Three international teams plan to climb Karakoram range peaks

Published December 22, 2019
Mountaineers Denis Urubko, Lotta Hintsa and Don Bowie pictured at the Skardu airport.—Dawn
Mountaineers Denis Urubko, Lotta Hintsa and Don Bowie pictured at the Skardu airport.—Dawn

GILGIT: Members of three international winter expedition teams plan to climb Karakoram range peaks, including K2, Gash­er­­brum-I, Gasher­brum-II, Broad Peak and Batura Sar.

The members of the Broad Peak’s winter expedition team comprises famous Russian mountaineer Denis Urubko, Don Bowie from Canada and Lotta Hintsa, a model and beauty pageant title holder who was crowned Miss Finland in 2013. This team has started its adventure.

According to tour operator Asghar, the expedition team will spend 90 days to climb Broad Peak and K2 this winter.

The expedition team aims to climb Broad Peak and then K2.

The official page of Denis Urubko said on Dec 12 that he started the adventure with his companions Bowie and Hintsa.

Miss Finland of the year 2013 is among mountaineers

They have 20 local porters and five donkeys to carry the material that will be used by the mountaineers during the winter.

The expedition team started their adventure from Skardu on Dec 18, and reached Askole, the last village before advancing on foot along Baltoro on Friday.

“Today I am in Paju, surrounded by frozen waterfalls,” Urubko said via satellite. “The valley is covered with clouds and snow.”

He said the next stops will be at Jula, Paju, Urdukas, Gore II and then Concordia.

According to sources, Urubko’s goal is to scale Broad Peak and then move towards K2.

His team members, Bowie and Hintsa, will stay in the base camp to support the climber.

Italian climbers Simone Moro, 52, and Tamara Lunger, 33, will make a winter attempt on Gasherbrum II (8,034 metres) and Gasherbrum I (8,080 metres) in January 2020.

They want to traverse the two peaks in a single push via the Gasherbrum La at 6,400 metres.

The two mountaineers will arrive in Pakistan this month.

K2 winter expedition members Mingma Gyalje from Nepal, Jon Snorri from Iceland, Gao Li from China, Sirbaz Khan from Pakistan and Tamting and Kilu Pemba from Nepal have postponed their expedition until January 2020 because of lack of funding.

In his Facebook page Gyalje said: “We were supposed to go for K2 by this month but we got to postpone to next month because of our funding.”

“We have raised money from our pocket but calculating everything, we found it’s beyond our budget. And the reason I planned to go through GoFund,” he said.

According to expedition organisers, the eight-member team, including Polish high altitude climber Adam Bielecki, Filip Babicz, Rafal Fronia and Piotr Tomala, will try the first winter at Batura Sar (7,795 metres peak).

They will arrive in Pakistan on Jan 15.

For Adam Bielecki and the Polish climbers, who are preparing for winter K2 next year, this is part of acclimatisation. Urubko, however, got permission of K2 climb, but his plan is conditional. If he gets time after Broad Peak, he will attempt K2. Gyalje and his partners delayed their adventure till January for lack of funding.

K2 is only peak still remains unclimbed in winter.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2019

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