Russian, Spanish climbers to summit K2, Nanga Parbat in Pakistan

Islamabad: A group of Russian and Spanish climbers are slated to arrive in Pakistan to scale summit K2, the worlds second highest peak, and Nanga Parbat, authorities said on Monday.

According to the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP), until 2016, Nanga Parbat and K2 were the only two peaks above 8,000 metres that had never been scaled in winters, reports Dawn news.

However, two years ago, climbers from Spain and Italy along with Ali Sadpara from Pakistan became the first mountaineers to scale Nanga Parbat, Pakistan’s “Killer Mountain” and the second highest peak after K2, in the winter.

Poles and Russians have continuously attempted to climb the 8,611 metres peak but have had to give up either due to loss of an expedition member or bad weather.

ACP Secretary Karrar Haidri told Dawn that in the winter a lot of things were determined by weather and luck. Several times, teams had the desire and fitness but all roads to the top remained closed because of heavy snow and avalanches.

Some of the climbers describe K2 as the worst place on earth. Others say no one can summit K2 in the winter on their first attempt but chances increase on the second try.

The ACP quoted Russian climber Artem Braun, who is among the 11-member Russian expedition planning to attempt K2 this year, as saying that it was all about weather and luck.

Haidri said the winter climbs on 8,000-plus peaks were the biggest sports challenges of modern mountaineering.

He said his office had received applications and forwarded them to security agencies for clearance of the expedition members before the climbing permits were issued.