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K2/Chogori Winter 2003

POLISH CLIMBERS ATTACK K2 IN WINTER

12/7/2002. On Monday, December 16, the very first winter expedition in history is going to set out to the second summit of the world, K2 (8611 m) from its northern, Chinese side.

CLIMBERS ATTACK K2 IN WINTER

Bidding farewell to the K2 Winter Expedition

Dispatch 12/17/02: On their way

Dispatch 12/20/02: It took a whole day to repack the equipment and prepare the cargo for the caravan. Tomorrow we set out farther with off-road Toyotas, towards Karakorum. Locked up in a can....

Dispatch 12/30/02: K2 winter expedition. The wind is nagging us all the time, carrying sharp dust that is sticking into our skin. The air is frosty and dry, our fingertips are bursting. Many times, we taste blood in our mouths. Spitting camels

Dispatch 1/02/03: Christmas is cancelled. On the night of New Year's Eve, the temperature at the upper base (5100 m) amounted to minus 30.5 deg. C. How did the alpinists get ready for New Year's Eve?

Dispatch 1/03/03: A month's work. Each day brings the alpinists closer to the summit of K2. Within two days, they have secured 600 meters of the 4 km high Northern Pillar with hand lines...

Dispatch 1/06/03: The Head's birthday. The alpinists reach the next meters of the Northern Pillar. On Sunday, the 52nd birthday of Krzysztof Wielicki - the head of the expedition - camp I was ready at 5900 m....

Dispatch 1/09/03: Taking rest. Together with Jacek Berbeka, Krzysztof Wielicki, the head of the expedition, has installed hand lines on another 250 m of K2s Northern Pillar above camp I (5950 m). All in all, the alpinists have already installed over one and a half kilometers of hand lines securing the climbing and the descent down the ridge. One of the young participants has shown symptoms of height sickness. He was taken down to the Chinese base.

Monika Rogozinska reporter from Rzeczpospolita, and long time EverestNews.com contributor, called us via sat phone today 1/9/03)!

Dispatch 1/18/03: Strong winds blowing: As far as the logistically complicated winter expedition to the worlds most difficult mountain goes, so far almost everything has been going according to plan. The alpinists have established over two kilometers of fixed ropes on K2s Northern Pillar.....

Dispatch 1/20/03: Struggle for second camp: On the white horse: Krzysztof Wielicki and Jacek Berbeka have not managed to set up camp II and 6600 m, although last Saturday they had been climbing more than ten hours without a break. However, by defeating the rocky barrier, they have opened up the way for the ones to follow. Wielicki had a mild accident that will prevent him from climbing for some time.

01/22 Winter K2 picture show

01/23 New Pictures from Winter K2

Dispatch 1/21/03: Makeshift camp II is ready: After twelve hours of climbing, Denis Urubko, Wasilij Piwcow and Ilias Tukwatullin have established the makeshift camp II at 6600 m. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 1/23/03: Zero visibility: The wind is blowing, stirring up snow and ice particles. K2 has disappeared in the clouds. Marcin Kaczkan and Piotr Morawski have been trying to find and prepare a spot for the tents of camp II at 6600 m for two days already. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 1/25/03: K2 Winter expedition Second camp destroyed: The last 24 hours have been dramatic both for the ones fighting on the slopes of K2 and for those being the powerless witnesses of the events. Hurricane winds have destroyed the makeshift camp II. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 1/29/03: The K2 Winter Expedition is in danger: Gia Tortladze Revolts - Three Eastern Mountaineers Leaving - Gia Tortladze from Georgia and Ilias Thukvatulin are leaving the expedition. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 1/30-1/31/03: K2 Winter Expedition Still bad weather (1/30/03), Not up to the challenge: Vasilij Pivtsov, the alpinist from Kazakhstan, has left the expedition today for family reasons. His climbing partner and fellow countryman Denis Urubko has set off in the opposite direction - to set himself against the slope of K2. Together with Piotr Morawski and Marcin Kaczkan, they will try to reach the destroyed camp II. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 1/31/03: A camp like a fortress: The reinforced camp II has been finally established on the ridge of K2s Northern Pillar. Weather permitting, Denis Urubko, Piotr Morawski and Marcin Kaczkan will start installing fixed ropes along the route towards camp III on Friday, which is to be established at 7300 m. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 2/03/03: Better weather ahead: My computer has finally received good news from Muhammat Hanif, our weather wizard in Pakistan, whose forecasts have become almost indispensable. Check here for the full dispatch

Winter K2 Large picture show

Dispatch 2/05/03: Krzysztof Wielicki, the head of the expedition, and Jacek Berbeka have established camp III (7200 m) on the Northern Pillar. Wielicki has to give up climbing for some time due to his renewed leg injury. Check here for the full dispatch

Update: Climbers have been continuing to go up.... These guys are tough and good. Check here for details

Dispatch 2/07-2/10/03: Cameras are aimed at the alpinists, but there would be no expedition if it were not for the people in the background. An expedition is like a hand. Each finger is necessary and only the cooperation of all brings results, says our cook, Lachhu ("Lackchew") Bahadur Basnet from Nepal, showing his work-worn hand. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 2/12/03: More sunshine: A beautiful, sunny day has finally come around in Karakorum. Thanks to the weather improvement, Piotr Morawski, Marcin Kaczkan and Denis Urubko have established another 400 m of fixed ropes above camp III (7150 m). On Wednesday, camp IV might be ready. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 2/13/03: Nobody has been any higher: Denis Urubko and Piotr Morawski have established camp IV at 7630 m. It is for the first time that climbers have reached such an altitude on K2 in winter. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 2/15/2003: Hard to look at: Denis Urubko and Piotr Morawski have returned to the base after establishing camp IV at 7630 m. The weather forecast is terrible. What next? Will somebody be able to attack the summit? Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 2/17/03: K2 Winter Expedition Sudden weather change, hurricane winds: The mountaineers are licking their wounds. Krzysztof Wielicki, the head of the expedition, has sent some of them back below to the Chinese base, so that they can rest and heal their frostbites under better conditions. It is unknown what will be left of the expedition after the snowstorm. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 2/18/03: Something to think about it. The upper base is buried in a snowstorm. K2 roars with hurricane winds from behind a wall of fog. Most mountaineers have descended to lower altitudes, where it is warmer. Some will not return to this place. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 2/19/03: Bad news: The blizzard continues, we've been fighting all day long for the upper base. For the time being, we've put our dreams about K2 aside and busied ourselves with saving our belongings, says Krzysztof Wielicki, the head of the expedition. Check here for the full dispatch

2/20/03: EverestNews.com, Please, send our regards and best wishes to Broad Peak Winter Expedition. The situation is difficult for both expeditions. We are receiving by e-mail excellent weather forecasts from Muhammad Hanif, the senior of Pakistan meteorologist. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 2/21/03: Late homecoming, The weather forecast is nasty - steady gales with only brief respites until the end of the month, and the very moment of our scheduled breaking camp and beginning our return home. Check here for the full dispatch

2/22/03:To Spanish Winter Broad Peak Expedition. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 2/22/03: K2 Winter Expedition Attack on the summit, The stars are visible: Friday was the start of a mountain operation that can be regarded as the attack on the summit of K2. It should last about a week. Krzysztof Wielicki, the head of the expedition, has been encouraged to start the attack by a weather improvement. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 2/24/2003: K2 Winter Expedition The attack continues, Denis is awaiting Marcin: At night, the wind has destroyed the dining room tent, breaking the aluminum poles. Gusts of wind are throwing people to the ground. Nonetheless, the attack on K2 continues. Check here for the full dispatch

Update 2/24/03: Denis Urubko and Marcin Kaczkan back up to Camp 3 (7150 m). Check here for details

Dispatch 2/25/2003: A Winter K2 Expedition - storming the summit, It's this Wednesday or never. The mountaineers are climbing higher and higher amidst the blizzard. Weather permitting, especially the wind, they will attempt to reach the K2 summit on Wednesday. Check here for the full dispatch

2/26/2003: K2 Winter Expedition It's still blowing, Difficult nights: Despite bad weather, Denis Urubko and Marcin Kaczkan reached 7630 m. They found camp IV there destroyed by the wind. The entire equipment has been blown away by the gale. Check here for the full dispatch

Dispatch 2/27/03: K2 Winter Expedition Marcin Kaczkan rescued - No one knows what's in store. Hot tea: The morning connection with camp IV (7630 m) was dramatic. Denis Urubko informed us that his partner Marcin Kaczkan is behaving like a man devastated by exertion and lack of oxygen at high altitude. A rescue action was started to save the alpinist. Check here for the full dispatch

Update 2/27/03: Check here for details

Dispatch 2/28/03: The K2 Winter Expedition is over Wielicki wants to try again: Humbleness towards the mountain Check here for the full dispatch

Update: A history of reaching the summit of K2 by Monika Rogozinska