Here is an update in case you hadn’t heard. Climbing magazine’s website is reporting that not only is a Russian Team attempting K2 this winter but that Italian alpinist Simone Moro and Kazakhstan climber Denis Urubko will leave on Boxing Day (December 26th) to attempt Nanga Parbat via the Diamir Face. Another small Polish team, led by Piotr Strzezysz, will also attempt Nanga Parbat. Lastly, an international team will try to summit Gasherbrum I. This leaves, at last news, only Broad Peak not to be addressed this season.
Why does this matter? Because only four of the 14 Himalayan mountains over 8,000 meters have not yet been summited in winter. It’s particularly significant in the scope of mountaineering challenges. For instance, these record firsts are not trivial firsts or firsts that interests only a nationality (like the first American to climb Annapurna,) or a gender (first woman to climb the the 8,000ers without supplemental oxygen, for instance.)
Too many qualifiers means it’s not universally important. The important firsts are those of the challenge of first ascent, first alpine style ascent and often the first ascent in winter — regardless or who accomplishes the climb in terms of nationality, race or gender. While the qualifiers matter, the unqualified accomplishment is broadly significant.
So that’s something to live vicariously with. I’ll keep you posted… I hope you will do me the same favor…