Polish climber Magdalena Gorzkowska and her bid to scale world's second-highest peak K2
“The conditions were very difficult. The mountain gives you a hard time, it is very demanding. You have to climb hard all the time, the wind is very strong. It is at least minus 30 degrees non-stop,” says 28-year-old Magdalena Gorzkowska.
Magdalena Gorzkowska, a 28-year-old medal-winning runner who became the youngest Polish woman ever to climb Mount Everest, now wants to be the first to scale the world’s second-highest peak, K2, in winter -- one of the great feats in mountaineering.
There are many who criticise Gorzkowska for her attempt to scale K2 due to her lack of experience. But if she makes it to the summit, she will make history and silence those who see her attempt as a social media stunt with no chance of success.
Koniec pierwszego etapu akcji na K2— GorzkowskaInPostK2Winter (@GorzkowskaW) January 4, 2021
W niedzielę 3 stycznia Magda Gorzkowska dotarła z powrotem do Bazy pod K2 po pięciu dniach akcji górskiej. Podczas tego wyjścia udało się jej dotrzeć na wysokość 6550 m n.p.m. i spędzić tam noc. 1/2#gorzkowskainpostk2winter #K2winter2021 #k2 pic.twitter.com/0HqucZG8Cv
Sylwestra spędzamy w obozie 1 na wysokości 6070 m. Strasznie wieje i temperatura to ok. -40 stopni. Droga była bardzo wymagająca, będzie tylko gorzej. Dosiego roku i życzę wszystkim szampańskiej zabawy!#GorzkowskaInPostK2Winter #K2winter #k2 #inpost pic.twitter.com/54uTQzeJ9u— GorzkowskaInPostK2Winter (@GorzkowskaW) December 31, 2020
“Everyone can have their opinion, and some believe that it takes many years to be able to face such challenges. I just do what I feel I can do,” Gorzkowska told Reuters by telephone from her base camp. “Why should I limit myself?”
Gorzkowska is one of several mountaineers attempting this winter to scale K2, which at 8,611 metres (28,251 feet) is second only to Mount Everest.
Zwarta i gotowa w Bazie pod K2!— GorzkowskaInPostK2Winter (@GorzkowskaW) December 30, 2020
Nie tracę czasu i już dziś ruszam w górę !
Jest świetna pogoda i trzeba to wykorzystać ????
Ruszam tak wysoko jak będzie to możliwe ???????? Trzymajcie kciuki i śledzcie moją lokalizację ????️#GorzkowskaInPostK2Winter #k2 #K2winter2021 pic.twitter.com/9YC2guFSDt
Gorzkowska, who is being accompanied by sherpas, said she had returned to her base camp, at an altitude of 5,000 metres, after an acclimatisation trip that saw her spend a night at a camp at 6,550 metres.
“The conditions were very difficult. The mountain gives you a hard time, it is very demanding. You have to climb hard all the time, the wind is very strong. It is at least minus 30 degrees non-stop,” she said.
K2 -- NOTORIOUS PEAK
K2, in the Karakorum mountains along the border between China and Pakistan, is notorious for its high winds, especially steep and icy slopes, and a high fatality rate among climbers. Eighty-six climbers are reported to have died on its slopes.
Two years ago a Polish team abandoned their attempt to reach the summit in winter due to heavy snow. The scale of the challenge has made some in the male-dominated world of Polish mountaineering regard her bid with scepticism.
“Just wait for the desire to attack K2 in winter to be announced by top Polish Youtubers, Instagrammers or other influencers,” Polish mountaineer Marcin Miotk said, on hearing the news of her attempt.
Gorzkowska is unfazed by such comments. “I dreamt of K2 in winter and that’s why I’m here. Maybe they (her critics) don’t have dreams like that, maybe they aren’t so determined,” she said.