Polish climbers set to attempt K2 in winter
PR dla Zagranicy
Eleven Polish mountain climbers are completing preparations for a bold attempt to conquer K2, the world’s second-highest summit, which has never been scaled in winter.
The north side of K2. Photo: Kuno Lechner [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The climbers plan to fly out to Pakistan in late December after spending Christmas with their families, according to expedition head Krzysztof Wielicki.
The K2 peak, in the Karakoram mountain range of the Himalayas, is the second-tallest mountain in the world, rising 8,611 metres above sea level.
"We are on the home stretch in our preparations,” Wielicki said, as quoted by Poland’s PAP news agency.
“In a week we will send out 600 kg of cargo, and in addition we are taking 400 kg or perhaps even half a tonne of equipment with us,” said 67-year-old Wielicki.
Fourteen years ago, he led a previous, unsuccessful Polish attempt to scale K2, a project known as the Netia K2 Polish Winter Expedition.
But since then equipment has improved considerably, for example in terms of clothing, he told PAP.
"We now have heated gloves and shoes, and one other change is revolutionary: satellite communications and satellite weather forecasts,” said Wielicki, who has scaled all 14 of the world’s peaks over 8,000 metres.
K2 is the last of the eight-thousanders yet to be conquered in winter.
Apart from Wielicki, the other members of the Polish expedition are Adam Bielecki, Marek Chmielarski, Rafał Fronia, Janusz Gołąb, Marcin Kaczkan, Artur Małek, Piotr Tomala, Krzysztof Wranicz and Dariusz Załuski, in addition to Denis Urubko, a Russian-born climber who has held Polish citizenship since February 2015.