Russian team attempting to climb K2 this winter will soon be joined in the Karakoram by a few other teams who are setting their sights on other big peaks in Pakistan. All told, there will soon be two teams on Gasherbrum I and two others on Nanga Parbat, all of whom will be attempting to notch first winter ascents on those mountains.
A Polish squad led by Artur Hajzer is amongst those hoping to top out on GI this season. They team is now en route to the mountain, where they expect winds to be in excess of 100 miles per hour and temperatures falling down to -70ºC/-94ºF. Located on the border of Pakistan and China, Gasherbrum I rises 8080 meters (26,509ft) in height, and has turned back 16 previous attempts to climb it during the winter.
Explorers Web is also reporting that Simone Moro, Denis Urubko, and Matteo Zanga will make up one of the teams on Nanga Parbat this winter. The other squad will consist of the Polish team of Piotr Strzezysz, Marek Klonowski, Lukasz Biernacki, Tomasz Machiewicz and Bartosz Malinowski. Denis, Simone, and Matteo are currently trekking to BC and are acclimatizing as they go. They hope to be reach Base Camp in the next few days, and start the climb in earnest.
You may recall, Simone and Denis were part of the team that climbed Gasherbrum II last winter, bagging the first winter ascent of that mountain and the first winter ascent of any of the 8000 meter peaks in Pakistan. To say they have plenty of experience in the cold weather is an understatement.
Look for more updates on these expeditions in the days ahead. It looks like most of the winter action is in the Karakoram this year.