GILGIT: As eight Sherpas from Nepal left Skardu for the K2 base camp, the largest foreign K2 winter expedition began on Tuesday.
Later, other members of the 50-strong team from 18 nations will resign.
The expedition is being led by Chhang Dawa Sherpa, 39.
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The squad consists of 27 Nepalese Sherpas and 23 men and women from the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Poland, Greece, Spain, Canada, Finland, USA, Chile, Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Switzerland. Sadpara climbers Imtiaz Hussain and Akbar Ali are part of the expedition.
The expedition was organised by Blue Sky Treks and Tours. Managing Director Ghulam Mohammad told Dawn that on Monday, eight Sherpas reached Skardu from Nepal and left on Tuesday for K2 base camp.
He said the Sherpas will be planning the base camp after a week’s trek, while other team members would arrive at Skardu next week.
Mr. Ghulam Mohammad said that on December 18, more Sherpas would travel to Islamabad, while other climbers would arrive in Pakistan between December 16 and December 21 and move to the base camp on December 24.
At the time, he said the base camp temperature was minus 10-20 degrees centigrade.
In the current winter season, the MD said a total of 56 climbers from 19 countries will attempt to summit K2, the world’s second highest peak (8,611m).
Meanwhile a three-member climbing team was plagued by inclement weather on K2.
It is confirmed that climbers John Snorri of Iceland and Mohammad Ali Sadpara of Pakistan and his son Sajid Sadpara are struggling to climb K2 from the base camp.
They trekked to the advanced base camp on Monday and intended to patch lines for camps 1 and 2, but bad weather forced them to return.
Last week the team started their trek to the K2 base camp from Skardu.