A historic record has been set by Nepali climbers as they made the first winter summit of K2, the world’s second highest mountain. The summit of the world’s slightly less famous mountain, second only to Mount Everest, stands at a hefty 28,251 ft or 8,610.90 m at its peak. Mount Everest reaches just slightly taller at an eye-watering 29,031.7 ft or 8,848.86 m.
The K2 stands at 8,611 metres above sea level as part of the Himalayan region. The Himalayan mountain region stretches across South and East Asia, surrounded by the five bordering countries of Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain stands in the middle bordered either side by Nepal and Tibet, and has long been criticised for the excessive number of climbers – an average of 800 a year – that aim for its peak each year. The far less popular K2 is situated between China and Pakistan and receives far fewer visitors on average with roughly only just over 360 climbers a year.
The particular notability of this achievement is that K2 is the last of the world’s 14 tallest mountains to be climbed to its peak in winter. One reason for this, as well as its far fewer number of visitors, is its notoriety as one of the world’s most difficult climbs. Found in the Karakoram range of Pakistan, the team of 10 Nepali mountaineers completed the record climb on Saturday 16th January, 2021.
After several previous failed attempts the record was celebrated by one of the team Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja on Instagram with the comment “History made for mankind, History made for Nepal!” Purja is one of the team leaders for the mountaineering team that made the summit. The other team was led by Mingma G Sherpa.