Winter K2: High Winds Delay Summit Push

Winter K2 climbers have endured cold and high winds at Camp 3 at 7,300m for four days already.
Sherpas managed to fix ropes and pitch Camp 4 yesterday, despite these rough conditions, then returned to Camp 3. The entire team planned to leave for the summit this evening, but high winds have kept everyone in their tents.

“With the gusts of more than 40kph and concerns over time and safety, the team has decided to stay at Camp 3 today,” Nima Gyalzen wrote. “Depending on the weather tomorrow and the day after, [we] will decide whether to go for the summit or descend.”

Grace Tseng displays her frost-covered glasses. Photo: Grace Tseng

Oxygen supplies may eventually become an issue, since climbers are probably using O2 in Camp 3, at least intermittently.

It’s now or never

Grace Tseng and her team can afford to wait one more day, but a new summit push is out of the question if they want to claim a winter ascent. Local outfitter Summit Karakoram told ExplorersWeb that everyone is due to leave the mountain by Monday or Tuesday at the latest. The porters are already on their way to retrieve the expedition gear. Their trek to Base Camp will take four days.

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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Praeriepanther
Praeriepanther
3 months ago

40 kph should be more than feasible with oxygen. You can wait forever for the winds to go below 40 on winter K2. People climb without O2 in 40 kph winds on 8000.

chris
chris
2 months ago
Reply to  Praeriepanther

I know right! I do a little hill walking also and when it gets windy I just put on my hood. What are they waiting for? When I go for a walk I just go.. I mean people walk without o2 in the winds at 8000 ft all the time

Praeriepanther
Praeriepanther
2 months ago
Reply to  chris

If you do not know anything about the person whose comment you question, do some research. I’ve been into climbing for 32 years. What I wrote above is legit. Ask any well known high altitude climber.

F v
F v
3 months ago

Next week return of the yet stream high winds so it is now or get out of there