Nepal team claims first winter ascent of K2

ISLAMABAD (AFP): A team of Nepali climbers made history on Saturday after becoming the first to summit Pakistan’s K2 in winter, on the same afternoon a Spanish mountaineer fell and died lower down the perilous peak.

Dozens of climbers have been competing over the past few weeks to summit the world’s second highest mountain, the last peak above 8,000 metres (26,000 feet) to be topped in wintertime.

“WE DID IT,” tweeted Seven Summit Treks, a trekking company leading one of the expeditions.

“The Karakorum’s ‘Savage Mountain’ been summited in most dangerous season: winter. Nepalese climbers finally reached the summit of Mt K2 this afternoon at 17:00 local time.”

But the success was overshadowed by the death of a Spanish climber, Sergi Mingote, lower down the mountain. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez described him as a “great sportsman” on Twitter, wr-iting: “He wanted to keep on making history… and a tragic accident ended his life.” The Alpine Club of Pakistan said in a statement that the climber fell while descending to Base Camp shortly before 4 pm.