Himalaya and Karakorum Winter Update: Winter is Here!

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The season officially changed to winter yesterday, which meant that the handful of teams preparing to make winter climbs in the Himalaya and Karakorum could at last get underway. Many of the climbers involved in these expeditions were already in place and ready to go, but just wanted to be sure that everything was official before starting up their respective mountains.

Amongst the expeditions to watch in the coming weeks are Simone Moro and Denis Urubko’s assault on Makalu, the last of the 8000 m peaks in the HImalaya to go unclimbed in winter. They’ll attempt it in alpine style, and by most accounts should be in BC now, and acclimatizing and preparing to get started.

The Czech Team on Manaslu has wasted no time in getting underway, and are currently searching for a route between C1 and C2. Since the last climbing season on the mountain, apparently the seracs along that route have collapsed and covered the trail, making it incredibly challenging for the team to make their way up. They’re also reporting clouds and snow adding an interesting challenge to the mix.

On Broad Peak, the team of Don Bowie, Artur Hajzer, and Robert Szymczak are still waiting for their airlift out to BC. In the mean time, they are acclimatizing in the Sadpara Valley and hoping the weather will lift soon. They’re all in good spirits and getting along well as they make their preparations to go after the first 8000m winter climb in the Karakorum.

Finally, there is the Polish Team on Nanga Parbat, where they have now established base camp, but not in the traditional location. With more than 1.5 meters of snow on the ground, the team has had to shift their location 5km away from the Diamir Face, which could make for some logistical issues down the line, although mostly it’ll be a longer walk up to C1.

Expect more updates this week and the days ahead as the climbs finally get underway.

Kraig Becker

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