A group of climbers from Nepal on Saturday became the first ever to summit K2 during winter months.
"We did it, believe me we did it - journey to the summit never done before". Over the next three decades, five more winter expeditions-made up of some of the hardiest mountaineers in the world-similarly failed.
"Climbing K2 in winter is not only one of the greatest but also toughest mountaineering challenge of all time and Nimsdai with his sheer determination, mental and physical strength was able to succeed in his mission".
On Saturday evening, Chhang Dawa Sherpa, the team leader of the expedition organised by the Nepal-based Seven Summits Treks (SST), announced on Facebook that the summit of K2 (8,611 metres) had been scaled at 5 pm local time.
"It is the highest point of the Karakoram, which is very steep and in winter the temperature here falls below minus 50 degrees Celsius". He said the successful summit of the world's second highest mountain would boost tourism.
Haidari said that last year only two to three expeditions came to Pakistan during the whole year due to worldwide COVID-19 lockdowns, adding that the adventure tourism started again by the end of last year and is expected to return to normal in the new year which started with the good news of scaling the K2.
Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Nirmal Purja, Pun Magar, Gelje Sherpa, Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Pem Chhiri Sherpa, Kilu Pemba Sherpa, DawaTenjing Sherpa, and Sona Sherpa reached the top of the peak on Saturday afternoon. "K2 Winter - History made for mankind, History made for Nepal!"
The team then descended to Camp 3 (7,200 metres) where another six-member joined them. The team broke trail and fixed along the way for other climbers. After completing official formalities at Islamabad, the expedition made up of British, Iceland, German, Switzerland, Belgium and Bulgaria climbers to mention some from over a dozen countries reached K2 base camp on December 29, 2020.
Mingma Gyalze Sherpa had planned to climb K2 without using the supplement oxygen but it is not immediately clear whether he did so or not. At Camp 2 situated at 6,760m (22,178 ft), the team was battered by heavy winds. "We hope to stand on the summit together". The expedition will conclude in February.
On August 1, 2008, a disaster occurred on K2 and swept away 11 mountaineers. Of these four teams, two was all-Sherpa teams and one was a major global expedition comprising Western climbers and Nepali Sherpas.