Polish climber aims to defy critics with K2 bid

If Gorzkowska, a medal-winning runner who also became the youngest Polish woman ever to climb Mount Everest, makes it to the summit, she will have made history and silenced those who see her attempt as a social media stunt with no chance of success.

Gorzkowska is one of several mountaineers attempting this winter to scale K2, which at 8,611 meters (28,251 feet) is second only to Mount Everest.

Gorzkowska, who is being accompanied by sherpas, said she had returned to her base camp, at an altitude of 5,000 meters, after an acclimatization trip that saw her spend a night at a camp at 6,550 meters.Video footage shows her climbing up on snowy slopes and setting up a tent in strong winds.

K2, in the Karakorum mountains along the border between China and Pakistan, is notorious for its high winds, especially steep and icy slopes - and high fatality rates among climbers. Eighty-six climbers are reported to have died on its slopes since 1939.