On the morning of February 2nd Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards reached the summit of Gasherbrum II at 8,035m. This is the first time that an 8000m high peak has been climbed in the Karakorum in winter.
On their summit day the team of three took advantage of a short weather window to make their dash despite -40° temperatures and cloud forecasted for the afternoon. Overall they climbed the mountain in a three day round trip from base camp in Alpine Style. In a satellite phone call from the top Moro said "It has been very hard, but the three of us feel well". Having successfully topped out on the mountain they now expect to take around two days to return to base camp, stopping first at Camp 3.
Located in the Gilgit Baltistan province in Pakistan, near the Chinese border, Gasherbrum II, also known as K4, is the 13th highest mountain in the world and the third highest peak of the Gasherbrum Massif in the Himalayan Kakoram range. First climbed by an Austrian expedition, Fritz Moravec, Josef Larch and Hans Willenpart, on July 8th 1956, G2’s time-line of ‘first’ ascents and descents number less than ten. None include a successful winter ascent, as yet. The five non-ascended 8,000m peaks in winter are all located in the Karakoram, Pakistan and remain unclimbed despite 16 attempted winter expeditions since 1987.
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