Nepal | January 27, 2020

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa leaves for K2 base camp to attempt no O2 winter summit

Rajan Pokhrel

KATHMANDU: A renowned Nepali climber has left for the Karakoram region in Pakistan aiming to script history in mountain climbing.

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa along with his team will be attempting to climb the world’s second highest peak this season aiming to be the first to make a successful winter ascent of K2.

“I will try to climb the mountain without using supplemental oxygen,” Sherpa told THT from Skardu while leaving for the K2 base camp this morning.

Sherpa, an IFMGA/UIAGM certified guide, has already climbed K2 twice – in 2014 and 2017 – in the summer season.

Till date, among 14 peaks above 8,000 m in the world, K2 remains the only unclimbed mountain in the winter season.

“Today, our team has left for Ashkoli from Skardu,” Sherpa said, adding that his team planned to reach the base camp by January 20.

Sherpa will be leading a team comprising Iceland’s John Snorri, China’s Gao Li and Slovenian Tomaz Rotar as its member.

Tamting Sherpa, Pasang Namgel Sherpa and Kili Pempa Sherpa from his company – Imagine Nepal Treks – will also accompany the team as climbing guides. The team also included local guide Sarbaz Khan in the expedition team, he said.

As Nepal is home to eight of 14 peaks above 8,000 m, the first ascent record for all these peaks goes to foreign climbers. “So, I have decided to take a challenge on K2 this season to attempt to have Nepali climbers in the list of first ascent,” Sherpa said.

Born in Rolwaling, the climbers’ valley, Sherpa is also the first summiteer on Mt Cheki-Go (6,257m), Mt Bamongo (6,400m) and Mt Chobuje (6,685m) via west.

In July, Sherpa stood atop G-II making it as the 12th eight-thousander that he climbed without using supplemental oxygen. The five-time Everest summiteer has also become the first Nepali climber to make the most ascents of 8,000-metre peaks without using supplemental oxygen.

“I believe K2 would be a tough choice this season but we are a very strong team,” Sherpa, who scaled 13 of 14 peaks above 8,000 m, said, appealing all to contribute through his crowd-funding page (https://www.gofundme.com/f/winter-k2) to support his bid.


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