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Nepali climbers who scaled K2 in Pakistan recount success

Nepalese climbers who last week made history by scaling the world’s second highest peak — Pakistan’s K2 — in the winter season praised Pakistan’s military and civil authorities on Friday for facilitating their challenging expedition.

The leader of the 10-member Nepalese team, Nirmal Pujra, said he and his fellow mountaineers made “the impossible a possible.” He spoke in a video message after his meeting with Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

“K2 is the only mountain in the world that had remained unclimbed in the winter," said Pujra. “Me and my team together managed to make the impossible a possible."

Nepalese climber Nirmal Purja, second right, and his team, who recently made history by scaling the K2 summit in the winter season, pose for a selfie with local tour operators upon their arrival at airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Winter winds on K2 can blow at more than 200 km per hour (125 miles per hour) and temperatures can drop to minus 60 C (minus 76 F), an official of Pakistan's Alpine Club, Karrar Haideri said. (AP PhotoAnjum Naveed)

The Nepalese team scaled the K2 last Saturday. At 8,611 meters (28,251 feet), K2 is the most prominent peak on the Pakistani side of the Himalayan range, and the world’s second tallest after Mount Everest.

Pakistani authorities provided security to the Nepalese mountaineers when they arrived in the country weeks ago. A security team remained present at their base camp until the mountaineers returned after scaling K2.

Since the maiden attempt back in 1988, just a handful of winter expeditions have been attempted on the storied peak in the Karakoram range along the Chinese border that leads into the Himalayas.

Nepalese climber Nirmal Purja, center, and his team, who recently made history by scaling the K2 summit in the winter season, are greeted by local tour operators upon their arrival at airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Winter winds on K2 can blow at more than 200 km per hour (125 miles per hour) and temperatures can drop to minus 60 C (minus 76 F), an official of Pakistan's Alpine Club, Karrar Haideri said. (AP PhotoAnjum Naveed)

Nepalese climber Nirmal Purja, center with glasses, and team members, who recently made history by scaling the K2 summit in the winter season, pose for photograph with local tour operators upon their arrival at airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Winter winds on K2 can blow at more than 200 km per hour (125 miles per hour) and temperatures can drop to minus 60 C (minus 76 F), an official of Pakistan's Alpine Club, Karrar Haideri said. (AP PhotoAnjum Naveed)

Nepalese climber Nirmal Purja, center, and his team, who recently made history by scaling the K2 summit in the winter season, are greeted by local tour operators upon their arrival at airport in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Winter winds on K2 can blow at more than 200 km per hour (125 miles per hour) and temperatures can drop to minus 60 C (minus 76 F), an official of Pakistan's Alpine Club, Karrar Haideri said. (AP PhotoAnjum Naveed)