Winter Expeditions Make Steady Progress on K2 — The Adventure Blog

Ropes Fixed to Camp 4

Four teams have converged on K2 this winter, all with the same goal. The climbers on each of those squads are hoping to make history by completing the first winter ascent of the mountain. It remains the only 8000-meter peak that has yet to be climbed during the coldest, harshest season of them all. And despite being a major focal point of several major expeditions over the past few years, K2 has turned back all challengers.

The Mountain Takes its Toll

While progress has been surprisingly swift already this season, K2 hasn’t been all that accommodating to all of the climbers. EXplorers Web is reporting that Polish climber Waldemar Kowalewski has been evacuated from the mountain after suffering a hernia while carrying gear up to Advanced Base Camp. It is the second time in three years that Kowalewski has seen his K2 efforts cut short due to injury.

Is This The Year?

Early progress and success has many observers wondering if this will be the year that K2 will finally be climbed in winter. It is indeed encouraging to see that the strongest climbers have already reached Camp 4, a place that few others have ever reached during the winter months. Despite this early progress however, it is important to keep things in perspective.

The Battle had Only Just Begun

The recent long stretch of relatively good weather has allowed for outstanding progress on K2 thus far. That weather window is about to close however, which means things are about to get a lot more challenging. When conditions are extremely bad-which is often on K2 in winter-there is little more to do then sit in your tent in BC and wait for conditions to improve. That can take days or even weeks sometimes, sapping both physical and mental strength along the way.

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The Adventure Blog

The Adventure Blog

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The Adventure Blog is a collection of personal stories, news, and gear reviews about a range of topics related to adventure travel, outdoor sports, and ecology.