It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

"It's the most wonderful time of the year."

Quite literally for the followers of ‘old-school’ Himalayan mountaineering. Few teams, bigger ambitions and the test of endurance and skill to withstand cold and sufferings. Two major yet-to-be achieved ‘firsts’ in high Asia - K2’s first and Everest’s no O2 ascent, in winter - are being aimed for this winter. And then there’s Nanga Parbat dream!

Welcome to the winter 2018 coverage.

After years of planning and dealing with financial matters, it’s finally a ‘go’ for Polish K2 winter Expedition. The team, led by father of winter ascents in Himalayas Krzysztof Wielicki himself, will be leaving for Pakistan in a couple of days. The super-strong team consists of:

- Krzysztof Wielicki – as leader of the expedition
- Janusz Gołąb
- Jarosław Bator – medical specialist
- Dariusz Załuski - filmmaker
- Adam Bielecki
- Marcin Kaczkan
- Artur Małek
- Marek Chmielarski
- Rafał Fronia
- Piotr Tomala
- Denis Urubko (Kazakh/Russian with Polish identity as well)
- Maciek Bedrejczuk
- Piotr Snopczyński

Wielicki, Urubko, Gołąb, Bielecki and Małek already have summit success on eight-thousnaders in winter. Whereas Wielicki, Gołąb, Załuski, Bielecki, Kaczkan and Urubko have previously climbed K2 in summers. Snopczyński and Fronia had also been part of multiple winter expeditions. The other members Chmielarski, Tomala and Bedrejczuk are also strong climbers with ample experience of technical climbs.

So, what are chances of such a strong team on K2 this winter? Perhaps, no one knows!

Everest without Oxygen
Alex Txikon returns to Everest – without his Spaniard colleagues of last winter, though. Joining him is Ali Sadapara of Nanga Parbat fame and seven Nepalese from previous expedition: Temba Bothe, Nuri, Cheppal, Pasang Norbu, Wolung Dorgie, Gyelsen and Tenzing Gyelsen. They will try to complete the ascent without using supplemental oxygen. Txikon and Sadpara have been part of several winter expeditions and achieved first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat in 2016.

Nanga Parbat Dreams
Tomek Mackiewicz and Elisabeth Revol are already in Nanga Parbat BC for another attempt to fulfil their dream of climbing Nanga Parbat in winter. Tomek has already attempted it six times, whereas this one is Elisabeth’s fourth attempt. They intend to climb Messner-Messner-Eisendle-Tomaseth 2000 route on NW Face of the mountain in light style.

Photo: Alex Txikon / Winter Everest 2017
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