Canadian author of mountaineering books, Bernadette McDonald, said the Nepali team had written an important chapter in the history of high-altitude winter climbing.
She added in a Facebook post: ‘This remarkable Nepali success is the result of many things: their strength, their abilities in the mountains, their motivation, their willingness to suffer, an amazing weather window and an outstanding collaboration between multiple teams. They formed one unstoppable team, one that paused only once, when they stopped 10 metres below the summit to ensure that all ten members reached the top together. Brotherhood of the Rope!’
McDonald, who is updating her most recent book Winter 8000 with the Nepali success on K2, added: ‘It’s hard to imagine a more perfect group of climbers to make the first winter ascent of K2, climbers who have been the backbone of so many successful ascents in the Himalaya, but have rarely reaped the glory.’
Nims Purja used to be in the British special forces, and unfurled a banner with the British and Nepali flags at the summit at 5PM on 16 January. He said: “What kept everyone going was that everybody wanted this to their bone to make the Nepali climbing community proud. It was that mutual support between each other that kept us successful.”