“Finally, this day has come,” mountaineer John Snorri Sigurjónsson posted on Facebook yesterday. He was on his way to Islamabad, about to embark on his second attempt to climb K2 in Pakistan during winter. If he succeeds, he will be the first person to climb the mountain in winter.
In his post, John Snorri stated that he got his permit August 17 and that his gear is already at K2 base camp. He organised the journey with a group of people, including a father-and-son team of high-altitude porters, Muhammad Ali Sadpara and his son Sajid Ali. The team also includes a liaison officer, a chef, weather forecaster and a tour operator who handles logistics.
John Snorri made his first attempt last winter but was forced to cancel when two members of his team expressed that they did not feel fully prepared for the expedition. K2 is the second-highest mountain on earth at 8,611m (28,251 ft) and is considered a much more challenging climb than mt. Everest. John Snorri first reached the peak of K2 in the summer of 2017, but no one has reached the peak in winter. The first successful expedition was in 1954, but only 367 people have ascended the mountain since then, and attempts at winter expedition have all been unsuccessful. Over 80 people have died attempting to reach the peak of K2.