The Dailymail has run a piece on Tom Ballard’s expedition to climb K2 in winter. They interview a few climbers who think this is a dangerous and foolish idea.
Doug Scott the first Briton to reach the summit of Everest had these words to say about Tom Ballard’s attempt.
“My experience tells me this is extremely foolish,” says Doug Scott. “I’ve been to K2 base camp four times, and I’ve collected dead bodies from the bottom that were frozen solid in summer. To try it alone in winter without serving a proper apprenticeship is foolhardy. He has very little chance of success and if he does come back, he will probably be badly frostbitten.”
Alan Hinkes has climbed all 14 8000m mountains and knows of the risks involved in climbing any of these. He tried several times on K2 before finally succeeding. He met Tom Ballard’s mum Alison Hargreaves after climbing K2 in 1995. He left back for home when news came of the tragedy that happened to Tom’s mum when she attempted it shortly afterwards.
“I was gobsmacked when I heard,” Alan Hinkes said. “You can never say something’s impossible in mountaineering – good luck to him. But this is barmy. Being on your own in winter doesn’t bear thinking about. The weather is just horrendous. To be honest, it’s pie in the sky.”