K2 Winter climb.

Russian National team Expedition.

General sponsor Gazprombank

Expedition members:

The expedition head Victor Kozlov, the coach Nickolay Cherny, the doctor Serguey Bychkovsky.

The climbers: Andrew Mariev, Vadim Popovich, Alexey Bolotov, Nickolay Totmjanin, Valery Shamalo, Vitaly Gorelik, Vladimir Belous, Eugeny Vinogradsky, Iljas Tukhvatullin.

Photo & TV group: Igor Borisenko, Vladimir Kuptsov, Serguey Gaidukov, Yuri Dimchuk.

K2 winter route

Expedition chronicle

2 Feb2012 Since Jan, 28 till Jan, 31 Nick Totmjanin, Valery Shamalo and Vitaly Gorelik lifted next gear to 7000 m. Then Nick managed to fix two ropes above 7000 m.
Since Jan, 30 till Feb, 2 the trio Iljas Tukhvatullin, Andrew Mariev and Vadim Popovich reached 7050 m via fixed ropes, then fixed 3 ropes more till 7200 m. They couldn't set the tent, because it's need to cut the site for the tent on the steep slope.

Feb, 1 Alex Bolotov and Eugeny Vinogradsky lifted next gear to C1 and return to BC Feb, 2. Today all members are in BC. The forecast shows some days of bad weather.

Vitaly Gorelik got frostbites - the fingers on the both hands. The doctor helps him with the first aid. We ordered the heli for the evacuation Vitaly from BC, but the weather now is not for flights.

Expedition head Victor Kozlov

The forecast from Karl Gabl, meteorologist from Innsbruck:

In the next days the Jetstream will get further north directly over Karakorum .
It will be very stormy in higher regions. In 8000m wind speed will reach hurricane force. Also some snowfall will appear.

Wind Situation: European Model
-----------2.02. --- 3.02. --- 4.02. --- 5.02. --- 6.02.
-----------THU --- FRI ------- SAT --- SUN --- MON
7000m SW50 SW70/90 SW115/90 SW100 SW 100 kph
8000m SW70 SW90 --- SW125 SW125/140 SW125

Temperature in free Atmosphere

7000m -29 -32 -35 -35 -36 úC
8000m -37 -41 -42 -41 -42


Snowfall from today in the next days, probably till the 7th of February. Some models show only light snowfall, one model shows about at least 50 to 60 cm of fresh snow.

29 Jan 2012 The trio: Iljas Tukhvatullin, Andrew Mariev and Vadim Popovich worked on the route since Jan, 25. The duo Alex Bolotov and Eugeny Vinogradsky worked since Jan, 26.
They brought gear to C2 and further, made the depo. Andrew and Alex fixed 12 ropes, they reached 7000 m. 17 ropes has been already fixed above C2.
Yesterday the group led by Nickolay Totmjanin (Valery Shamalo and Vitaly Gorelik) started up from BC. Now they are in C2. Tomorrow they plan to climb upper 7000 m and to find the place for C3.

24 Jan 2012 Today morning Vladimir Belous has been evacuated by heli from BC. Good luck, Vladimir, to treat your fingers!

Yesterday, Jan, 23, Nick Totmjanin's group went up from BC in bad weather.
Hooray! Today, Jan, 24, we see the sun, but the sun with the strong wind.

Today Totmjanin's group climbed above C2, but the strong wind forced them to descend to BC.
Today in 12:00 Moscow time we had the first direct television broadcast with the TV company NTV-Plus. The second live broadcast will be on Friday in Moscow at the 12:00 at the channel Sport-plus.

The helicopter landed in BC about 9 am. We waited it some days, because of the bad weather. Vladimir Belous was evacuated from BC. He has frostbites on the1st finger on the right hand and three fingers on the left hand, the second step. Here in BC our doctor Serguey Bychkovsky help Vladimir with all needed first aid. Then Vladimir will fly from Skardu to Islamabad and then to Moscow. The team thanked the insurance company RESO Guarantee for the timely, prompt support!

The expedition head Victor Kozlov
The expedition doctor Serguey Bychkovsky

23 Jan 2012 TV correspondent Yuri Dimchuk wrote today: according to locals (our cooks), the weather in December and January on K2 is always very bad, extremely windy. But later, since Jan, 25, it would be better, warmer and less windy. We hope...

Yuri publishe also some pictures from the party, where Alex' birthday was selebrated when guys descended to BC.

And also you can see Vladimir Belous, with frostbitten fingers (not toes!) and the doctor, who is treating him.

Pics: Yuri Dimchuk

22 Jan 2012 Jan, 20 Iljas's group descended to BC. Jan, 22 Alexey Bolotov's group returned to BC too.
Guys lifted loads to C2. C1 and C2, broken by the hurricane, has been reset.
They couldn't climb above C2 via fixed some days earlier ropes because of the strongest winds.

Yesterday, close to the evening, the sun appeared on the sky for 30 minutes. We didn't see the sun from Jan, 12. But today, Jan, 22 the weather extremely worsened.

The trio led by Nick Totmjanjn are ready for the work on the route.

20 Jan 2012 Alex Bolotov (who's 49 today!) and Eugeny Vinogradsky are going up from BC.

19 Jan 2012 The trio Iljas Tukhvatullin, Andrew Mariev and Vadim Popovich are going up from BC.

Eugeny Vinogradsky called to Yekaterinburg:

Jan, 14 we ascended to C1, there was the strong wind, but that night we spent good. We hoped to work on the route next 3 days. But Jan, 15 the wind became hurricane, and on 1-30 am we felt out tent was kicked hard... I said to my mates that we have to put on clothes... next wind gust, and we were in time to put on our boots and harnesses... The tent was immediately cut by the wind, and our gear flew out of it. We risked to be swept with the tent, it standed on the edge of the rock. Me and Vladimir Belous were in time to put on the crampons, but Alexey Bolotov's crampons were swept out by the wind... But then we were lucky to descent fast and successful to BC. But there... The hurricane had cut 6 tents, a lot of gear was swept throw BC territory. Now all is OK, we repair the tents. The wind is calmer.

Eugeny Vinogradsky (left), Vladimir Belous, Alexey Bolotov in BC after the dramatic night descent from C1, swept by the hurricane.

18 Jan 2012 The forecast shows the increasing of the wind speed to weekend till 135 km/h. Totmjanin's trio is now dsending t BC, they spent night in new C1, and hoped to spent next in C2, but it's impossible because of strong wind...

17 Jan 2012 Look at video "Base Camp" on the official expedition site! Today Nick Totmjanin, Valery Shamalo and Vitaly Gorelik work on the route, their goal is to reborn C1 and, probably, C2...

15 Jan 2012 Today was the Hurricane on the Mount and in the BC. Our tents flew in BC. C1 has been absolutely swept. Bolotov's trio returned to BC.
Today evening all the team is in BC. Tomorrow we'll repair our tents. And next day, if the weather permits, Totmjanin's trio will start up.
We hope for the weather forecast from Karl... Hope to receive this very important for us data today or tomorrow.

14 Jan 2012 Today Iljas Tukhvatullin, Andrew Mariev and Vadim Popovich descended to BC. Jan, 12 they reached 6350 m, cut the site for the tent, and decendd to C1, where spent the night. Next morning they returned to 6350 m, set the tent of C2 and fixed 5 ropes above it.

Today Alex Bolotov, Eugeny Vinogredsky and Vladimir Belous ascended to C1 from BC with the loads for the next camp. They are in C1 now.

The weather in BC is very bad, overclouded. The wind speed at 6000 m is about 30 km/h, at 7000 m till 40 km/h. There're few snow on the route, but a lot of hardest winter ice.

The trio led by Nick Totmjanin is preparing to start up tomorrow from the BC.

Camp 1 at 6000 m

Andrew Mariev

Nickolay Cherny in BC

Iljas Tukhvatullin

Vadim Popovich

11 Jan 2012 Nickolay Totmjanin and Valery Shamalo fixed ropes above C1, spent the night there and today descended to BC. Iljas Tukhvatullin and Vadim Popovich are now in C1, preparing for the night. Tomorrow they'll go further and hope to set C2.
The team has fixed 21 ropes from the route beginning till C1, and 16 ropes above C1.

All expedition members and all cargo are in BC and C1.
The coach Nickolay Cherny sits in the mess-tent and keeps the wood stove...

9 Jan 2012 Alexey Bolotov, Vladimir Belous and Eugeny Vinogradsky today fixed 5 ropes above C1 and then descended to C1 and stayed for the night there. Nickolay Totmjanin, Valery Shamalo, Andrew Mariev and Vadim Popovich lifted the loads to C1 today and descended to BC. The weather was acceptable today, but no sun...

8 Jan 2012 Yesterday, Jan,7, the weather was very bad: snow storm, strong wind, the visibility 50 m in the BC.
Today morning Alexey Bolotov, Eugeny Vinogradsky and Vladimir Belous went up from BC. They lifted loads to C1 and stayed there for the night.
Tomorrow, if the weather permit, Bolotov's trio will set ropes above C1. And the second group will start up from the BC.

6 Jan 2012 Today Jan, 6 the weather is too bad at the bottom of K2. The trio Iljas Tukhvatullin, Andrew Mariev and Vadim Popovich descended from C1 to BC. Alexey Bolotov's group in so bad weather lifted the gear loads and made the depo at 5500 m. Now all the team is in BC, preparing the holiday dinner (Today is the Ortodox Christmas!)

5 Jan 2012 Yesterday, Jan, 4, the trio Nickolay Totmjanin, Valery Shamalo and Vitaly Gorelik worked on the route. Today morning Iljas Tukhvatullin, Andrew Mariev and Vadim Popovich left BC and went up. At 6050 m they prepared the site and set the tent of C1. They stay for the night in that tent. Tomorrow morning Alex Bolotov, Vladimir Belous and Eugeny Vinogradsky will start up from BC.

3 Jan 2012 Alex Bolotov, Vladimir Belous and Eugeny Vinogradsky fixed 6 ropes and reached 5900 m. Tomorrow Nick Totmjanin, Valery Shamalo and Vitaly Gorelik will work on the route. Today weather: BC (5000 m) -23C, 5900 m -29C

But there's the place in BC, where is always warm: the large mess-tent with the wood stove (wood had been brought in October to BC by porters). There's the temperature +3+5C, when there's -23C outdoor. It is comfortable for the climbers to rest there.

The ice, used for the water for tea and cooking, is so hard, that we has broken two ice-axes.

2 Jan 2012 Today the first group began to work on the route. Iljas Tukhvatullin, Andrew Mariev and Vadim Popovich fixed ropes and reached 5600 m. Tomorrow the second group - Alex Bolotov, Vladimir Belous and Eugeny Vinogradsky - is going up too.
It's few snow on the route, but too cold.

Yuri Dimchuk: We stayed in Skardu again. The forecast shows that we'll stay here fot 3-.... days...Guys in BC had some problems with the generator.

1 Jan 2012 Yuri Dimchuk:
Happy New Year! The third group didn't fly to BC today. Pilots said that there're no conditions in K2 BC. We met NY in the hotel, with candles, because there's no electricity power. But we had New Year tree! Guys in BC are setting the camp, we'll send you news ASAP they 'll call us.

31 Dec 2011 Today Eugeny Vinogradsky, Nickolay Totmjanin, Valery Shamalo, Vitaly Gorelik, Nickolay Cherny and Serguey Bychkovsky arrived to BC by heli. Tomorrow, if the weather permit, the third group will fly to BC with the rest of the expedititon loads.

30 Dec 2011 First! Departed!
Dec, 30 in the morning the helicopter MI-17 started from the Army Base in Skardu. Boarded: Iljas Tuhkvatullin, Andrew Mariev, Alexey Bolotov, Vadim Popovich, Vladimir Belous, three Pakistani and the part of the expedotion loads. Today at 5000 m under K2 five Russians and three Pakistani began to set BC. Tomorrow, if the weather permits, there'll be the second flight from Skardu to BC.

26 Dec 2011 The second part of the team returned to Skardu from the acclimatization. We wait the helicopter to BC...

23 Dec 2011 Vadim Popovich: Dec, 19 eight members went by cars to the south of Skardu. Spent night at 3800 m, then reached the pass. Two nights at 4000 m. Next day ascended to 4400 m.

Vladimir Belous: some pictures from the acclimatization push


22 Dec 2011 Eight members returned to Skardu after the acclimatization push. Other 8 will begin the same tomorrow. Expeditional loads are ready for the heli transportation to BC. The weather begins inproving.We wait when Pakistani Army will provide a helicopter to airdrop our supplies.

21 Dec 2011 Yuri Dimchuk (TV correspondent): our doctor has a stomach problem yesterday. But today morning he's OK.

Video about our way from Islamabad to Skardu

19 Dec 2011 Eight climbers began their acclimatization push. Others are preparing loads for the tranportation to BC.

Photo by Vladimir Belous

17 Dec 2011 Victor Kozlov called: "We've already reached Skardu"


15 Dec 2011 Victor Kozlov called (3-40 pm): today morning we came to the aitport. WAited till midday, but the flight to Skardu was postponed... maybe airport there couldn't work. We decided not to risk, and to go by bus. Now we're on the way.

13 Dec 2011 In the Central Alpine Club of Pakistan, in a solemn atmosphere the Russian team was awarded by an official permit for a winter ascent to K2 top. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Central television channels in Pakistan.

Today the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Pakistan Andrei Budnek and the General Consul Alexander Melnikov met with the expedition members.

We plan to fly to Scardu Dec, 15. THen we hope to acclimatize near there during 3-4 days at 6300-6400 m.

12 Dec 2011 Today late evening we sent our cargo to Skardu by car.

10 Dec 2011

The team arrived to Islamabad. At the airport ATP company organized the very warm meeting of our team. We've already got our cargo at the Customs Office. The air temperature in Islamabad is + 15úC, very comfortable. Now we prepare the gear to be sent to Skardu.

9 Dec 2011

Nickolay Cherny (73) - the oldest member of the team. He's a coach in Everest 2004 expedition, and in K2 West Face expedition, and now too. He climbed Everest in 2005 and in may 2009, when he was 71.

The team had flown to Islamabad from Moscow.

8 Dec 2011

Today is Nick Totmjanin's birthday! Be happy, Nick! We wish you to be lucky, healthy and to reach the top!

8 Dec 2011

In Moscow in the Russian Church of all Saints held a prayer service for the blessing of the winter expedition to the top of K2. The team'll take with them an icon of Kazan, which has always been with them in each expedition, starting from 2001 onwards.

Tomorrow, December 9, at 11am, team'll meet at Domodedovo Airport and will fly to Pakistan.

7 Dec 2011

In the XXII Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 the head and management met with the team of Russian winter expedition to the top of K2. The President of the Organizing Committee Dmitriy Chernyshenko handed the official flag of the Sochi-2014 Winter Olympics to the climbers. The team expects to lift the flag of the Olympics to the top of K2.

5 Dec 2011

Dec, 5 The team's press conference held in Moscow World Trade Centre before leaving for Pakistan. The expedition members, Victor Pleskachevsky (the Chairman of the Organizing Committee), Andrey Volkov (the President of the Russian Mountaineering Federation) and the representatives of the sponsors answered to the journalists questions. Expedition Leader Viktor Kozlov and climbers: Evgeny Vinogradsky, Alexey Bolotov, Valery Shamalo, Vitaly Gorelik, Vladimir Belous said about expedition detailes.
(Unfortunately, not all of the team were able to be at the conference - climbers were shipping at the Customs Office at the airport during that time). Guests of press conference congratulated with birthday 73-years expedition' senior coach - Nickolay Cherny. Questions asked to participants dealt with the various details of the project: the conditions in base camp, the weather conditions on the mountain, the line of the future route, the food, gear, how to reach the base camp, about the winter ascents, the complexity of the expedition organization as a whole. As the team as the sponsors showed a high faith in the success of the expedition. Video conference led crew NTV PLUS.

Winter 8,000-Meter First Ascents

1980 EVEREST Krzysztof Wielicki, Leszek Cichy (Poland)
1984 MANASLU Maciej Berbeka, Ryszard Gajewski (Poland)
1985 DHAULAGIRI Andrzej Czok, Jerzy Kukuczka (Poland); CHO OYU Maciej Berbeka, Maciej Pawlikowski, Jerzy Kukuczka, Zygmunt Heinrich (Poland)
1986 KANCHENJUNGA Krzysztof Wielicki, Jerzy Kukuczka (Poland)
1987 ANNAPURNA Jerzy Kukuczka, Artur Hajzer (Poland)
1988 LHOTSE Krzysztof Wielicki
2005 SHISHAPANGMA Piotr Morawski (Poland), Simone Moro (Italy)
2009 MAKALU Simone Moro, Denis Urubko (Kazakhstan)
2011 GASHERBRUM II Simone Moro, Denis Urubko, Cory Richards (United States)
Unclimbed K2 (two attempts), NANGA PARBAT (nine), GASHERBRUM I (one), BROAD PEAK (six)