(Newsdesk/TS) Less than one month ago it was announced that K2 will get a rare winter attempt this season. Today exciting details arrived regarding the route and expanded team.
All successful North side summits on K2 have been through the North or Nortwest Ridge while the North Face and the North East approach from China are unclimbed.
The K2 Winter team will try a new route from the North Side. The itinerary is as follows:
• ABC (4650 meter)
• C1 (5500 meter) at the bottom of an "ice-fall".
• C2 (6200 meter) at the bottom of two gigantic "steps" leading up to..
• C3 (7200 meter) just below the wall leading up to NorthEast ridge.
• C4 (7600 meter) and C5 (8150 meter ) both on the ridge.
• Summit (8611 meter).
At the NorthEast ridge the line joins the American 1978 route for the last 1000 altitude meters to the summit. The Americans left the ridge below the summit and traversed the upper East Face to join Abruzzi, it's not clear yet how the 2014 expedition plan to approach the summit. Read the American expedition report here.
• Denis Urubko - Russia
• Artiom Braun - Russia
• Dmitry Siniew - Russia
• Adam Bielecki - Poland
• Alex Txikon - Spain
After recent winter successes on Broad Peak and the Gasherbrums only 8000ers Nanga Parbat and - the Grand Prize - K2 remain winter unclimbed. While Nanga Parbat has had several attempts, last time (2011/12) someone tried K2 was a veteran Russian team that aborted after losing a climber to the frigid mountain. Interestingly, Russianclimb.com reports a strong team of Russians will go for Nanga Parbat as well this year.
The most seasoned of the 2014 K2 winter expedition, in 2003 Denis Urubko made a winter attempt on K2 led by winter climber Polish Krzysztof Wielicki. Denis was selected for the final summit push as one in a team of two but had to abort the climb high up to rescue his mate. He left his ice axe at the turning point, around C4, hoping to one day come back for it.
In 2007 Denis returned to K2 with a friend and summited the peak via the North Pillar in its latest summit yet.
Check out ExWeb's interview with Urubko about these and other winter climbs (Makalu and G2).
Polish Adam Bielecki has two winter firsts: GI and Broad Peak, and he also climbed K2 in the summer of 2012 on the normal route.
Spanish Txikon was part of Goschl's fateful G1 winter attempt and later made it to 7100 on K2 via the Abruzzi Spur.
*Urubko was born son to a Russian family in the North of Caucasus. He moved to Kazakhstan in early 90s and became an officer in the Kazakhstan Army. He then moved back to Russia, and renewed his Russian citizenship.
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