Russian and Spanish climbers have their gear ready and are waiting to return to Pakistan to attempt what has been proven impossible so far. According to the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP), three expeditions are expected to arrive in Pakistan to attempt to summit K2, the world’s second highest peak, and Nanga Parbat. Until 2016, Nanga Parbat and K2 were the only two peaks above 8,000 meters that had never been scaled in winters.
However, two years ago, climbers from Spain and Italy along with Ali Sadpara from Pakistan became the first mountaineers to scale Nanga Parbat, Pakistan’s “Killer Mountain” and the second highest peak after K2, in the winter. Out of the 14 above 8,000 meters peaks in the world, K2 is the only one that has never been scaled in the winter. Poles and Russians have continuously attempted to submit the 8,611 meters peak but have had to give up either due to loss of an expedition member or bad weather.
ACP Secretary Karrar Haidri told that in the winter a lot of things were determined by weather and luck. Several times, teams had the desire and fitness but all roads to the top remained closed because of heavy snow and avalanches. Some of the climbers describe K2 as the worst place on earth. Others say no one can summit K2 in the winter on their first attempt but chances increase on the second try.
The ACP quoted Russian climber Artem Braun, who is among the 11-member Russian expedition planning to attempt K2 this year, as saying that it was all about weather and luck.
“Since everything is so difficult, you need to follow the classic route. Second, it takes a team of fighters to tackle such a challenge. And considering how many obstacles we’ve had to overcome just to launch this expedition, we are determined to give it 100pc because we will not get a second chance,” the ACP quoted the climber as saying.
Mr. Haidri said the winter climbs on 8,000-plus peaks were the biggest sports challenges of modern mountaineering. Nonetheless, climbing K2, which is one of the hardest peaks to scale especially in the winter, is going to be very challenging. He said his office had received applications and forwarded them to security agencies for clearance of the expedition members before the climbing permits were issued.
Courtesy: Dawn News