Extreme Cold on K2
Two elite teams of international climbers are taking aim at a winter ascent of K2, the world's second highest mountain. K2 in Pakistan is arguably the only 8,000m+ peak to remain unclimbed during winter.
Having trekked to the base of the mountain, Alex Txikon’s and Vassily Pivtsov’s teams have been working together early on, sharing resources at Base Camp. Txikon's group made a fast start, scouting the east side of the mountain before deciding to target the Abruzzi spur route. The team then fixed ropes all the way to Camp 2 in just a couple of days. The Basque climber and his team have now returned to Base Camp and will await better weather before continuing.
Pivtsov’s team have rotated up to Advanced Base Camp, about two hours above Base Camp, but have not pushed any further. Both teams have already suffered from injuries and illnesses, with six members forced to return to the city of Skardu, Pakistan. Pivtsov’s has been particularly hard hit; a number of team members are taking refuge in the Base Camp mess tent to try and stay warm.
Both teams will be keeping their fingers crossed for better weather soon.