In a first, mountain climbers in this extremely cold weather made Igloos to fight harsh conditions at the K2 base camp. Currently, two high-altitude teams are at the base camp of K2, the only peak above 8000-meters that is still unclimbed in extreme winters.
The first team comprises 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.
Sharing the details of their new adventure, Txikon wrote on Facebook that spending a night in an Igloo was his best night in a winter base camp.
“In the dining room tent we were at 13 degrees below zero, in the tent at minus 26 degrees, and inside the Igloo, we slept at -5 degrees. I have to say that it was the best night of my 8 winter expeditions,” he wrote, adding that “as you walk from the dining room to the igloo your hands and all your muscles freeze, and the wind blows in your face. However, when entering the igloos we have built in the Base Camp, silence is not heard, and the howl of the wind disappears”.
Further sharing the benefits of the structure, the Spanish climber stated: “At dawn, the sleeping bags are completely dry and light travels through walls of more than 20 cm of compacted snow. It is a wonder. But, undoubtedly, one of the greatest discoveries has been the oxygen that is breathed in, the saturation is greater in the igloo than in a tent. Therefore, we rest better.”
Thanking the two climbers, Aritz and Jagoba, Txikon wrote: “It’s the Luengas technique. Thanks to Aritz and Jagoba for teaching us how to build them here, at 5,000 meters.”