Death on the Everest winter expedition: However, none of the climbers died but a government official. According to the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times” the liaison officer, who was to accompany the winter expedition of the Basque Alex Txikon on behalf of the Tourism Ministry, died of high altitude sickness. The man passed away on the flight from Dukla (4,600 meters high) to Lukla (2860 meters) where he was to be treated in the hospital. The Spaniards Alex Txikon and Carlos Rubio want to climb Mount Everest without bottled oxygen this winter. The team has meanwhile – as reported – pitched up Camp 1 at 6,050 meters above the Khumbu Icefall.
Date17. January 2017 | 16:45
Winter expeditions are not for wimps. “Today we have climbed up to 6,050 meters to build Camp 1”, the Basque Alex Txikon wrote in his blog from Everest on the weekend. “At the moment, we have less than minus 30 degrees Celsius.” After all, the team of eleven – Alex, his Spanish countryman Carlos Rubio and nine Sherpas, including two “Icefall doctors” experienced in dealing with the dangerous Khumbu Icefall – are quicker than expected. At the beginning of last week, Txikon had assumed that it would take four weeks to reach Camp 2 at 6,400 meters.
Date16. January 2017 | 12:50
TagsAlex Txikon, Carlos Rubio, Elisabeth Revol, Ludovic Giambiasi, Manaslu, Mount Everest, winter ascent, winter expedition
Climbing on an eight-thousander in Tibet is getting more expensive, not only on Mount Everest. According to documents available to me, the Chinese Mountaineering Association (CMA) has significantly increased the prices for the climbing permits on Everest, Cho Oyu and Shishapangma, on average by more than 30 percent. Since the beginning of the year, the CMA claims 9,950 US dollars per mountaineer for the climb of the highest mountain on earth in case of four or more team members. So far the Everest Permit cost about 7,000 dollars per head. 7,400 dollars are now due for Cho Oyu, 7,150 dollar for climbing Shishapangma from the north side and 7,650 dollars for an ascent from the south side of the mountain. For smaller teams of up to three, the permit costs are even in a five-digit range: 19,500 dollars per person on Everest, 12,600 dollars each on Cho Oyu and Shishapangma.
Date13. January 2017 | 14:51
TagsAdrian Ballinger, China, Cho Oyu, CMA, Gangkar, Kari Kobler, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Mount Everest, Permit, Shishapangma, Tibet, Tingri
An Icefall Doctor himself
At the moment Alex Txikon may feel on Mount Everest a bit like Edmund Hillary. Like the first ascender from New Zealand and his companions in 1953, the Basque must play an active part in finding a way through the dangerous Khumbu Icefall above Base Camp and in carrying material needed to secure the route. For example aluminium ladders to cross the deep crevasses in the Icefall. With a weight of about five kilograms, such a ladder is not too heavy but bloody bulky while climbing through the ice. Real back-breaking work, as the video shows which the 35-year-old sent today from Everest Base Camp:
As reported, Alex, along with his Spanish countryman Carlos Rubio, wants to scale Mount Everest in winter, for the first time since 1993 – without bottled oxygen. The two climbers and nine Sherpas first have to make their way through the dangerous Icefall. Txikon has estimated this work for up to four weeks.
Pretty exclusive experience
As in Hillary’s days, the Spanish expedition is currently the only one on the highest mountain on earth. What a contrast to spring, when year after year several hundred mountaineers from dozens of commercial expeditions turn the Base Camp into a small tent town!
When the clients arrive there at an altitude of 5,300 meters in April, usually the so-called “Icefall Doctors” have already prepared and secured the way through the Icefall. This team of eight Sherpas also ensures that the route remains accessible throughout the climbing season until its end early June. The highly specialized Sherpas are selected and paid by the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), an organization that originally only cared about the environmental protection in the National Park around Mount Everest. Since 2000, the SPCC has also been responsible for the route through the Khumbu Icefall on behalf of the Government of Nepal. In spring 2014, 16 Nepalese climbers were killed in an avalanche in the Icefall.
Even if it turns out that Alex Txikon is not able to reach the summit at 8,850 meters this winter – his experience of working as a non-Sherpa as Icefall Doctor is pretty exclusive.
Date11. January 2017 | 14:58
TagsAlex Txikon, Carlos Rubio, Edmund Hillary, Icefall Doctors, Khumbu Icefall, Mount Everest, SPCC
It is a long and hard way up to the 8850-meter-high summit of Mount Everest – all the more in winter and if you want to do it without bottled oxygen. And Alex Txikon and his teammates are just at the beginning. The Basque, his Spanish companion Carlos Rubio and nine Sherpas have begun to find and fix a route through the Khumbu Icefall. “Honestly, it’s what I’m afraid of climbing Everest, I do not want us to get stuck and we’re equipping it for a month”, Alex writes in his blog: “We are working hard, we have to climb a lot of stairs. In short, we have to equip a labyrinth of ice blocks. The terrain “is technical, difficult and demanding,” says Alex. I sent three questions to Everest Base Camp.
Alex, after your winter success on Nanga Parbat in February 2016 you now tackle Mount Everest. Which challenges do you expect on the highest mountain on earth and how high do you estimate your chance of success?
Date9. January 2017 | 12:20
TagsAlex Txikon, Ang Rita Sherpa, Carlos Rubio, Mount Everest, Nanga Parbat, winter ascent, winter expedition
The trio wants the triple. After having climbed Mount Everest and K 2, Maya Sherpa, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita and Dawa Yangzum Sherpa plan to scale next spring also the third-highest mountain in the world, the 8,586-meter-high Kangchenjunga in the east of Nepal. Via the normal route, with bottled oxygen. They climbed Everest still separately – Maya for the first time in 2006, Pasang Lhamu in 2007 and Dawa Yangzum in 2012 – but K 2 in Pakistan in 2014 for the first time together as a team. As early as in 2015 the trio wanted to climb Kangchenjunga. However, at that time the expedition did not come about for financial reasons. This time, too, there is still money left, Maya Sherpa, who is to lead the first Nepalese women’s expedition to Kangchenjunga, writes to me. The Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) has announced to provide financial support as well as Tashi Lakpa Sherpa, managing director of the expedition operator Seven Summit Treks, says Maya Sherpa. The Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) has not yet decided whether it will also participate in the costs. In addition, the three Sherpani try to get a free permit for their expedition by the government.
Date6. January 2017 | 15:44
TagsDawa Yangzum Sherpa, K 2, Kangchenjunga, Maya Sherpa, Mount Everest, NMA, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, TAAN, Women's expedition
Ready to go. “We are already at the Base Camp,” Alex Txikon writes on Twitter from the Nepalese south side of Mount Everest. The Basque climber and his companions have pitched their tents in the 5360-meter-high Base Camp at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall. For one week, the team had trekked from Lukla via the Khumbu region to BC. Txikon reported on dry but cold winter weather.
Date5. January 2017 | 15:08
It is certainly no mistake to start a new year with good news: the construction work at the new school in Thulosirubari continues to progress at a high rate. “The contractor’s target is to handover the new finishing of this new school building of Thulosirubari (Gerlinde and Ralf School) by the end of April 2017,“ writes Sunil Krishna Shrestha, the liaison man of the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” in Kathmandu. If the “speedy work” continues, the entrepreneur will fulfill his contractual obligations, says Sunil. Until now, the goal was to complete the construction work on the building (without painting) of the new “Gerlinde and Ralf School” at the latest until the beginning of the monsoon in summer. In this slideshow you can follow the construction progress since early December:
Date4. January 2017 | 15:35
TagsAid project: School up!, Charity event, Construction work, DAV Cologne, Nepalhilfe Beilngries, Ralf Dujmovits, Sunil Shrestha, Thulosirubari
Happy New Year!
Date31. December 2016 | 15:37
And another winter expedition. After it had looked for a long time as if the eight-thousanders would stay in winter sleep this time, now at least two of the highest mountains in the world are visited in the cold season. As reported, the two Spaniards Alex Txikon and Carlos Rubio will try to climb Mount Everest without bottled oxygen. They are expected in Base Camp shortly after the turn of the year. The Frenchwoman Elisabeth Revol has already pitched up her tents at the foot of the 8,163-meter-high Manaslu in Nepal.
Date30. December 2016 | 18:58
Date24. December 2016 | 12:26
These days I received a funny Christmas card of an expedition organizer. It showed a Santa Claus on Mount Everest, with his finger in front of his mouth: “Pst … definitely too high for my reindeer.” This reminded me that I wanted to wish my old friend Chomolungma Merry Christmas. For years, he can be reached by mobile phone. At the first ring, he takes the call.
Namaste, Chomo! This is Stefan.
Hej, I haven’t heard from you for a long time.
Sorry for that. I wanted to check on your condition.
Sunshine, minus 26 degrees Celsius, 65 km/h at the summit, good visibility.
Sounds like calm winter weather.
I like it.
Have you heard that you’ll be visited?
Date23. December 2016 | 19:55
The experience on Mount Everest in spring 2013 has changed Ueli Steck. “The moment when I realized that the Sherpas wanted to kill me, a world came crashing in,” the 40-year-old Swiss top climber wrote in his new book “The Next Step”. “After that, my look at the world was a different one. I withdrew because I did not trust anyone anymore.” In spring 2017, Ueli will return to Everest – to try to traverse the highest mountain on earth and the 8,516-meter-high Lhotse. I talked to Steck about Everest.
Ueli, what does Mount Everest mean for you personally?
Everest is the highest mountain in the world. If high altitude climbing is your thing, it is, with an altitude of 8,848 meters, a dimension of its own and therefore the most interesting and exciting mountain.
Date20. December 2016 | 18:06
“We are so happy seeing the re-construction – and that the building is designed to resist earthquakes,” says Hari Bikram, the 43-year-old headteacher of Thulosirubari. The construction work in the small mountain village 70 kilometers east of the Nepali capital Kathmandu continues at high speed. “The plinth work has almost been finished,” Shyam Pandit, Nepalese liaison of the German relief organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries”, writes to me. I wanted to know from him whether the work will be stopped in winter. “No stop. I will continue construction work,” the contractor replied, says Shyam. However, it’s going to be a little slower in the cold season than now.
Date19. December 2016 | 14:09
TagsAid project: School up!, Charity event, DAV Cologne, Erdbeben, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Hari Bikram, Nepal, Nepalhilfe Beilngries, Ralf Dujmovits, Shyam Pandit, Thulosirubari
I was probably too hasty. One and a half weeks ago I had prophesied a quiet winter time on the highest mountains in the world. Now there will be a spectacular expedition. The Basque Alex Txikon wants to climb Mount Everest in winter, without the use of bottled oxygen. This is consistently reported by Spanish media. The 35-year-old will be accompanied by the internationally still relatively unknown 28-year-old Spanish climber Carlos Rubio, who has hitherto made more headlines as an extreme skier. In addition, the two mountaineers Aitor Barez and Pablo Magister will belong to the team as cameramen.
Date16. December 2016 | 17:06
TagsAlex Txikon, Ang Rita Sherpa, Carlos Rubio, Cichy, Mount Everest, Wielicki, winter ascent, winter expedition