It is Down to K2, and Other News


Nanga Parbat Light. (All rights reserved)

I woke a short while ago and turned on my phone to read the news about the U.S. presidential debate held last night. Instead I was thrilled to hear this news:

At around 3:37 p.m. in the Karakorum, Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara and Simone Moro radioed that they have made the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat. According to sources reported through Raheel Adnan, of Altitude Pakistan, the day was beautiful without even a cloud.

The descent is underway right now. So while the first ascent has been made, the climb is only half done. Good luck on the descent!

So that leaves K2 as the only 8,000-meter peak left unclimbed in winter.

(I guess we know where Simone Moro and everyone else will be applying for permits next year.)

In other news, the American Alpine Club is holding it’s Annual Benefit Dinner this weekend right here in town (Washington, DC). It’s like a mini-conference. Tonight is a members only (free to attend) Climbers Gathering at a local indoor climbing gym (not my local one, unfortunately), where well-known climbers will speak and several awards will be given, including honoring Katie Ives for excellence in climbing literature. Tomorrow there will be panel.discussions, a silent auction, and the main event featuring Conrad Anker and Damien Gildea to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1966 American mountaineering expedition to Antarctica.

I can’t attend this year, but I am thrilled to be meeting up with a few of the attendees, mostly known for their writing. (I’m keeping these meetings all off-the record; sorry.)

Also, if you haven’t heard, this year’s Piolet d’Or will award present the lifetime achievement award in April to Voytek Kurtyka. His climbing accomplishments, such as his work on Gasherbrum IV, and other ascents and attempts, were spectacular, and deserving of the award. But he resonates with me, and other climbers, also because he has an almost mystic side and connection with nature (i.e it’s wild unpredictable side) that leaves himself open to the mountain.

This time, leading up to the award ceremony might be a good time take a closer look at him and the little bit of writing he’s contributed to see what’s there for us. More on that later.

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