Winter Climbs 2018: Continued Progress on K2, Still Waiting on Everest with One Month to Go

K2 2006b

It will be an unusual week here at The Adventure Blog in terms of updates. I’m on the road a couple of days and then leave the country on Friday. But until then, we’ll share any news we can on what’s happening in the outdoor world of exploration and adventure, including the ongoing winter expeditions that we’ve been following on K2 and Everest, where one team is making steady progress, while the other continues to wait.

On K2, the Polish Ice Warriors are continuing to take what the mountain gives them and are slowly and steadily working their way upward. In the latest update on the expedition it was revealed that Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko have now established camp at 7200 meters (23,622 ft), while other teammates are following behind in regular rotations. The entire squad continues to work on acclimatization and are shuttling gear and supplies up the mountain.

After making the change to the Abruzzi Route the team has had to reinstall fixed ropes and redo some of the work they had already done elsewhere. But, as of today, they still have one month to go to complete the first winter ascent of K2, so there is still plenty of time for them to put everything together, adjust to the altitude, and look for a weather window. But in another week or two, things will start to get tight, so making steady progress is important. Weather will ultimately dictate the final schedule, but the team is putting in the work to get them into the right position to potentially have a shot at reaching the top.

Meanwhile, over on Everest, Alex Txikon and crew continue to wait. High winds further up the mountain are preventing them from making a summit push. The team is ready to go but need a proper window that stays open for several days, before they can leave Base Camp. Some forecasts predicted that would happen early this week, but for now conditions have not improved enough to allow them to go up.

While in BC thins aren’t completely without incident. Yesterday, Alex posted the video below on Facebook showing an avalanche that occurred above camp. These happen all the time and aren’t dangerous provided you’re not close to them, but the noise keeps everyone on their toes and watching the glacier above them.

Kraig Becker