Climbing any of the Himalaya's major peaks is a huge feat during the spring or summer. But climbing one in the winter is a whole different animal and up until now, no one had successfully climbed the formidable K2 in the winter. That all changed when on January 16, 2021, a team of Nepali climbers reached the summit together. The last of the 8,000 meter peaks to be climbed in the winter, K2 was no small prize. The team was led by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa and Nirmal Purja Pun Magar and stopped all together shortly before the summit so that they could reach it as a group while singing the Nepalese National Anthem. The full summit team included Nimsdai Purja, Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Geljen Sherpa, Pem Chiri Sherpa, Dawa Tenjin Sherpa, Kilu Pemba Sherpa, and Sona Sherpa. An uncharacteristic break in weather with winds under ten miles per hour allowed the group to summit and return to Camp 3 safely.
Previous attempts at K2's summit in the winter have largely been by European teams. The summit was not only an accomplishment for the team athletically, but also stood as a symbol of national pride and a showcase of Nepalese climbing talent. Mingma Gyalje Sherpa is an IFMGA climbing guide and currently holds twenty-two summits on 8,000 meter peaks. Nirmal Purja Pun Magar summited all fourteen 8,000 meter peaks in six months and six days in 2020, making himself a well known name in the climbing and mountaineering community. The two are now the only ones with both summer and winter ascents of K2.
We are deeply saddened to report the passing of local snowboarder Mike McKelvey. Yesterday, McKelvey was caught in an avalanche on Togwotee Pass. He was caught in a slide after hitting a jump and was buried under 12 feet of snow. His partners were able to swiftly locate him, dig him out, and perform CPR, but McKelvey later passed away in Idaho Falls. As an avid snowboarder, Mckelvey was deeply intertwined with the Jackson community. He was part of the JHMR Park and Pipe Crew, interned
It's the most wonderful time of year here in Jackson Hole--the snow is falling, features are getting filled in, our legs are finally in ski shape, and OH YEAH King's and Queen's of Corbet's Couloir starts this week. One of the best freeride events Jackson Hole has to offer, King's and Queen's features twenty-seven skiers and snowboarders as they huck themselves into the famous Corbet's Couloir in hopes at the title of King or Queen of Corbet's. Last year's competition not only saw
A man was killed in an avalanche on Monday in Grand Teton National Park on the north side of 25 Short. National Park Rangers and Teton County Search and Rescue officials were called to the avalanche which occurred in the Broken Thumb Couloir. Avalanche danger was reported as Considerable, with concern about persistent slabs and wind slabs. The victim was identified as Matthew Brien, a 33-year-old local snowboarder. This is the third avalanche death in the Tetons in the last seven days,