Hard winter work on Everest and Manaslu
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.
“Runner of death”
This could happen earlier because the most dangerous part of the route, the Icefall, is already behind the team. Alex called a passage of about 150 meters, flanked on both sides by ice blocks, “the runner of death”. “An area that makes the breath freeze and our hearts beat even faster,” the 35-year-old wrote. “The truth is that it impresses a lot, since on both sides seracs do not leave anyone indifferent. Undoubtedly, we have made the effort to control and confront our fears.” Txikon and Rubio want to climb Everest without bottled oxygen. This feat has been achieved in winter only by Ang Rita Sherpa, on 22 December 1987, under particularly favorable weather conditions and on the very first day of the calendrical winter. Since 1993 nobody has been on the summit of Everest in the cold season.
Heavy snow on Manaslu
Snow digging and trudging is necessary on Manaslu. Since the beginning of the year two and a half meters of fresh snow has fallen, wrote the Frenchwoman Elisabeth Revol on the weekend on Facebook. “Each afternoon it’s snowing in Base Camp, so it’s not simple for acclimatization.” Her team mate and compatriot Ludovician Giambiasi “fights with the coldness and discovers what winter means. 😉 But anyway it’s hard, but great time on then mountain … alone.” In the past years Revol had tried three times in vain to climb Nanga Parbat in Pakistan in winter. In case she now succeeds, Revol would be the first woman in winter on the 8,163-meter-high summit in the west of Nepal. In winter 2015, the South Tyrolean Tamara Lunger and the Italian Simone Moro had fought in vain against the snow masses on Manaslu.
Date16. January 2017 | 12:50
TagsAlex Txikon, Carlos Rubio, Elisabeth Revol, Ludovic Giambiasi, Manaslu, Mount Everest, winter ascent, winter expedition