A ten-strong all-Nepali team has achieved the coveted first winter ascent of K2 (8611m), the last of the fourteen eight-thousand-metre peaks to be summited in the winter season. The ascent was a joint effort from three separate teams of Nepali climbers who united 'to make Nepal and its climbing community proud', marking significant progress from the traditional Sherpa role as porters to becoming self-sufficient climbers capable of organising and leading their own expeditions. The summit group consisted of Nirmal 'Nimsdai' Purja and his team of Gelje Sherpa, Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Pem Chhiri Sherpa and Dawa Temba Sherpa; Mingma Gyalje Sherpa and his team including Dawa Tenzin Sherpa and Kili Pemba Sherpa, and Sona Sherpa who was part of the Seven Summits Treks team.
Amazing effort, I think a number of them weren't using supplemental oxygen which is good to see. They seem to have moved very quickly for a team setting fixed rope.
Great news. It seems fitting that this went to an all-Nepali team. I hope they all make it back down safely.
> “It seems fitting that this went to an all-Nepali team”
Because they have played such a huge part over the decades massively supporting western climbers in many high altitude achievements while rarely taking the limelight themselves.
> They seem to have moved very quickly for a team setting fixed rope.
I imagine they have had a lot of practice!
Sad news from K2 as well. Sergi Mingote now reported dead in a fall. His GPS tracker showed one very long straight line down, I hoped it was just a fluke. Alas, not.
Good that's they've done it on a date that makes astronomical verses metrological winter debate irrelevant as well.
Have heard no mention of supplementary oxygen... presuming they used it. Does anyone know?
Great that it is making the non-climbing media:
Does it matter at this stage any more than whether they used Diamox or fixed ropes or choppered into base camp, for example?
> Does it matter at this stage any more than whether they used Diamox or fixed ropes or choppered into base camp, for example?
I would say so, very much.
and near top of front page of bbc news
First of all, this accomplishment appears to be overshadowed by unfortunate and unrelated death of experienced Spanish climber Sergi Mingote as he descended on K2.
Apart from that, we'll have to wait for details on exactly how this climb was conducted.
My understanding, from Alan Arnette's blog, is that they had at least some members working hard with oxygen, and perhaps others without oxygen...but none of that is confirmed.
Many other "firsts" still await...the first without oxygen (if oxygen was used on this ascent), the first solo...and so on. These are meaningful distinctions, for people who operate in this world.
But that does note take away from the amazing accomplishment and spirit of this combined team.
To me, it truly seems like a first, with both mountaineering, cultural, and historical significance.
A Facebook link to a news site (Kathmandu Herald?) said they carried supplemental oxygen but no reports as to who used it and who didn’t. At least one picture close to the summit (captioned “done”)showed a climber not using o2.
in any case, how about them waiting a few metres below the summit, so that all 10 could summit together? Sheer class.
> To me, it truly seems like a first
For me it's more of a last The last great climbing challenge, in my opinion, truly closing a major chapter in history. Everything else is more of a technical first.
> in any case, how about them waiting a few metres below the summit, so that all 10 could summit together? Sheer class.
This really made it for me... exactly the sort of true comradery and gentlemanliness that has been lacking in recent years. In a world of Colin Bloody Bravado Bradys, these chaps have really showed how it should be done.
No better way to finish the 8000er chapter than a multi-team summit of Nepalese Sherpas who waited for each other. I popped the bubbly tonight in their honour.
Would also be nice if some credit went to the Hunza people locally as well - awesome porters - a shame there wasn't a Pakistani on the team.
They way Nepal is getting all the props you'd think K2 was in Nepal !!!!
Just seen this on the BBC news.
10 meters from the summit singing the National Anthem before reaching the top. Inspiring.
Truly herculean achievement for a nation with "The Best" unsung mountaineers in the world.
> Would also be nice if some credit went to the Hunza people locally as well - awesome porters - a shame there wasn't a Pakistani on the team.
I suspect there wouldn't be many Hunza porters, since the people of the general area are Balti 😉