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K2 Teams Join Forces for Big Winter Ascent Attempt

The push to make the first winter ascent of K2 is on its way with a number of climbers joining forces to make history.

The two major teams of Vassily Pivtsov and Alex Txikon have combined resources and climbers to better their chances of reaching the summit.

There are now climbers from Nepal, Russia, Spain, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan working together. They’ve all met and are currently on their way to basecamp with most climbers already on the Baltoro Glacier.

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We are already in Urdukas at 4000 meters, on our way to the Base Camp of K2, Glaciar del Baltoro. We had a cloudy day, but we were able to see the beautiful "Nameless Tower" of the Pakistani Karakorum. We are all very well, we hope to continue like this! One big hug and thanks for following us every day! 〽️〽️ Ya estamos en Urdukas a 4000 metros de altura camino al Campo Base del K2, Glaciar del Baltoro. Hemos tenido un dia nublado, pero hemos podido ver la preciosa "Torre Sin Nombre" del Karakorum pakistaní. Estamos todos muy bien, esperamos seguir así! Os enviamos un gran abrazo, gracias por seguirnos cada día! 〽️〽️ Urdukasen gaude jada 4000 metrotara! K2ko Behe Kanpalekura bidean, Baltoroko glaziarrean. Egun hodeitsua izan dugu, baina Karakorum mendilerroko "Izenik gabeko orratza" ikusi ahal izan dugu. Ederra, benetan. Oso ondo gaude denok eta horrela jarraitzea espero dugu. Besarkada handi bat bidaltzen dizuegu, mila esker egunero jarraitzeagatik! #K2AlexTxikonwinter #WinterTopAppeal Sponsors: Euskararen Txantxangorria Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia #BufeteBarrilero CaixaBank #Teknicalde Sea to Summit Iberia TrangoWorld Official Cofares Garmin High Identity Buildings – Hib #IMQ BOREAL #Soraluce K35 Petzl Euskadi-Basque Country Guara-Mascun asporteyewear #BlackBeard Es Olympus Bilbotruck Isuzu Bizkaia Energizer España Palacios Alimentación Extrem-Isard Collaborators: BC3 Basque Centre For Climate Change #HospitalSantPau @aware_project Katealde FOIE GRAS Carnicas Alejandro GOYA Arri_Studioa Atertu Kopiak Alkizabal Alopell clinic

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The first winter attempt on K2 was led by Polish mountaineering legend Andrzej Zawada. The 24 man team (13 Poles, 7 Canadians and 4 Brits) flew to Pakistan at the start of December, and arrived in Base Camp on Christmas Day, to heavy snow and strong winds.

In total, the team would have just ten days of ‘good’ weather in the three months they spent at basecamp.

Despite the adverse conditions, Maciej Pawlikowski, Maciej Berbeka, Krzysztof Wielicki and Jon Tinker managed to establish camp one at 6,100 metres

A few days later, Wielicki and Cichy set up camp two, but due to stormy weather, the climbers did not reach camp three until March 2nd.

Wielicki and Cichy were the first to reach Camp 3, then Roger Mear and Jean-Francois Gagnon joined them on March 6th. However, that night, with hurricane winds raging, both Mear and Gagnon suffered frostbite, and had to be assisted down the mountain the next day. This brought an end to the expedition, and the idea of further winter attempts on K2 was forgotten for over a decade.

Rocky summit of K2