K2 Teams Slowed by Storm
The two teams attempting a first winter ascent of K2 in Pakistan have had a tough time this month. February 21 saw the mountain battered by hurricane-force winds, forcing the teams led by Alex Txikon and Vassily Pivtsov to take shelter back at Base Camp.
A brief glimpse of good weather on February 26 was not enough of a weather window for the teams to make a new push for the summit, though both groups made it to above 6,000m. Txikon has reported that the weather is still “brutal” with strong wind and very cold conditions.
Pivtsov's group are now aiming to climb as far as the Black Pyramid, a tricky area between Camp 2 and Camp 3 at roughly 7,300m. Txikon, choosing to move fast and light, will await better weather before moving higher than Camp 2. However, in recent breaking news, both teams may pause their progress in order to assist in rescue operations on the nearby mountain of Nanga Parbat where climbers Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard have been reported missing.
The two teams are running out of time in their quest to climb K2 during winter, ultimately only an extended period of good weather will allow a summit push.