A Nepalese team made the first successful winter ascent of K2, the world’s second tallest mountain.

Iran press/Asia: A team of Sherpas has accomplished one of the most coveted achievements in mountaineering: the first winter ascent of K2, the world’s second tallest mountain, and the only one of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 meters high never to have been climbed during the winter season.

Ten Sherpas, prominent among them Nirmal Purja, a former Gurkha and UK special forces member who had previously climbed all 14 8,000-metre-plus peaks in just over six months, summited K2 in Pakistan on Saturday. They left their high camp at 1 am for their summit attempt via the Abruzzi Spur in temperatures as cold as -40C but with low wind and in brilliant sunshine, The Guardian reported.

K2 was first climbed 66 years ago by Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli; there had been six previous attempts in winter on the mountain, none of them successful.

In the world of high altitude climbing, so long dominated by western climbers and expeditions who have relied on Sherpas to assist them, the ascent – and by such a large team – marks an extraordinary achievement for Nepali mountaineering.

The team finally reached the summit at 5 pm local time, waiting until they were all assembled before singing the Nepali national anthem and descending.

K2 was the last 8,000m peak awaiting a winter ascent after Nanga Parbat was climbed in 2016. Winter ascents of the world’s very highest mountains are at best extremely rare, and the technical and weather challenges on K2 have beaten determined attempts by some of the world’s strongest Himalayan climbers.


Read More:

Climbers should always take warnings seriously

Two Iranian climbers killed during heavy blizzard on mountain