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First K2 Winter Ascent

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 Annoying Twit 07 Jun 2020

I see, quite belatedly, that Project Possible to climb all 8000m peaks in one year has been successful. So, my question from 2011 has been answered :D  https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/expedition+alpine/will_anyone_ever_climb_all_the_8k_peaks_in_one_year-454790?v=1#x6352604

So, the other thing I was interested to watch out for is the first winter ascent of K2. There were two attempts in the winter of 2018-2019 https://explorersweb.com/2019/04/11/alex-txikon-troubled-k2-winter-base-camp/  but I can't find anything more recent.

What's the current situation with winter attempts on K2? Have I missed something? If not, are there any currently planned attempts? In the previous article, there is a mention of Krzysztof Wielicki possibly leading another expedition, but I couldn't find any evidence of that actually happening. 

EDIT: No summits at all in the Karakoram this winter just past, it seems: https://explorersweb.com/2020/02/20/urubko-what-happened-on-broad-peak-and-why-hes-retiring/

Post edited at 01:36
 glaramara 10 Jun 2020
In reply to Annoying Twit:

Thank God Dennis survived. Met him on a plane once going to do a 7000m (me not him). He was as hard core as I imagined.

 BDS 21 Jun 2020
In reply to Annoying Twit:

RE: K2 first winter attemp

Of course there are such plans ... and not only Poles will try (as far as i know). Now it is pretty much confirmed that Nepalis want to write history as well. See the link below:


They also tried this year 2020 (link below):


Looking at Ice Warriors from Poland.

Cut the long story short ...

There was an expedition taking place this winter (not very popular mountain - Batura Sar 7795 m in Karakorum, first climbed in 1976) which was Polish preparation for K2 next winter.  This is 25th highest peak. Poles called it "unification" expedition - under Polish Winter Himalayas Program. Peter Tomala was the leader. They went to Pakistan 13th of Jan, the expedition has ended on the 30th of March.

They wanted not only to climb Batura in winter - as an achievement but to gain experience, to "test" their physical and mental strength, to have a closer look at the Team "collaboration" aspects, setting up number of camps, fixing the ropes with NO HELP from anyone .... and many, many more crucial and necessary team tasks those members would face during K2 in winter .....  

This has been consulted with both Krzysztof Wielicki and Janusz Majer. They've been also considering Rakaposhi expedition (7788 m) - instead Batura. What's important about BATURA.  Firstly high elevation differences (low Base Camp altitude). Apart from that - they wanted to be very efficient and independent doing all the above work themselves. Weather conditions are very similar to K2 and due to the fact Batura's geographic location is the same - those two are very "similar" mountains.

If Krzysztof will be leading the guys this winter to K2 (or someone else from Poland) - i can't tell at the moment but knowing some of the people, knowing the community - i could chop my hand off, making a bet, it will be him. There is nobody with higher level of knowledge and K2 winter experience than this guy. 

You can also Google NETIA K2 expedition attempt we have done years back in 2002-2003


I hope this helps you a bit with missing information about K2.

Very sorry mate i can't be bothered to translate more ....

Post edited at 18:23
 Annoying Twit 22 Jun 2020
In reply to BDS:

Thank you very much. I used Google Translate on the links and of course read what you wrote. 

Healthy competition between the Polish, Nepalese, and potentially other teams might make things more interesting. Provided they don't get too competitive and start taking excessive risks. 

I must admit that when I read of Denis Urubko going for a solo winter ascent of K2 before I posted this thread my eyebrows raised considerably. I note the use of the word 'suicidal' in this article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-43195877    However, I note his solo winter ascent of Gasherbrum II in 24 hours by a new route. Certainly a major achievement.

Post edited at 21:43
 BDS 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Annoying Twit:

No problem at all, mate.

To respond to your last post (BBC link)

 .... well, i am not sure if UKC platform has enough drive space. What happened to the "media" (to the Internet) within last 5-10-15 years ....... is just beyond ... anything i know.

Thumbs up, subscriptions, views, Insta story, snap-chat, blogs, V-logs, You Tube ..... i mean - shall i go on?

Sometimes i think that everybody wants to have his own 5 min of fame, a bit of ... "we're the best" attitude. Buy our magazine.

Who should we take seriously?

Shall i believe - The Guardian, Yahoo, BBC ?

Have they been climbing with Denis at the time - passing C2, C3 .... meeting two Poles, who advised him NOT TO GO?  

Have they experienced -47 during the night, 80 km wind and white out?

Where is this info coming from?

It's a fine line (balance) for all of us to find ....

A balance between reality up there and "the media".  I am going to waive from making any comments about what happens in REAL life and what "stories" we can access online (no matter what extreme discipline we're talking).

With regards to Denis.

I am the last one to judge personalities, to judge skills, to judge experience or knowledge level. We all know he is "The Elite". One of the best. Unbelievable and very brave achievements, changing Himalaya's climbing History.  Nanga Parbat rescue mission with Adam Bielecki to help Elizabeth Revol and Tomasz Mackiewicz - i would call it - an incredible Kinschoffer climbing marathon. Its a great experience to talk to him, meet him at mountain Festivals, take a photo, have a friendly chat  .... fantastic, rare moments. Also I disagree with many people calling such climbers Celebrities. Yes - they're more popular now, having sponsors or managers - planning their schedules ......  but many of them are still the same climbers (still friends), heavily focused, aiming high - making history ... it's just the execution process, gaining funds -  has slightly changed for them. Having our passport now - Denis is "one of us". Also he is Krzysztof Wielicki's great friend. 

Having said that ...

 ..... no team member is allowed to brake expedition rules. No team member is authorized to ignore, or question Leader's decisions. No climber, who was invited by our Climbing Association to take part in NATIONAL EXPEDITION  should be allowed to make his own (separate and independent) decisions. No team member is allowed to create ADDITIONAL (unnecessary) risk and deliberately not to take the radio with him (or even worse - not willing to talk to the Leader). Full stop. End off ................. 

The Team might be forced to go up and help him - if things go wrong and Denis gets stuck (or worse - have an accident). 

Everybody knows about "Urubko's Winter", right?

I guess his "time frame" plays a major role in the whole K2 climbing story. 

No matter who you are (an individual or a team player), big boy with big EGO or just an average climber - rules are there for THE TEAM, to stay SAFE.  Simples.

This is Polish Himalaya Winter Program . An activity set up years ago by Polish Climbing Association (climbing leaders passing this tradition on to another generation) aiming for the highest 14 winter attempts. We are precursors who achieved 10 of the highest Ice Peaks in winter .... . Some other countries made their own contributions as well but only one left now.  Savage K2.

Nobody tried it so many times, nobody gained such experience on this particular mountain. I might be wrong of course but i can't believe anyone else reaching the summit. This is a "SIEGE"  kind of expedition, not a normal one. Approx 3 months spent in the worst weather conditions on Earth, doing hard work, climbing up and down, up and down .... logistic "meisterstuck". 

 Let's hope Krzysztof Wielicki will lead a winning team this time.


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