ISLAMABAD, Dec 13: Viktor Kozlov and his team of veteran mountain climbers have a reputation of achieving what no man has ever accomplished before this year they are heading for K2 in winter.
The 16-member expedition team is in Pakistan after five years to climb K2 in winter, an almost unthinkable mission that too on K2 which has a history of losing one out of four climbers even during summer. If the expedition is successful, it would be first ever summit on K2 in winter.
In 201 a team of Polish, British and Canadian climbers had attempted a similar climb but failed.
Another expedition through China also remained unsuccessful, however this will be 2nd attempt to climb K2 in winter from Pakistan side.
In 2010, an expedition involving three climbers from Italy and Russia successfully reached the summit of Gasherbrum II during the winter sea-son. Considered to be the toughest team in the mountaineering world, the Russian K2 Winter Expedition led by Viktor Kozlov, a veteran mountaineer and explorer, is here for three months and will attempt to climb in two months and 15 days.
The team, a blend of engineers, scientists, guides and experienced mountaineers, has a long list of achievements collectively as well as individually.
“The team always attempts the hardest, never climbed and straight routes on the world’s highest peaks,” said Viktor Kozlov during a departure ceremony at the Sports Complex on Tuesday.
Their first attempt was in 2001 when they climbed the 8,414 metres high Lhoste in Nepal taking a direct route. The second was the world’s tallest 8,848 metres Mount Everest, which was suc-
successfully attempted in 2004 through a new route known as Central North Wall. In 2007 their target was K2’s West Wall, a straight direct walk where they successfully reached the summit through a route never attempted before.
If Viktor Kozlov team successfully climbs K2, it would be yet another record of climbing the world’s toughest mountain in a harsh winter.
“We are expecting 25 to 30 degree below Celsius temperature at the base camp. Weather is predictable there in normal days but unstable towards the end of December and January. Wherever we find a window we will attempt to reach the summit,” said Vitaliy Gorelik.
The team has never climbed in extreme cold weather conditions outside Russia. They will attempt this particular climb without oxygen tanks on December 24.