A score of international climbers from all over the world has reached Pakistan to climb K2, summit-world’s second-highest peak this winter season.
Nearly 80 climbers will set on the expedition to scale the K2 summit amid extreme weather challenges, risking their lives to claim the precious award in the realm of mountaineering. Climbers from 15 countries including Nepal, United States, Spain, Iceland, and other countries have reached Gilgit-Baltistan to climb K2.
Interestingly, K2 is the only mountain peak left in the list of the world’s 14 peaks rising above 8000 meters, to be scaled in winters.
#K2 – 2nd highest mountain in the world and star of my book COLD HORIZON – is the last of the world’s 14 highest peaks not yet scaled in winter. Right now, 4 expeditions have set their sights on claiming this prize. Nearly 60 climbers will be there this winter. #K2winter2021 pic.twitter.com/D7aDe68jCC
— Author Kristy McCaffrey (@McCaffreyKristy) December 16, 2020
In winters, avalanches are more frequent with the temperature dropping to -65C while the winds blow at a gushing speed. Nearly 86 climbers have died while climbing the peak over the years, hence it is nicknamed ‘Killer Mountain’ of the world.
11 mountaineers from an international expedition had lost their lives in 2008 while scaling the summit, becoming one of the worst incidents in the history of mountaineering.
Nepali mountaineer, Chyang Dawa Sherpa, will lead the international expedition. In his interview with Arab News Pakistan, he said he is excited to lead the international expeditions. He said he is wishing to make this mountaineering dream come true.
The mountaineers/members of #K2Winter2021 expedition praying for safe & successful ascent of #K2 prior to their departure from #Skardu. pic.twitter.com/L81bNpJCMc— Tourist Police Gilgit-Baltistan (@GBPolice1422) December 24, 2020
When asked if he was afraid to attempt the winter summit of the K2. He said: “This is a mountain … it’s risky, there is danger … Sometimes airplanes also crash but people don’t stop flying. In mountaineering [it is] also the same: some people [go] missing, some accidents [happen] but we don’t care. We keep trying.”
About 60 climbers from 20 countries, including #Swiss🇨🇭mountain guide #JosetteValloton, are tackling the 2nd highest mountain on earth. Winter climbing on the 8,611-meter-high #K2 is a big challenge. I wish them good luck! #K2winter2021 @northerner_the @KrisAnnapurna https://t.co/mvMrT8z6M0— Ambassador Bénédict de Cerjat (@SwissAmbPak) December 22, 2020
Gilgit-Baltistan Tourism Director, Iqbal Hussain, informed that three teams of climbers had been given permits for the K2 expedition this winter.
“Two teams of climbers have kicked off their expeditions while the third team, comprising more than fifty members from over fifteen countries, will leave Skardu on December 21,” he said.
Hussain said that the trekking business in Pakistan has again gained momentum since 2017.
“Despite the fear of coronavirus, three international teams are vying to defeat K2 in the winter,” Hussain said. “This is a good omen for Pakistan’s tourism sector.”
Pakistani mountaineer, Ali Sadpara and his son Sajid Sadpara have reached and are also set to scale the summit in another team. They are accompanied by a climber from Iceland, John Snorri.