Winter Climbs 2019: K2 Team at Full Strength Despite News of Injuries

There isn’t a whole lot of new news to share from Pakistan today, as the teams on Nanga Parbat and K2 remain in their respective Base Camps waiting out the weather. Once conditions clear, they’ll resume their climbs, but for now it is a waiting game on both mountains. Despite that however, there is some news to correct from earlier in the week as it seems reports of injured climbers departing K2 has been greatly exaggerated.

While I was at Outdoor Retailer last week I tried to keep up on what was happening across the Karakoram and Himalaya. One of the reports that came through my news feed indicated that a rock slide or ice avalanche had struck six climbers that are part of the Russian/Kazakh/Kyrgyzstan team, sending four of them back to Skardu for medical attention. As it turns out, this is apparently false information and the team remains at full strength and focused the climb.

The correction to this story comes our way via Alan Arnette, who also posted the news that Dmitry Muraviov, Konstantin Shepelin, and Michael Danichkin were the members of the team that had to be evacuated. Later, Alan updated the story to indicate that his sources at Russian Climb indicated that the story was false and that the team remains intact and ready to climb.

This is great news for international team on K2, which includes Alex Txikon’s Spanish/Polish contingent too. K2 is difficult enough to climb with a full team, but if the squad were to lose several strong climbers their chances of success fall off sharply. Apparently that isn’t the case however, so while a winter summit remains a long shot, at least they’ll have their entire team to keep working on it.

We’ll continue to monitor the two remaining winter expeditions and watch their progress. Hopefully the weather conditions will improve soon, giving them a chance to resume climbing. For now though, we wait and watch the skies with them.