KATHMANDU, Nepal — A Nepali mountain-climbing staff mentioned Saturday that it had reached the height of K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, a feat by no means earlier than completed throughout winter.
“The unattainable is made doable!” the staff chief Nirmal Purja wrote on Facebook. “Historical past made for mankind. Historical past made for Nepal!”
Seven Summit Treks, an expedition firm organizing the hassle, mentioned the 10 climbers had gotten to the peak on Saturday afternoon, conquering what it known as “Savage Mountain” throughout essentially the most harmful climbing season.
Climbers say K2 is without doubt one of the hardest mountains to ascend even in additional forgiving spring climate.
“Standing atop Mount K2 in winter is a historic and memorable job,” mentioned Ang Tshering Sherpa, a former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Affiliation. “Nepali climbers proved their mountaineering abilities. It’s a proud second.”
K2 rises 28,251 toes, second solely to Mount Everest. A part of the Karakoram vary in northern Pakistan, close to China, K2 was thought-about to be the final of the world’s 14 tallest mountains to be climbed in winter.
It was examined this time by a staff led by Mr. Purja, 37, who has set records before. In 2019, Mr. Purja reached the summit of every the world’s 14 highest mountains in simply over six months, a milestone for climbers.
Seven Summit Treks touted Saturday’s ascent as a landmark achievement and a testomony to teamwork, nevertheless it additionally famous the dangers nonetheless awaiting the climbers.
“It’s K2 and it’s winter, nonetheless many unsure issues could happen, we by no means know,” the corporate wrote. “Hope everybody descends to the bottom camp safely.”
The climbers, half of a bigger staff, have endured temperatures of minus-58 levels throughout a journey that started in mid-December. They undertook the hassle amid the coronavirus pandemic as nicely: Solely those that had examined adverse for Covid-19 have been allowed to land in Pakistan and climb the mountain.
Climbers on the K2 base camp have been thrilled by the ascent whereas acknowledging the danger that continues to be. “Right here it’s massive pleasure,” Lakpa Dendi Sherpa mentioned in an interview from base camp. “We’re praying for his or her protected descent.”
Mingma Sherpa, the chairman of Seven Summit Treks, mentioned in an interview that the opposite climbers have been ready to scale the mountain after the primary staff fastened its rope to the summit. “However it’s undecided whether or not the climate lets them climb.”
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