Modern winter himalayism 2/2
Currently, there are climbers battling bitter cold on Nanga Parbat, Everest and Manaslu; Gelje Sherpa prepares an all-Nepali team to open a new route on Cho Oyu, and a commercial team is (still) expected on K2.
In addition, we have seen some top-end climbers performing on lesser peaks that seem to ‘grow’ when attempted in winter conditions. Such is the case of Marcin Tomaszewski and Damian Bielecki on a literally frozen up Uli Biaho, and multi-awarded Kazuya Hiraide completing a first ascent on a Shimshali 6,000’er, together with Takuya Mitoro.
Is Gelje Sherpa riding the K2 wave? ©DR
Audiences, sponsors and expedition outfitters are delighted at the new growing trend. It’s a win-win situation.
In the over-commercialized Himalayan giants, winter has become a tag for excellence, an added difficulty that has brought back the enthusiasm of a wide range of public who, in later years, had passed from applauding Everest climbers as superheroes to despise the high-altitude circus of fixed ropes, tons of O2 canisters and dumb tourists dragged by Sherpa workers. Winter means struggle and suffering, and
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