Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards are currently on expedition to Gasherbrum II, Pakistan.
The peak, which at 8035m is the 13th highest on Earth, has never been climbed in winter.
GII was first climbed by an Austrian expedition; Fritz Moravec, Josef Larch and Hans Willenpart reached the summit on July 8th 1956.
Simone Moro is the expedition leader and is a well known Italian alpinist, having been on over 40 expeditions,, including the first winter ascents of Shishapangma (2005) and Makalu (2009).
The team have just reached base camp at 5000m using a military helicopter, but from here they are climbing alpine style - fast and light. If they succeed this will be the first winter ascent of an 8,000m peak in the Karakoram - without sherpas, porters, and oxygen.
In preparation for their ascent the team have just acclimatised on Khosar Gang (6400m).
Moro commented on the expedition blog:
"Today in a very stormy and cold weather we started from C1 for the summit push of Khosar Gang 6400m (but 6000/6100 in reality). We arrived very near to the summit on the col between the shoulder and the summit but I aborted the final effort because Cory was frozen and really in danger to get serious frostbite. So instead to send him down alone I ordered to Denis to stop in that place and go down all together. Cory appreciated a lot... and also Denis understood that Khosar gang was an acclimatization Peak and not our goal and it was important to stay all together avoiding serious risk like frostbite or get lost (it was cloudy and foggy with strong wind and I was not of the idea to leave cory alone coming down). Anyway now we are happy, safe, shaved and clean and in 2 days we should fly by helicopter to our real main goal. I and Denis feel very strong and also Cory is fit. Today for example we did 1200mt up and 4000 down.... The base of the mountain is 2000m and the top 6100m. We did nearly 7000m positive in very few days with no acclimatization..."
The Expedition is sponsored by The North Face