Winter Climbs 2020: Another Team Announces K2 Expedition

The winter climbing season is about to get underway here in the Northern Hemisphere, with all eyes once again turning to K2 in the months ahead. We already know that several teams have announced plans to attempt that mountain this winter, although whether or not those expeditions will actually come together remains to be seen. But last week, a new team announced plans to attempt the first winter ascent of the world’s second highest mountain, although their announcement also comes with a healthy dose of skepticism.

The Saura-K2-Bordes expedition team is made up of climbers Jonathan Bordes  and Vincent Saura, who appear to have climbed extensively in the Pyrenees, but not so much anywhere else. The duo don’t seem to have any experience in the Himalaya or the Karakoram, and yet they have body claimed that they will attempt K2 this winter. So much so, that they are already in Pakistan and presumably making their way to Base Camp a week after they have announced their plans.

The problem is, the duo don’t appear to have a permit to climb K2 and are only allowed to trek to BC. According to ExWeb, just two teams have been granted permits so far, neither of which may even make it to the mountain. Those permits have been issued to Denis Urubko, who is focused on climbing Broad Peak, with K2 as an after thought, and Mingma Gyalje Sherpa of Imagine Nepal, who is struggling to raise the necessary funds to get his K2 expedition of the ground. Bordes and Saura haven’t secured a permit yet, although it is conceivable that they are working out those logistics now.

I admire any mountaineers who venture into the Himalaya and Karakoram in an attempt to expand their climbing resumes and improve their skills and experience. But K2 is not the mountain to do that on, even under the best of conditions. In winter, it may just be the most wild and dangerous place on the planet. Numerous other great climbers have failed to crack the mountain during that time of year, so for these two to show up and feel they have a legitimate shot at it seems ridiculous. A failure to respect the “Savage Mountain” is at the very least a foolhardy approach, and potentially deadly at its worst.

Perhaps Saura and Bordes are just trolling us all and they never meant to actually attempt to climb the mountain. A winter trek to K2 Base Camp is a worthy adventure in its own right, and perhaps what they’ve been going for all along. Either way, we’ll continue to keep an eye on their progress and provide updates. Right now, they’re the only team heading that direction.

Kraig Becker

2 thoughts on “Winter Climbs 2020: Another Team Announces K2 Expedition”

  1. Looks like another doomed attempt at a winter assault on the MONSTER K2. These two climbers if they do get the permit to climb k2 have no idea what awaits them . With zero Himalayan experience, k2 will decimate them . The cream of the crop professional climbers have been shutdown time and again. I hope they come to their senses and stop this insanity. K2 is not a mountain to train on , She is way to viscous in the summer. The winter is terrifying. I believe if K2 could verbally speak to these two climbers she would say you’ve got to be KIDDING. GOD send .

    • Pretty much sums up my thoughts exactly John. They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near K2 until they have another Himalayan peak under their belt at the bare minimum.

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