Sign In:

×

Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

×
×

Polish Climbers Attempting First-Ever Winter Ascent of K2

Climbing K2 in the winter is extremely dangerous. Photo: Courtesy of deeltijdgod/Flickr

On New Year's Eve, a group of Polish mountain climbers set out to record the first winter ascent of K2–the world's second tallest peak–according to a report by Reuters.

The team of 13 climbers will be led by 67-year-old Krzysztof Wielicki, who attempted a winter ascent of K2 in 2003 but was unable to reach the summit. Wielicki told Reuters the group hopes to begin climbing either Jan. 8 or 9 and will spend around three months on the mountain if successful, returning to basecamp by mid-March.

The attempt by the climbers is notable not only for its historic nature but for just how dangerous K2 is, particularly during the inhospitable winter months.

Per Red Bull, as of 2013, only around 300 people had summited K2, as opposed to the more than 5,600 climbers who had stood atop the world's tallest peak–Mount Everest.

Furthermore, Red Bull reports that for every 100 climbers who summit Everest, roughly four die, whereas for every 100 climbers who summit K2 a staggering 29 climbers die on average, which is why many consider it the world's most dangerous mountain.

But team members told Reuters they are motivated by the Polish tradition of mountaineering and that what they fear most aren't the violent storms and brutal weather on the Karkoram peak, but rather missing out on seeing loved ones.

“If you ask me what’s the hardest part of the expedition or what I fear the most, it’s actually the separation from my family,” 34-year-old team member Adam Bielecki told publication.

Play
READ THE STORY
How John Price Took the Climbing Photography World by Storm in 4 Years
Up Next Culture

How John Price Took the Climbing Photography World by Storm in 4 Years

How John Price Took the Climbing Photography World by Storm in 4 Years

Photographer John Price first picked up a camera in 2014, but his emboldened images have already caught the eye of the world with iconic imagery of the sharp, glaciated peaks of the Canadian Rockies as well as other breathtaking landscapes around the world. Having grown up in Canberra, Australia, Price was landlocked in a city but his imagination was always ignited by his family trips to the bush which were soaked in harsh vivid hues. Price’s natural aptitude for color theory are now a

Play
READ THE STORY
Honnold and Caldwell Break Two Hours on the Nose
Up Next Rock climb

Honnold and Caldwell Break Two Hours on the Nose

Honnold and Caldwell Break Two Hours on the Nose

Do Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell have superpowers? It’s up for debate. Just last week, the two made headlines when they beat the speed record on the Nose of Yosemite's El Capitan by a whole nine minutes, coming in at a time of 2:10:53. In the world of speed climbing, taking off that much of a time margin was almost unprecedented. Then, on Monday, they returned to the climb and did the unbelievable: they came in at 2:01:53. RELATED: Honnold and Caldwell Break Their Own Nose Record Now

Play
READ THE STORY
Raccoon Free-Solos Office Building
Up Next News

Raccoon Free-Solos Office Building

Raccoon Free-Solos Office Building

Alex Honnold, you better watch out. There’s some hot new competition in the world of free-soloing and it’s coming from this adorable raccoon. RELATED: Alex Honnold Free Climbs San Francisco  What started out as a sad story about this raccoon being trapped on a ledge of the Town Square office building in St. Paul, Minnesota has turned into an incredible feat of athleticism: after maintenance workers unsuccessfully tried to coax the animal down, he started scaling the 25-story tower.