ISLAMABAD - Two high-altitude teams, comprising 21 climbers have reached Skardu to mount K2, the only above 8000-metre unclimbed peak in extremes of winter.

The first team is comprised of Vassiliy Pivtsov (Kazakhstan), who is the expedition leader, Dmitry Muraviov (Kazakhstan), Tursunali Aubakirov (Kazakhstan), Artem Brown (Russia), Konstantin Shepelin (Russia), Roman Abildaev (Russia) and Michael Danichkin (Kyrgyzstan). The second team is led by renowned mountaineer Alex Txikon of Spain. Other members of the team include Felix Criado (Spain), Marek Klonowski (Poland) Pawel Dunaj (Poland) and eight seasoned Sherpas from Nepal.

“The first team has departed for Askole today (Monday) and is scheduled to reach the Base Camp on January 14, while the second team will leave Askole on Tuesday to reach Base Camp on January 15,” Asghar Ali Porik, the owner of Jasmine Tours Pakistan, who has arranged the expedition in collaboration with Alpine Club of Pakistan told APP on Monday. “The winter high-altitude climbs are regarded as highly tough and prestigious and only extra class climbers undertake such expeditions,” Karrar Haidri, secretary Alpine Club said.

Pakistan’s K2 (8611-metre) is world’s second highest peak of the planet after Mount Everest. It is located in Karakorum region on China-Pakistan border. In the past attempts have also been made to scale the peak in winters but none has succeeded. In 1987-1988 a Polish National Expedition team led by Andrzej Zawada tried to scale it but the attempt finished at 7300 metres. In 2002-2003 another Polish expedition team led by Krzystof Wielicki made an effort but the attempt ended at 7650 metres.

In 2011-2012 Russian National Expedition outfit led by Victor Kozlov climbed till 7200 metre. And then in 2017-2018 Polish National Expedition led by Krzystof Wielicki climbed till 7400 metre.