Nepali K2 climbers get heroes’ welcome
A team of Nepali climbers that made the first winter summit of K2, the world’s second tallest peak, arrived back in the country to a heroes’ welcome on Tuesday from crowds of well-wishers.
The 10 men, who climbed the 8,611 metre (28,251 foot) K2 peak on January 16, attributed their success to team spirit and a resolve to raise their country’s pride.
The mountain, that straddles the Pakistan-China border, was first climbed in 1954 but had never been summitted in the winter. “We succeeded in our effort because we worked as a team,” Nirmal Purja, the climbing leader, said at a public function to welcome them back. “If we unite we conquer, if we are divided we fall,” he added.
He said the K2 ascent was a huge achievement for all climbers to celebrate. “It is bigger than winning the World Cup.” Purja, 37, also holds the record of climbing the world’s 14 highest mountains.