A team of 10 summiteers from Nepal has created history by becoming the first to reach the peak of K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, in winter.
The 28,251-foot summit had never been reached in winter due to weather and geographical difficulties. Climbing to the top of K2, which is the second-highest peak after Mount Everest, requires a set of technical skills.
The Nepalese team’s historic ascent came on the same day a Spanish climber from a separate K2 expedition died. Sergi Mingote, 49, fell more than 500 meters (1,640 feet).
Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri wished the climbers a safe return from the peak, calling the expedition as one of the “most coveted” achievements in mountaineering. He felicitated the team for making history by becoming the first to scale in winter the world’s second highest mountain K2, considered as the world’s most dangerous and challenging peak.
K2 with its daunting 8,611 meters height is located in Gilgit-Baltistan side of the Karakoram range. It was the only one among 8,000-meter high peaks that was never scaled in winter.
The history was made on Saturday by a group of 10 Nepali climbers. The achievement was the result of a collaborative effort between the climbers affiliated with multiple teams: one led by Nirmal Purja and the other by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa.
“The impossible is made possible! K2winter – history made for mankind, history made for Nepal,” Nimsdai Purja wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Before the maiden winter success by the Nepalese team, 367 climbers in summer have completed the ascent of K2, which is called a Savage Mountain.
So far, 86 climbers have lost lives during attempts to climb the peak between the first ascent of K2 on July 31, 1954. It has the second-highest fatality rate among the 14 tallest peaks and for every four reaching the summit, around one climber never returns from the mountain.
The impossible has been made possible by Nepal. They have proved that a combination of teamwork and positive attitude can do wonders
The team members — Nimsdai Purja, Mingma David Sherpa (Team Nimsdai), Mingma Tenzi Sherpa (Team Nimsdai), Geljen Sherpa (Team Nimsdai), Pem Chiri Sherpa (Team Nimsdai), Dawa Temba Sherpa (Team Nimsdai), Mingma G, Dawa Tenjin Sherpa (Team Mingma G), Kilu Pemba Sherpa (Team Mingma G) and Sona Sherpa (SST) — reached the top of the peak on Saturday afternoon.