‘Ready to meet the goddess of K2?’

With the phenomenally successful Nepali team helicoptering out to a hero’s welcome in Pakistan and now on to Kathmandu, for the others on Winter K2 it has now become a long winters night.

The Nepali Team reaches the top of K2 in Winter, 16 January, 2021

John Snorri, the first into K2 Base Camp on 5 December, 2020 is now looking back on 52 days at Base Camp or above. On their first night, even that was prescient of the time to come:

The weather was crazy last night and some of our tents and kitchen tent exploded. Today we worked all day to build up our camps, we moved our camps a bit and fixed all the tents. So now we should be ready for the next crazy weather. John Snorri fb

Ali, John and Sajid at Winter K2 Base Camp. fb

He and his teammates, Ali and Sajid — have made numerous forays into the heights, fixing the ropes on 17 December to Camp 1, and most recently, camping out up at 6,700 meters – at least they are getting well acclimatised.

Back in Base Camp now, they are looking at a summit attempt around the 3rd of February.

Still we are feeling well and already started to plan our next summit push. The window we are looking at is the 3rd to 5th of February. Ali and his son Sajid are amazing partners in the mountain, they are extremely strong and confident in there actions. John Snorri fb.

The poetic, mountain loving and ever effusive team of Tamara Lunger and Alex Gavan, who has now departed Base Camp, has reformed. She has teamed up with Juan Pablo Mohr, who was previously climbing with Sergi Mingote, who sadly died in a fall earlier in the season.

Tamara Lungar and Juan Pablo Mohr at K2 Base Camp. Instagram

Waiting without doing anything at base camp isn’t always pleasant, but right now I really feel like I’m not ready to meet the goddess of K2.
It’s not just the fact that I’m not really acclimatized, but there’s more to it than that.
I’ve felt the call of K2 for a long time and I know there’s a WHY I’m here, but I also know now that the hardest thing on this expedition for me is to restrain myself from getting into the competition for the summit!
I need to go hand in hand with my soul.
One thing I have already discovered, JP is a very special partner! And for that, again, I am grateful!
@j.p.mohr for the pic

With many having their climbs up the hill started, abandoned, moved and thwarted repeatedly, it is easy to see that winter weather, no matter what the forecast says, is changeable almost by the minute. Wind gusts take the speeds from barely livable to ones which could easily sweep climbers right off the mountain.

Meteoblue allows you to see wind, precipitation and a host of other parameters that are brightly coloured, always moving, and bring the changeability to life. Above we see the wind gusts and direction with K2 the blue cross in the center. Easy to see why predicting what is coming next is just a bit challenging.

Seven Summit Treks had their lead Sherpa, Sona Sherpa, on top with the Nepali team a week ago.

Sona Sherpa shares the view from just below the summit of K2, 16 February, 2021. fb

With an Seven Summit Trekking team of over 20 clients and an even larger Sherpa contingent, many of them are depending on ropes being fixed up the mountain. With the high winds and Nepali team summiting from Camp 3, the bar for climbing the mountain is still set very high.

There has yet to be a period of good weather that lasts long enough for any climber moving on the traditional summer schedule to summit and return safely. Not to mention the need for the tents, oxygen and supplies all needed that would have to be carried up the mountain in advance. It has yet to be seen whether staging a climb in winter, following a summer strategy, will allow for success.

Keeping warm, keeping fit, Dr. Jon Kedski poses for another instagram moment at Base Camp. Colin O’Brady

For those still in Base Camp, there is also of course the very real psycological challenge – the first has been achieved. And the question: is this really any fun after all. We are soon to find out.

In winter you get deathly cold and ennervating winds – in summer you get bar-b-ques.