GILGIT: A three-member team has begun their expedition to summit the world’s second highest peak, K2 (8,611m), for the first time in the winter season.
The climbers include John Snorri, 47, from Iceland, Mohammad Ali Sadpara, 44, from Gilgit-Baltistan, and his son, Sajid Ali Sadpara, 21.
K2 has never been scaled during the winter season.
According to the expedition officials, local porters, a cook and a guide accompanied the team, which left Skardu for K2 base camp on Dec 1.
They reached Goro 2 on Thursday and are expected to make it to the K2 base camp on Sunday. The bad weather caused by snowfall slowed down the expedition.
Asghar Ali Porik of the tour company, which organised the expedition, told Dawn that all equipment required for the mission had already been shifted to the K2 base camp.
He said the climbers would acclimatise at the base camp before fixing ropes next week and beginning to climb the peak on Dec 8. The team intended to reach K2 peak by Dec 30.
Mr Porik said Mohammad Ali Sadpara, 44, had earlier climbed all five 8,000 meters high peaks in Pakistan, including K2 (8,611m), Gasherbrum-I (8,080m), Gasherbrum-II (8,034m), Nanga Parbat (8,126m) and Broad Peak (8,051m).
Mohammad Ali Sadpara is the first to scale Nanga Parbat in the winter season. He has also climbed 8,516 meters Lhotse peak, located on the border between Tibet region of China and Nepal, and 8,485 meters Makalu peak and 8,156 meters Manaslu in Nepal and 8,516 meters Lhotse peak in Nepal without bottled oxygen, while his son scaled K2 in the summer season on 2019, with his father Mohammad Ali Sadpara as youngest Pakistani climber.
John Snorri 47 from Iceland, scaled the Lhotse peak in Nepal, K2 and Broad Peak in Pakistan in the summer 2017 and in fall 2019 he reached the summit of Manaslu peak in Nepal.
Last winter, John Snorri had reached Camp 2 of K2 at 6,600 meters before his team had abandoned the expedition.
Around 50 climbers from three international expedition teams from various countries will attempt ascend K2 this winter.
One international expedition team will attempt to scale Broad peak 8,051m in this winter.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2020