Asia, Pakistan, Karakoram, Baltoro Muztagh, Gasherbrum II (8,035m), First Winter Ascent

Publication Year: 2011.

Gasherbrum II (8,035m), first winter ascent. On February 2, 2011, Simone Moro (Italian) Cory Richards (American), and Denis Urubko (Kazakh) reached the summit of Gasherbrum II via the Normal Route up the southwest ridge. The team made the summit in a three-day push, after having been helicoptered to base camp only 22 days previously. Prior to their attempt they had established Camp 1 at 5,900m, and Camp 2 at 6,500m. Their top camp was at 6,900m. The descent proved arduous. On the 3rd they had to contend with a raging storm as they climbed down from camps 3 to 1. The following day, crossing below Gasherbrum V on the way to base camp, they were hit by an avalanche and swept ca 150m. All three were mostly buried, though Moro only slightly. He was able to unrope and excavate the other two.

This was the first winter ascent of any of the main 8,000m peaks in Pakistan. On March 6,1988, in a remarkable effort, Maciej Berberka, a member of the Polish winter K2 expedition, reached the ca 8,030m foresummit (rocky summit) of Broad Peak. At the time the visibility was poor, and he believed he had reached the highest point of the mountain. It was only later, on examination of photographs, that he realized he had stopped short.

Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO