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Txikon’s last Everest summit attempt is on

Alex Txikon on Everest

It is a race against time. Another storm front is approaching Mount Everest. The meteorologists expect the small weather window with relatively favorable conditions in the summit region to remain open only until Wednesday and then close for a longer period of time. Therefore Alex Txikon, who wants to climb Everest in winter without bottled oxygen, has to push now. In two weeks, the meteorological winter will end. On Monday, the 35-year-old Basque and his five-man strong Sherpa team climbed up to Camp 2 at 6,400 meters. Today Txikon and the Sherpas Nuri, Gesman, Temba, Sanu and Pasang Nurbu want to reach the South Col at 7,950 meters. All Sherpas use supplemental oxygen. Three weeks ago, Txikon’s first summit attempt had failed on the South Col. “We hope to reach the summit on Wednesday ,” Alex said.

Date

7. March 2017 | 11:26

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Himalayan chronicle 2.0

Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu (from l. to r.)

It is the old road, but due to the increased traffic the (digital) emergency lane is used too. From now on,  expedition teams heading for Nepal can register with the Himalayan Database, the high mountaineering chronicle founded by the legendary Elizabeth Hawley,  also online before setting off, for example via Facebook. “We will continue to meet as many teams in Kathmandu as we can. However, it has become almost impossible in the last few years to interview everyone personally,” Billi Bierling explains the new procedure.

Date

2. March 2017 | 9:09

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Route via the Khumbu Icefall is prepared

Hard work in the Khumbu Icefall

Once more it is served on Mount Everest. For three days, the Basque Alex Txikon, six Sherpas and two “Icefall Doctors” worked to restore the route via the Khumbu Icefall up to Camp 1 at more than 6,000 meters. 60 percent of the route had to be renewed, because the hard weather conditions of the past two weeks had left their mark in the ice labyrinth, the team of the 35-year-old Spaniard said. “It has been hard days refitting the route,” Alex noted on Facebook. After today’s rest day, Txikon and Co. want to ascend tomorrow to Camp 2 at 6,400 meters.

Time to grind the teeth

Alex Txikon

“I know that every time I go up, my strength is decreasing and therefore the chances of summit too,” Alex wrote in his blog. “But I’m a bit stubborn and I like to climb and fight it. It is time to grind my teeth.”

As reported, Txikon had had to interrupt his winter attempt involuntarily because the Nepalese expedition operator Seven Summit Treks had ordered the entire team back to Kathmandu after the failed first summit attempt. On Saturday, Alex had returned to the Everest Base Camp by helicopter.

Date

1. March 2017 | 12:23

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Expeditionary arrhythmia

Alex Txikon in Everest Base Camp

Expeditions can also get out of the rhythm. For example, if a long bad weather period thwarts all plans or if unpredictable things happen such as illnesses or injuries. Alex Txikon‘s Everest winter expedition, however, has stuttered for another reason. After the failed first summit attempt, the Nepalese agency Seven Summits Treks, with whom Txikon cooperated, yesterday ordered surprisingly to break immediately the Base Camp and return. This decision was “unilateral”, the team of the 35-year-old Basque said. Alex was quoted as saying, “I do not want to leave Everest.”

Date

16. February 2017 | 19:02

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Dawa Steven Sherpa: “There is a lot of pressure”

Dawa Steven Sherpa

Dawa Steven Sherpa

A 15-meter-high climbing wall in the middle of the tourist quarter Thamel in Kathmandu – who would have thought it? “The wall is the nursery for the sport of climbing in Nepal”, Dawa Steven Sherpa tells me. “All of the young ambitious Sherpa climbers have trained here.” I meet the 32-year-old in the office of “Asian Trekking”. Along with his father Ang Tshering Sherpa, Dawa Steven is managing the leading Nepalese expedition operator. I talk with him about this spring season on Everest – after the avalanche in the Khumbu Icefall in 2014 that killed 16 Nepalese climberes and the earthquake in 2015, that triggered an avalanche from the 7000er Pumori that hit Everest Base Camp killing 19 climbers.

Dawa Steven, Asian Trekking once again offers an Eco Everest Expedition this spring. Will it take place?

Yes, it will start from Kathmandu on 6 April. So far we have 14 foreign members and 21 Sherpas but this number will change by the end of the month.

Do you notice that there is a lower demand this year?

Date

29. March 2016 | 16:21

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People like Mahesh

Mahesh Kumar Budha

Mahesh Kumar Budha

It is far from easy to survive in the highly competitive tourism market in Nepal. Under normal circumstances, but all the more after the earthquake last spring. There are hundreds of trekking and expedition agencies in Kathmandu that compete to get any clients. Most of them are small companies, and the owners often live from hand to mouth. Small entrepreneurs like my friend Mahesh Kumar Budha suffer most from the economic consequences of the earthquake. The government estimates that the tourism market has slumped by 50 percent, local operators assume that it is up to 70 percent.

Date

18. September 2015 | 7:00

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Kobusch: “I thought I would die”

jost kobuschA video of two minutes and 28 seconds has made Jost Kobusch known throughout the world in one go. It shows the huge avalanche from the seven-thousander Pumori that was triggered by the earthquake in Nepal on 25 April and devastated Everest Base Camp. 19 people lost their lives. Jost survived and put his video online on YouTube. It spread like wildfire. The 22-year-old German climber grew up near the town of Bielefeld. Talking to me, he called himself a cosmopolitan: “I travel a lot. Last year, I lived in Kyrgyzstan for six months, in Nepal for two months, in Svalbard for two month and in Japan for a month. There was not much time left for my home address.” At the end of May, Kobusch wants to return to Nepal to help where it is possible. Afterwards he will travel to Kyrgyzstan, to the village of Arslanbob, some 200 kilometers southwest of the capital Bishkek, where he plans to initiate a climbing project with local people. I talked to Jost about his experiences after the earthquake in Nepal.

Jost, what did you think this week when you heard about the new earthquake in Nepal?

I was sitting in front of my computer and received on Facebook a message from a friend who wrote: We survived. Till then I had not heard anything about it. I immediately wrote to all my Nepalese friends whether they were doing well. A friend, who normally replies promptly, did not answer, neither in the evening nor the next morning. I started to get worried. Fortunately, she replied after all. She wrote that they were now living in a tent, because it was safer. That made me a little bit nervous. I’ll soon go to Nepal. I worry about my own safety.

Date

17. May 2015 | 16:07

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New strong earthquake in Nepal

Epicenter of the new quake (© USGS)

Epicenter of the new quake (© USGS)

Nepal does not come to rest. Two and a half weeks after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 8,000 people, the country was hit by another strong quake today. The tremors reached a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale (for comparison: the earthquake on April 25 had a magnitude of 7.8). According to the US Geological Survey and the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam  the epicenter of the earthquake was located in the Dolakha District, 76 kilometers northeast of the capital Kathmandu. Quite exactly there is Bigu Gompa, one of the largest Buddhist nunneries in Nepal. The nuns had just started to rebuild those parts of the monastery which had been destroyed by the quake two weeks.

Date

12. May 2015 | 15:28

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Ghostly silence where once was hubbub

Destroyed house in Sangachok

Destroyed house in Sangachok

Ralf Dujmovits is shocked. “I have rarely seen something so depressing and sad”, says Germany’s most successful high altitude mountaineer when he calls me from Kathmandu. He has just returned from an all-day trip to Sindhupalchowk District, about 80 kilometers northeast of the capital. There was no other district in Nepal where the devastating earthquake two weeks ago killed more people than in Sindhupalchowk. So far, the government has registered there more than 3,000 dead – at a total of more than 7,900 fatalities throughout Nepal.

Date

9. May 2015 | 21:13

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