K2 winter expedition 2020 is finally about to begin in a few days. K2 remains the only 8,000er with zero winter ascent. Apricot Tours (Pakistan) is conducting one of the two winter expeditions on K2 this year. This post will cover “K2 Winter Expedition 2020”. All individuals and organizations including media (social/electronic/print) outlets are requested to give credits (with backlinks) for all news and updates provided below. We wish all the mountain warriors in both expeditions best of luck. Please find daily updates on our expedition below.
News & Updates (latest first)
22nd January, 2020
International K2 Winter Expedition team has finally made it to K2 base camp today i.e. Jan 22, 2020. They arrived at base camp around 2 pm today according to John Snorri’s last sent location. The team had crossed Concordia on Jan 20th and due to bad snow conditions, it took them almost 3 days from Concordia to K2 base camp that would normally take 7 hours. John Snorri wrote:.
“The whole team has finally reached K2 base camp after 9days on the Baltoro glacier. We have been establishing our camp in -27°C. Tomorrow is a resting day..we are all tired after tough days. Friday we will start our first rotation. Up to ABC through the icefall. We need to set a safe rout up.”
The team has set camp at an elevation of 16,285.56 ft (4,963m) at base camp (Latitude: 35.831930, Longitude: 76.507930). You can also see their location on the maps given below.
17th January, 2020
International Winter K2 Expedition team reached Camp Urdukas today. Our local mountaineer and mountain guide Sirbaz called Apricot Tours office via Satellite phone to update us about the progress so far. Speaking to us, he informed us that all team members are doing well and healthy. The staff and porters area also doing well. Sirbaz informed us that the snow conditions were terrible while crossing Baltoro and walking towards Urdukas (see on map below). He said they plan to walk up to Camp Goro II tomorrow (Saturday) according to schedule. They will reach Concordia day after tomorrow i.e. Sunday. He also officially informed the office about other details of the trek so far.
14th January, 2020
K2 Winter 2020 team left for Askole this morning along more than four dozen porters. More local news channels have started reporting the story. The videos below are Channel 92 and TheWeeklyPakistan’s coverage of the story.
13th January, 2020
The team has decided to rest in Askole today due to the long and bumpy ride yesterday. They plan start walking tomorrow. K2 base camp trek begins in the remote village of Askole (see on map above), where the trail winds its way along the grand Braldu Valley before mounting the Baltoro Glacier to Concordia.
The expedition has started getting coverage on locals news. Two videos from local news are visible below.
12th January, 2020
International K2 Winter Expedition team has reached Askole. It was snowing when the team left Skardu in the afternoon. It took seven vehicles to transport the remaining supplies, porters and members of the team. Normally it takes about 8 hours to reach Askole in winters. According to one of the drivers, Muhammad Khan, the road was mostly covered with snow but the team members seemed excited.
10th January, 2020
The team in Skardu spends the day waiting for Mingma G while Mingma’s group leaves Chilas early morning and reaches Skardu in the evening. They have joined their group and everyone seems happy.
09th January, 2020
Mingma G, Gao Li and Liason Offer for the expedition were not able to fly to Skardu today due to bad weather. They started their journey by road. They will spend the night in Chilas before continuing their journey again next day.
08th January, 2020
Mingma G and Gao Li arrive in Islamabad in the morning. They were supposed check-in again to fly to Skardu but unfortunately their flight cancelled. They spent the day in Islamabad resting.
07th January, 2020
Today the team enjoys their time in Skardu taking warm meals and taking short walks in the city near the hotel.
Mingma and Gao Li are expected to arrive in the morning and leave for Skardu directly from the airport. If weather permits and the flight operates, Mingma and Gao Li should join their team tomorrow.
06th January, 2020
Since there are no flights to Skardu on 6th and 7th of January, the five members and mountain guide Sarbaz Khan flew to Gilgit airport to avoid the very long journey to Skardu by road. They left for Skardu from Gilgit by road which normally takes about 7 to 8 hours. Due to road blocks and weather conditions, it took the team about 16 hours to reach Skardu. Upon reaching Skardu, the team was transferred to the hotel for rest.
05th January, 2020
Three sherpas for the expedition including Tamting Sherpa , Pasang Namgel Sherpa, Kili Pempa Sherpa reach Islamabad today. Sarbaz Khan received them at the airport at around 9am in the morning. They later met Tomaz Rotar and John Snorri at the hotel in Islamabad. After resting a little, Apricot Tours organized an official briefing with Mr. Karrar from Alpine Club of Pakistan. After lunch, all five participants met with journalists for profiling and interviews. The later part of the day was spent with the local mountaineering community who had invited the mountaineers for dinner. A cake (K2 cake) was cut followed by dinner. The last stop was made at the Apricot Tours office for further discussions.