In a deeply moving statement, a message of goodwill was sent by a team of mountaineers who themselves are stuck on K2 due to extremely harsh weather for their mountaineer friends on Nanga Parbat.
Winter on K2 and Nanga Parbat
This winter, unlike on PakPeak K2, where two highly skilled teams are present there is only one on Nanga Parbat. The expedition teams consists of two Pakistani and two European mountaineers along with a support team of 75 local porters. First winter ascent of Nanga Parbat was done in 2016.Team included mountaineers Alex, Simone More and Ali Sadpapara.
This time team will be trying to open a new route on Nanga Parbat, which it has named as ‘Mummery’. Team Nanga Parbat comprises of two Pakistanis including Rehmatullah with experience of PakPeak Gasherbrum-I and PakPeak Gasherbrum-II. Karim who scaled PakPeak Broad Peak is also in team.
The European team included Thomas Ballard who is he son of famous British female mountaineer Alison Hargreaves, who died on August 13, 1995 while descending from the summit of K2.
The second Euorpean on Nanga Parbat is Nardi who is is a seasoned mountaineer and had visited Pakistan more than 12 times.He had already scaled several peaks, including Mount Everest, PakPeak K2 and PakPeak Nanga Parbat. It will take at least two months to complete their voyage.
Any one trying to climb an 8,000-meter have to negotiate with wind gusts of over 40mph/65kph. Such winds are capable to knock off the climbers from the mountain’s slope.
While climbers on both the PakPeaks K2 and Nanga Parbat are trying hard to coup with wind and extreme cold weather of KaraKorum and Himalayas respectively,Vassiliy Pivtsov (From Kazakistan) who is leading the Eastren Team currently on K2 said
Please, give, our regards to the guys Daniel and Tom Ballard, who are on Nanga Parbat. They are in more difficult situation than we have here.
We all wish the mountaineers on both the PakPeaks successful summits and safe returns.
This winter season on the world’s second highest mountain K2 is historic in every sense.
Widely considered as “the last problem of mountaineering” climbing K2 in Winters had been a distant dream so far.Since late eighty’s only four teams have tried to climb the summit in winter; all without success. It is now almost three decades since first attempt for K2 in Winter was done and no human to date have crossed K2 beyond 7650m altitude in harsh winter of Karakorum.
Currently two Teams are on K2 seeking out to overcome this “Last Great Challenge” .
First one is the ”Western Team” comprising of Spanish and Polish Mountaineers which is lavishly equipped and sponsored, led by 37 year old Spaniard Alex Tricon.The second team is a Russian / Kazakhstan / Kirghizstan dominated which can be referred as “Eastern Team”. This team unfortunately is neither well equipped nor sponsored enough .
Despite of the fact that mountain climbing is a team sport which heavily depends on support staff including the accompanying sherpas and logistics people at the base camp it all ultimately boils down to the leadership of a daring mission like that.So how the team leaders of these two different and highly competitive teams compare to each other.
The team leader of Western Team “Alex Txikon” was born in Spain on December 12 , 1981. To his credit are almost thirty expeditions including fourteen of 8000ers . Most noticeably in 2016 he completed the first winter ascent to Nanga Parbat .With unsuccessful winter climb of Everest in 2017 and successful climb of Nanga Parbat in 2016 in Winter Alex is in good shape to meet this great challenge .
He can be reached at http://alextxikon.com/en
Vasily Pivtsov from Kazikhistan is the team leader of seven member Eastren Team currently on K2. Born on August 16, 1975 in Alma-Ata , in Kazakhstan he has climbed all 14 highest peaks of the world without the use of artificial oxygen. However on Everest he had to fall back for health reasons. The summit of the K2 as his 14th and last eight-thousand he reached on August 23, 2011.Despite the limited resources his team is also poised well to meet the Challenge of K2 in winters. He can be reached at
As both teams move cautiously inch by inch on K2 in harsh winters under their experienced leaders , it remains yet to be seen if this last great challenge is accomplished once for all or will be left for future.