On January 1, an international group of mountaineers is setting off on a 60-day expedition to the top of K2, the second highest point on the planet (8,611 meters). Among alpinists, climbing this peak is considered more prestigious than Mount Everest (8,848 meters) because K2 is the world’s only “eight-thousander” that no one has succeeded in conquering in the winter.
The expedition comprises of Kazakhstan, Russian, and Kyrgyz mountaineers. The team leader, Vasily Pivtsov, is a Kazakhstan mountaineer who has climbed all 14 eight-thousanders in the world. The alpinists intend to hike up the mountain in the winter, and thus, will have done the climb which the strongest cragsmen have been fighting for during the last 30 years. The ascent on K2 is also unique because the team will fully rely on their endurance without resorting to the use of artificial oxygen.
“The idea to ascend K2 in the winter hasn’t left me since the last summit attempt that was part of the winter Polish expedition in the 2002-2003 season,” shares Vasily Pivtsov, Kazakhstan mountaineer. “Our team keeps fit around the year. Moreover, for several years now, we have been conducting expeditions to the local 6 and 7-thousanders, which, according to weather and climate, are as close as possible to the conditions we may encounter while climbing K2.”
The ascent has been planned in the “Himalayan style” with the installation of the necessary number of transit camps where the team will receive much needed altitude acclimatization. It should be noted that during the previous attempt to climb K2, the mountaineers stopped at 7,400 meters (the 2017-2018 expedition was the 5th winter summit attempt in the last 30 years). If the climb is successful, the names of Kazakhstan mountaineers will go down in history.
During the expedition, IEC Telecom Kazakhstan will provide mountaineers with the satellite equipment through which they can keep in touch with their families, stay connected in case of unforeseen circumstances, share exclusive photos and the latest news about their journey in real-time.