(Angela Benavides) Which route? Will they climb on O2? True winter? News about the winter Russians on K2 put the climbing community on its feet.
While all details will be released in an upcoming press conference, here goes some more information and word from other Pakistan-bound mountaineers.
Russian Winter K2: O2? Niet!
"The ascent will be completed without supplementary oxygen," Lena Laletina of RussianClimb.com told ExplorersWeb. "They will just leave one bottle in every camp, to be used in case of emergency."
"A caravan of porters already brought loads to BC in October, but there's still a lot to carry," Lena added. "The route will be decided on the spot, but the team's original plan is to climb the Cesen (Basque) route variant. This is not to the Shoulder, but traversing the face to join the Polish route (Kukukzca-Piotrowski) to the summit."
The team will fly to Islamabad on December 9. The official start of winter is 12 days later, about the time they'll need to get to BC. "Of course the Russians will start climbing within calendar winter," Lena confirmed.
The mission and the team
Meanwhile, the official expedition website kickstarted the event with a cool video (flash) of the previous K2 West face climb.
About the mission an expedition press release stated, "The nine Russian climbers are looking to hoist on top of K2 this winter the national colours of Russia and the official colours of Sochi-2014 Winter Olympics."
The release further said this is the team that climbed new routes on Lhotse Middle (2001), Everest North Face (2004) and K2 West Face (2007).
ExWeb correspondent Karrar Haidri received from expedition outfitter Naiknam Karim of Adventure Tours Pakistan the official list of 16 expedition participants:
Mr. Viktor Kozlov
Nanga Parbat after Christmas
Not to be overshadowed, another mean peak in Pakistan yet to be climbed in winter is Nanga Parbat. Tamed in later years by organized climbing, it's easy to forget this massive 8000er's troubled history.
Three men fighting its slopes will be plenty for nail-biting winter drama.
Simone Moro and Denis Urubko will leave town December 26 according to The North Face. Currently touring for the sponsor with winter GII mate Cory Richards, the next expedition will include Matteo Zanga instead, according to the expedition permit issued by Pakistan's Ministry of Tourism. In a September interview Simone Moro told ExplorersWeb more about his plans.
Adding to the scene are two Polish climbers, trying their luck in a stealth attempt on the giant mountain.
With GII winter bagged last season, time has come for GI. Check in tomorrow for an interview with Gerfried Goshl, hoping to make his mark in winter Pakistan with not only a first winter ascent of the peak, but also via a brand new route.
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