No one has ever reached the summit of the notoriously dangerous mountain in winter
Professional Icelandic mountaineer John Snorri Sigurjonsson and his international team are attempting to make history by being the first to summit K2 this winter. Others have tried in the past but never succeeded, and some have perished. K2 is the second-highest mountain in the world, standing at 8,611 meters on the border of China and Pakistan, and is arguably the most dangerous. The team aiming to be the first to reach the summit this winter is comprised of four successful and experienced mountaineers: John Snorri Sigurjonsson from Iceland, Mingma G from Nepal, Ga Li from China, and Tomaz Rotar from Slovenia. Other supporting climbers will include Tamting Sherpa of Nepal, Phur Galjenn of Nepal, Passang Namke Sherpa of Nepal, and Sirbaz Khan of Pakistan.
“I have teamed up with some of the finest mountaineers in the world,” says John Snorri of his fellow climbers. “If it is possible to climb K2 in the wintertime, I’m confident that this is the group that can do it.” At the time of writing, the team has reached an elevation of 4,835 meters, and they are making their way up the 63 km long Baltoro glacier in, sometimes shoulder-deep, snow. They intend to set up camps and the 6 km line up the mountain before the 20th of February. Once that is complete, they will begin to monitor the weather conditions to determine the ideal time to summit K2, aiming for mid-March.
With a temperature that can drop below -60°C, strong winds with snow, and low oxygen pressure, six unsuccessful summits have been attempted in the past during the harsh winter season. “This is a major challenge. In wintertime, we are dealing with extreme wind, frost, and quite a lot of air pressure causing less oxygen at higher altitudes,” John Snorri elaborates on what he and his team will face. You can follow the brave mountaineers on their journey on Facebook and Instagram.