer
10 months ago

Tourist galore!

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Naveed
Naveed
10 months ago

so where are the photos?

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jmaf
jmaf
10 months ago

Anyone who makes it up and down that beast of a mountain in winter can’t be categorized as a tourist. Maybe not purist, but definitely not tourist.

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