Nepalese mountaineers scale K2 for 1st time in winter

Kathmandu, Jan 17 (IANS): Nepalese mountaineers created history by scaling K2, the second highest peak of the world, for the first time during the winter season, the company which organised the expedition said.

"We did it, believe me we did it - journey to the summit never done before. The Karakorum's 'Savage Mountain' been summited in most dangerous season: Winter. Nepalese climbers finally reached the summit of Mt. K2 (Chhogori 8,611m) this afternoon at 17:00 local time," the company, Seven Summit Treks, said in a tweet on Saturday evening.

Speaking to Xinhua news agency, Karar Haidari, Secretary General of Alpine Club of Pakistan, a non-governmental organization working for promotion of mountaineering and adventure tourism in Pakistan, said the 10-member Nepalese team was the first one to reach the summit of 8,611 metres in winter.

A total of 48 mountaineers including five women reached the mountain's base camp to kick off the expedition on December 29, 2020, out of which five were injured and many others returned due to tough weather at the peak, he said.

Talking about the reason for the mountain being the only major peak not scaled in winter, Haidari said that it is the deadliest among the five highest peaks in the world and that on average one in every four dies on the way to the summit even in summer during which it has been scaled multiple times.

"It is the highest point of the Karakoram, which is very steep and in winter the temperature here falls below minus 50 degrees Celsius. Extremely cold weather coupled with winds at the speed of 100-200 km per hour makes it the most challenging expedition in the world for mountaineers," he said.

Haidari said that last year only two to three expeditions came to Pakistan during the whole year due to worldwide Covid-19 lockdowns.

He added that the adventure tourism restarted by the end of last year and is expected to return to normal in the new year which started with the good news of scaling the K2.

The K2 is located on the China–Pakistan border between in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and Dafdar Township in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China.

It is the highest point of the Karakoram mountain range and the highest point in both Pakistan and Xinjiang.




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