All climbers at base camp

February 22, 2018

All climbers have returned to base camp. This means that Marcin Kaczkan has returned from C1 and gone to C1. This will be a recovery phase as some of the climbers are tired from their exertions climbing up the Abruzzi Ridge in the past week.

It is not expected that they will attempt going up[ the ridge in the next several days or even week. The forecast is for stronger winds. Here is the weather forecast for the summit of K2 over the next week.

Mountain Forecast


Most climbers head back down to base camp

February 21, 2018

All but one climber is at base camp. The only climber on the route is Marcin Kaczkan  who is at C1.

Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko slept last night at C3 at about 7200m. Today they came down are now at base camp. They join other climbers who have also come down from other camps on the Abruzzi Ridge.

Polish Winter Expedition

Climbers to spend night at 7200m

February 20, 2018

Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko will spend tonight at 7200m at C3. They checked the route to a height of 7400m which is still well below where C4 would be at around 8000m.

Marcin Kaczkan has gone from advanced base camp to C1. He will spend the night there.

Polish Winter Expedition

Adam Bielecki GPS

Bielecki and Urubko reach camp 3

February 20, 2018

Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko have reached 7200m on K2. They climbed through the Black Pyramid today. The weather was good. They may have pitched their tent in a slightly different area than what has traditionally been C3. This is because of some huge avalanches that have wiped out this camp in recent summers.

There will be discussion with their team as to whether they continue or head back down after establishing the camp.

Janusz Pigeon and Maciek Bedrejczuk have gone down to base camp.

At advanced base camp are Marcin Kaczkan and Darek Załuski.

Polish Winter Expedition

Adam Bielecki GPS

Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko make progress past camp 2

February 18, 2018

There has been good progress up the Abruzzi Ridge by climbers because of several reasons. Firstly, there has been good weather. Secondly, ropes from 2017 expeditions have been left on the route. This has meant that the forward climbers have been able to travel more lightly and make camp higher up.

Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko climbed House’s Chimney and then went up to C2. At present they are just below the Black Pyramid. He is at 6800m according to his GPS. It is unknown whether they will be able to climb this today. They will need to get through this difficult rocky area to reach C3. Denis Urubko led the climbing early, but he had to slow down to allow Adam Bielecki  to catch up. Team leader Krzysztof Wielicki said that he does not know what there plans are at the moment. They will discuss these plans once they reach C3.

Marek Chmielarski and Artur Małek are expected to go back to base camp after setting up C2 and other work on the route.

The weather is expected to be good in the next few days. Climbing conditions are also described as being good. However team leader Krzysztof Wielicki did say that there is a day coming in the next week where it will definitely not be suitable for climbing.

Polish Winter Expedition

Adam Bielecki GPS

Interview with Krzysztof Wielicki


Most climbers are at camp 1 for the night

February 18, 2018

All 6 climbers on the Abruzz Ridge have at least reached C1. Marek Chmielarski and Artur Małek roped all the sections to C2 then headed back to C1 at about 6050m. Joining them from base camp were Janusz Gołąb and Maciej Bedrejczuk who will spend the night there.

Denis Urubko and Adam Bielecki made a curious decision to camp at about 6300m. This is well below C2 and yet is higher than C1. This could reflect a decision to go higher so they don’t have as far to go tomorrow or highlight some of the problems that the expedition has been having.


Six climbers headed up the Abruzzi Ridge

February 17, 2018

Good weather has allowed six climbers to reach the lower parts of the Abruzzi Ridge. Four climbers set off from base camp today: Janusz Gołąb and Maciej Bedrejczuk, and Denis Urubko and Adam Bielecki. They could be aiming to reach C1 today and then rest for the night.

Marek Chmielarski and Artur Małek have left C1 and are headed for C2. They will have to negotiate Houses Chimney on the way there.

The weather is forecast to be good for several days, so they will be attempting to either set up camps all the way up to C4 or make an attempt for the summit if all goes well.

Polish Winter Expedition

Adam Bielecki GPS

Climbers make way to camp 1 despite difficult weather

February 16, 2018

Marek Chmielarski and Artur Małek have arrived at C1. They had to endure difficult weather to reach there. What helped them was the complete roping of all the route to C1 by the high altitude porters.

Tomorrow two more teams leave to go up the Abruzzi Ridge. This will include the climbers Janusz Gołąb and Maciej Bedrejczuk, and Denis Urubko and Adam Bielecki.

Weather prevents more climbing up Abruzzi Ridge

February 15, 2018

Poor weather has stopped any more gains up the Abruzzi Ridge. There has been very strong winds which has prevented them from going higher. At the moment all climbers are likely to be at base camp. Rafał Fronia returned to Poland yesterday.

Denis Urubko had made a progress to 6500m before this. He was climbing to see what ropes there were on the route and thus what they would have to do to secure the line up to the camps. He identified a number of areas where they will need additional ropes. There were areas where ropes from past expeditions were still there. High altitude porters were meant to secure the line to camp 1.

There has been some controversy with this expedition with the accidents and also disagreements as to how best climb in winter K2. Denis Urubko has been complaining for some time about the expedition attempting the Cesen route. He believed that high winds in winter would mean that the route would be dangerous. He thought that the winds would leave little snow and would mean that the route would have more ice than in summer. He attributes the two accidents by rock fall to this reason. Even though he got approval to make an initial climb of the Abruzzi Ridge to see its condition by management, there seems to be discontent with what has happened so far.

Polish Winter Expedition

Denis Urubko Blog

Climbers start their way up Abruzzi Ridge

February 12, 2018

Climbers from the Polish winter expedition to K2 have begun climbing on the Abruzzi Ridge. Leading the way is Denis Urubko who hopes to climb further than C1. Marcin Kaczkan and Piotr Tomala will be setting up some ropes to C1 and possibly to C2 if there are favorable climbing conditions.

Up until now they have been climbing on the Cesen. But there were two rock fall accidents on the Cesen and this was deemed unsafe. Plus Denis Urubko believed that their tactics up until now have not been working.

Rafał Fronia is now in Skardu. He was diagnosed with a fractured forearm.

Polish Winter Expedition