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with Stefan Nestler

Everest winter expedition: On the double to Camp 1

Alex Txikon in the Khumbu Icefall

This went fast. In just four days, the Spaniard Alex Txikon and the Sherpas Tenzing Gyalzen, Gelje, Cheppal, Walung Dorji and Pasang Norbu have completed the route through the Khumbu Icefall and reached Camp 1 at 6,050 meters. “Great job, we are very happy,” says Alex, adding that it was really hard work, each of them had carried between 25 and 35 kilos. The 36-year-old Basque points out that it took the six climbers five days less for this first major task than his team during the failed winter attempt in 2017 – despite the fact that at that time eleven, i.e. five more expedition members had been involved in the work. “The route through the icefall is very complex and required our full concentration,” says Alex. According to his words, he had searched together with the “Icefall Doctor” Gelje Sherpa for the ice areas with the lowest risk of collapsing.

Sharing tasks, saving energy

Complete concentration

The Pakistani climber Muhammad Ali “Sadpara” was not involved in the work in the Khumbu Icefall. He had been en route  with the two Sherpas Nuri and Temba Bhote in a nearby area for further acclimatization, Alex reports – “with the idea of sharing tasks and saving energy”. At the end of February 2016, the Spaniard, together with Muhammad Ali and the Italian Simone Moro, had succeeded the prestigious first winter ascent of the eight-thousander Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. The South Tyrolean Tamara Lunger had had to turn back then about 70 meters below the summit because she had felt bad. This winter, Txikon and Ali want to climb Mount Everest without bottled oxygen. Meanwhile, Moro and Lunger will try to succeed the first winter ascent of the 3003-meter-high Pik Pobeda in the ice cold east of Siberia.


12. January 2018 | 0:01