Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Nepalese climb their first winter to K2

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Cole Hanson
Cole Hanson
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Islamabad | On Saturday, the Nepalese team managed the first winter ascent of K2, the second highest peak on the planet (8,611 meters) and the only “8000” that had never been climbed in the winter, dropping one of the last highest peak in the world. Mountaineering myths.

“We are proud to be a part of human history and to show that collaboration, teamwork and positive mental behavior push the boundaries of what we think is possible,” he said on his Instagram account, Nirmal Purja, who was part of the campaign.

This former British Special Forces soldier, who climbed fourteen “8000” in 2019 with oxygen in six months and six days, was the captain of this team with Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, another Nepalese mountaineering star.

The ten Nepalese gathered under the summit of K2, located in the Karakoram mountain range, known as one of the most dangerous mountains in the world, to climb the last few meters together, sing the national anthem and raise the flag there. From their country.

The Nepalese were famous for decades for their proficiency in the high mountains, never putting the lowest climber in their first winter climb at a summit of more than 8,000 meters, and a specialty for a long time remained the preserve of the Poles.

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Metal cone with elegant lines, lost on the border of Pakistan, on the border with China, the K2 was another “8000” resisting human efforts in winter. It was opened for the first time [en été] In 1954 by Italians Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni.

A handful of winter climbing expeditions have attempted since the first in 1987-1988. But no one has yet climbed above 7,650 meters. All of them had collapsed in the harsh conditions of K2, nicknamed “The Wild Mountain”.


In winter, K2 is exposed to strong winds of up to 200 km / h. Temperatures can drop as low as -60 ° C in parts of the summit.

Winters are more severe in Karakoram than in the Himalayas. This explains why most of Nepal’s peaks of more than 8,000 meters were overcome in winter in the 1980s, while the other four peaks in Pakistan – along with K2 – were overcome in 2010.

The risks involved in K2 are many, with more than 80 people dead, compared to 450 who succeeded in ascending. Spaniard Serge Mingut fell on his way back to the base camp on Saturday and was hit in the leg, according to his team.

This year, no fewer than four different teams and about sixty climbers were present at K2, which exceeds all previous expeditions combined.

Members of three of the primary four, Nepalese teams regrouped and were able to show bravery by taking advantage of the window of good weather, No Wind, to attack the summit.

In optimum climatic conditions, they removed recent technical difficulties, including the dreaded “bottleneck”, a narrow lane tilted steeply and elevated by Syrac, where 11 people who left together in August 2008 died in the worst tragedy of all. They knew K2.

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At least one member of the Nepalese team, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, had planned to reach the summit without using oxygen. However, fundamentalists will regret that the entire team apparently did not do the same.

“Nobody deserves it so much”

“Mingma G”, its nickname, has already ascended 13 of 14 peaks over 8,000 meters, including a double K2. [en été]. He gave up prematurely last winter on the same mountain. He told AFP in December that he was surprised by the cold and learned a lot from the experience.

“If you look at the history of the 14th summits [de plus de 8000 m] In winter you can’t find any Sherpas on the list, only Poles, Italians and Spaniards, but there are no Nepalese. So it is an opportunity for us to write the name of Nepalese “on the charts, and then announce.

I’d be happy to see my flag on this winter list. He added, “It is one of my biggest dreams right now.”

This success has been praised in Nepal. “This is great news.” For decades, Nepalese people have helped foreigners climb the heights of the Himalayas, but we haven’t gotten the recognition we deserve, ”Kami Rita Sherpa said.

“It is wonderful that today, at K2, 10 Nepalese people entered history and showed our courage and strength,” added the person who climbed Everest 24 times, which is a record.

“Sincere congratulations to Nepalese climbers on this first historic ascent of K2 in winter. The Polish Himalayan Association replied that” No one deserves it like them.

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Spanish climber dies during another K2 ascent

Spanish mountaineer Sergei Mingut died during an expedition to K2, the second highest peak on the planet, in the Karakoram mountain range, which was occupied by a Nepalese team on Saturday, for the first time in winter.

“The sad death of Sergei Mingut on K2. He wanted to continue making history by participating in the first expedition to conquer this summit in the middle of winter, and his life was met in a tragic accident,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted, a few hours after the Nepalese team had succeeded in This climb.

The 49-year-old Sergey Mingut was not part of that group but from another team, he was set to try to climb to the top another day.

He was in middle camp and fell on his way back to base camp, injuring his leg according to his team.

The risks involved in K2 are many, with more than 80 people dead, compared to 450 people who succeeded in climbing it.

This year, no fewer than four different teams and about sixty climbers were present at K2, more in total than all previous expeditions combined.

“I am disturbed by the news of the accident that ended the life of a wonderful athlete,” Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa wrote on Twitter, explaining that Mr. Mingut was a “personal friend.”

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