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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 27 February 2021

Hero's welcome for Nepalese climbers who scaled K2 during harsh winter

The 10 Nepalese climbers arrived back in their home country from Pakistan on Tuesday

A team of 10 Nepalese climbers who became the first to scale the world’s second-highest peak during the harsh winter season received a hero’s welcome upon returning home in Nepal on Tuesday.

Mountaineers, supporters, friends and family lined the Kathmandu airport to greet the climbers with garlands and cheers as a police band played tunes. They were then driven around city in open trucks.

The team felt honoured, said Nirmal Purja, one of the members of the team who also holds the record for the fastest climb of the 14 highest peaks in the world.

The winter climb marks another achievement for Nepalese climbers who for decades worked as porters and guides for foreign mountaineers but now are setting their own records and running expeditions on the highest peaks.

K2 is the most prominent peak on the Pakistani side of the Himalayan range, and is second in height only to Mount Everest.

K2 had remained the last peak above 8,000 metres in the world that was yet to be climbed in the winter.

The Nepalese team made sure that all 10 members reached the summit at the same time.

“All 10 of us worked together in the same level. We all took a big risk to our lives. We felt like it has to be justice for every team member," Mr Purja said.

Updated: January 26, 2021 05:51 PM

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