Winter K2 Team On the Move — To the Summit?

The team on K2 is on the move, and this time the goal is — well, as far up as possible.
The frontline team of Chhiring Sherpa, Dawa Sherpa, Furi Sherpa, Ngimatendi Sherpa, and Ningma Dorje Tamang left today at 1 am, intending to pass by ABC and reach Camp 1. They will fix above Camp 2 as they go. Nima Gyalzen and Muhammad Sharif will follow with Grace Tseng one day later.

Climbing around a serac. Frame of a video by Nima Gyalzen Sherpa

 

“The guides will fix Camp 3 and above,” reported outfitter Summit Karakoram. While no one is uttering the words “summit push”, guide Nyma Gyalzen Sherpa recently implied that given the time constraints, their next move might be all the way to the top.

They had wanted to set up Camp 3 on their previous rotation three days ago, but strong winds pushed them back down from Camp 2.

For their plan to succeed, they will need a long spell of unusually gentle weather — five to six days, said Gyalzen. Multimodel forecasts, such as the one by Meteoexploration.com below, show dry conditions, but also high winds on the upper sections.

Weather forecast on the summit of K2 (8,611m) shows dry but windy conditions.

Decision time at Camp 3

The guides should be able to reach Camp 2 tomorrow and start fixing up the Black Pyramid toward Camp 3. Once (and if) they get there, they will pitch the tents and supply the camp with gear, fuel, and oxygen. Then they will have to make some important decisions. Should they try to get higher? If so, should they set up a fourth camp?

The Nepali team that summited K2 last winter didn’t use one, but they were a large, strong team climbing in astonishingly good weather. On the other hand, we will never know if the tragic end to the second summit push on February 5, 2021 would have ended differently with a Camp 4 in place.

Angela Benavides is a journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news working with ExplorersWeb.com.

Angela Benavides has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of national and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporates, press manager and communication executive, radio reporter and anchorwoman, etc. Experience in Education: Researcher at Spain’s National University for Distance Learning on the European Commission-funded ECO Learning Project; experience in teaching ELE (Spanish as a Second Language) and transcultural training for expats living in Spain.

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Rodrigo
Rodrigo
4 months ago

Last year, based on the information we have, the only one who might have had a chance to survive was JP Mohr if there had been a camp 4

blabla
blabla
4 months ago
Reply to  Rodrigo

You cannot draw such a conclusion based on the information we have and we have no idea what would have happened.
What if they had started the summit push a day later from an already set-up camp 4?

Rodrigo
Rodrigo
4 months ago
Reply to  blabla

I do not draw conclusions but it seems reasonable to set up a camp 4 and minimize risks in the face of any eventuality

Thrill seeker
Thrill seeker
4 months ago

After the horrible end to the 2021 K2 winter climb, I wouldn’t think there would be a mad rush to try it again so soon.
Three strong climber’s were no match for the Savage mountain once the winds began to blow.

Jahan
Jahan
4 months ago

I hope climbers make wise and realistic decisions and don’t take any unnecessary risk just for the sake of summit.

Thrill seeker
Thrill seeker
4 months ago
Reply to  Jahan

That would be rare…..

Non influence
Non influence
4 months ago
Reply to  Jahan

Grace only doing it for Instagram she paid the sherpa to bring her up as fast as possible xD

Asghar Ali Porik
4 months ago

The Sherpas are pushing too hard in a short period of time, but needs to follow the nature voice. One can not make their own decisions when the mountain is not ready. Specifically when the mountain name is K2