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Winter expeditions: Just ahead, above and far above base camp

Polish K2 team at Concordia

Three winter expeditions to eight-thousanders, three different phases. In Pakistan, the Polish team led by Krzysztof Wielicki today reached Concordia after trekking over the Baltoro Glacier and is expected on Tuesday to pitch their tents in the base camp at the foot of K2, the last remaining unclimbed eight-thousander in winter. Already six days ago, the Spaniard Alex Txikon, the Pakistani Muhammad Ali “Sadpara” and their Nepalese Sherpa team had reached the base camp on the south side of Mount Everest. They are fixing a route through the Khumbu Icefall. Like last year, Alex participates in the work (as the video below shows).

Date

8. January 2018 | 17:13

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Polish K2 winter expedition: A matter of honor

K 2, seen from Base Camp

The “Ice Warriors”, as the Polish winter climbers in the Himalayas and the Karakoram have been called, want to do it again. The last remaining first winter ascent of an eight-thousander is to become a Polish under all circumstances. The state sponsors the prestigious project on K2, with an altitude of 8,611 meters the second highest mountain in the world: the Polish Ministry of Sports and Tourism bears the largest chunk of costs with a cash injection of one million zlotys (almost 240,000 euros). “Because we got the money, we had to follow the idea that it is ​a national expedition,” expedition leader Krzysztof Wielicki told desnivel.com (see the video below). All climbers of the K2 winter team are Poles – even Denis Urubko, an avid collector of passports: the native Kazakh received the Russian citizenship in 2013 and in addition the Polish one in 2015.

Date

21. December 2017 | 16:33

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Everest winter pioneer Wielicki: “Acclimatization is the key”

Krzysztof Wielicki

Krzysztof Wielicki

Krzysztof Wielicki is skeptical. “I think they can have a problem because they only slept in Camp 3 and not at 8,000 meters,” answers the Pole when I meet him at the trade fair ISPO in Munich and enquire him about the chances of the Basque climber Alex Txikon on Mount Everest. Txikon, who wants to scale the highest mountain of the world this winter without bottled oxygen, is currently waiting in Everest Base Camp to set off for his first summit attempt. “In my opinion, you should have slept at the South Col, if you want to push to the summit,” says Wielicki. “I wish him good luck, I hope that nothing happens. It’s most important that they’ll come back safely. It doesn’t matter if they climb to the summit or not.”

Date

9. February 2017 | 1:01

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Txikon wants to climb Everest in winter

Alex Txikon

Alex Txikon

I was probably too hasty. One and a half weeks ago I had prophesied a quiet winter time on the highest mountains in the world. Now there will be a spectacular expedition. The Basque Alex Txikon wants to climb Mount Everest in winter, without the use of bottled oxygen. This is consistently reported by Spanish media. The 35-year-old will be accompanied by the internationally still relatively unknown 28-year-old Spanish climber Carlos Rubio, who has hitherto made more headlines as an extreme skier. In addition, the two mountaineers Aitor Barez and Pablo Magister will belong to the team as cameramen.

Date

16. December 2016 | 17:06

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Winter low tide on highest mountains

Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat falls back into hibernation. After the 8125-meter-high mountain in Pakistan was bustling over the past years with expeditions who tried to climb it for the first time in winter, it now looks as if the “naked mountain” remains a lonely one in the coming months. This winter even the Polish climber Tomasz Mackiewicz will not change his living room – as he did in the last six years – with a cold tent on Nanga Parbat.

Date

7. December 2016 | 17:02

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Polish K 2 winter expedition obviously postponed

K 2

K 2

The K 2 will probably remain for another year the only eight-thousander that has not been climbed in winter so far. The Polish expedition to the second highest mountain in the world, originally planned for next winter, will take place only in 2017/2018, reports “Taternik”, the journal of the Polish Mountaineering Association PZA. The time to prepare the expedition logistically had run short. After all, the financing by two state-owned companies is in place now, says “Taternik”. In early September, the designated expedition leader Krzysztof Wielicki had mentioned in an interview with Polish radio that there was still a gap of 700,000 Zloty (160,000 Euro) in the expedition budget and that time was running short to close it.

Date

20. September 2016 | 19:52

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