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K2 Winter: UPDATE to yesterday’s FB post – Nirmal Purja

I wish to address some comments regarding a metaphor I used in yesterday’s post and also correct some details that have emerged regarding the fixing of ropes. The term ‘loser’ applies to negativity in life in general and certainly not to any individual.

I usually do not get phased out and try not to waste my energy in negativity but in this case, because it is complete lies and concerns people I care about, I feel it is important to provide further comment.

Our team of Nepali climbers fixed the ropes from Camp 1 to the Summit (while Ali’s team fixed the ropes from Base Camp up to Camp 1).

We were not paid by anyone to risk our lives and to carry and fix those thousands of meters of ropes which in the end was used by everyone who went above Camp 1.

Usually, clients and other climbers pay for the fixed ropes to be set up as well.

Sometimes agreement on sharing of rope fixing also takes place. Again, this depends on various factors and it’s not as simple as it sounds at the sea level.

Therefore, it was important for us to have a self-sufficient team to operate efficiently in such extreme conditions and not rely on others. After all, not everyone understands the scale of the challenge on K2. We worked for free and were happy doing so as we felt we were doing it for everyone on Base Camp eying the summit.

When we descended back from the summit, I could feel frostbite numbing my fingers and some of our team members complained of the cold and their own frostbite conditions.

We were literally trying to get back to Camp 3 as fast as we could.

We knew that speed was our only chance.

Moreover, we were descending in the dark using torch lights where the temperature felt like it could’ve been below -60० (with the windchill factor). And as stated before, our only line of hope and survival was to get off the mountain as quickly as possible.

As we descended in haste, the ropes we fixed up to the summit solely on our own effort were all laid intact so other climbers could use it as well.

We had no time to waste even a few seconds on the slopes as the conditions were too dangerous.

Please note that I still grieve every day on losing dear friends on K2 this year and pray for their family and loved ones as we were all a part of the mountaineering fraternity.

Mainly, I will miss my very close friend and older brother, Ali Sadpara. As of today, all our celebrations and merits feel hollow when thinking of him and our years spent together on the mountains.

It’s time for the entire climbing community to support one another and bring the Nepali and Pakistani climbers into the same fraternity of Elite climbers from around the world without any prejudice.

For far too long, I’ve seen that the Nepali and Pakistani climbers have shared a sentiment of being the “help” without any reward or recognition when it comes to climbing 8000ers. Let’s make it right going forward.

Climbers of the world unite. We have nothing to lose but judgement amongst ourselves.

Source: Nirmal Purja – Facebook

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