Nepalese climbers make historic winter ascent from K2
A team of 10 Nepalese climbers reached the summit of K2, the second highest peak in the world, on January 16. The mountain had never been successfully climbed in winter.
Led by Chhang Dawa Sherpa, a group of local climbers including Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Nirmal Purja, Gelje Sherpa, Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Pem Chhiri Sherpa, Kilu Pemba Sherpa, Dawa Tenjing Sherpa and Sona Sherpa achieved together , greeted above by a temperature of -40 ° F. Gelje Sherpa completed the feat without the help of additional oxygen.
The imposing mountain, which rises to an altitude of 8,610 km, is often referred to as “the wild mountain” because of its difficulty. K2 claims roughly the life of one climber out of four climbers reaching the summit – Spanish mountaineer Sergio Mingote died on the same day as the historic thrust after falling into a crevasse during his descent.
By 2018, 86 of the 367 summiteers had died.
The treacherous mountain was inundated by dozens of climbers this winter, all trying to hit the record. Initially, the Nepalese mountaineers were on competing teams trying to reach the historic summit, but then formed a core group of 10 that banded together.
“We are proud to have been part of human history and to show that collaboration, teamwork and a positive mental attitude can set limits to what we believe is possible,” said Nirmal Purja.
The Nepal team’s record-breaking winter summit was especially significant as Sherpas, the locals known for bringing outsiders to the top of the region’s soaring peaks, completed the push themselves. And all the climbers stopped 30 feet below the summit to show solidarity – no one was listed as the first to reach the top.
“Nepalis have been helping foreigners reach the peaks of the Himalayas for decades, but we haven’t received the recognition we deserve,” said Kami Rita Sherpa, the man with the record for most Everest peaks, which took place on May 24th reached 21, 2019. “It is wonderful that today on K2 10 Nepalis wrote history and showed our bravery and strength,” he said.
K2 was first successfully climbed by Italian mountaineer Achille Compagnoni in 1954, and the last highest altitude reached in winter by Denis Urubko and Marcin Kaczkan in winter was 24,520 feet part of the Karakoram Range, which stretches across the Pakistani-Chinese border in 2003.
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