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Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

Winter expeditions are on

Alex Txikon (l.) and Simone Moro in Lhukla

Several winter expeditions in the Himalayas and Karakoram started in the first days of the year. Two of the three climbers who had succeeded the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat in 2016 met in Lhukla in Nepal, however now with different goals: The Spaniard Alex Txikon wants to tackle K2 in Pakistan, the last remaining eight-thousander to be climbed for the first time in the cold season, the Italian Simone Moro is drawn to Manaslu again. The 51-year-old and the South Tyrolean Tamara Lunger had failed on the 8167-meter-high mountain in western Nepal in 2015 because of the enormous snow masses of that winter. This year, according to the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, Moro plans to climb with the Nepalese Pemba Gyalje Sherpa on the normal route without bottled oxygen. In order to acclimatize, they wanted to climb the 6,476-meter-high Mera Peak in the Khumbu region.

Also two Poles in Txikon’s K2 team

Alex Txikon meanwhile travelled with his Sherpa team to Islamabad. There he meets his Spanish climbing partner Felix Criado and other compatriots from the K2 expedition team – as well as the Poles Marek Klonowski and Pawel Dunaj. Both have participated several times in winter expeditions to Nanga Parbat. “We will certainly not play the first fiddle if we play the fiddle at all,” said Pawel in an interview with the Polish radio station “RMF 24”. “But we will try to support Alex as much as we can.”

Only seven climbers left in Pivtsov’s team

Pivtsov’s team in Islamabad

While Txikon’s team grew, the K2 winter expedition team from Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan shrank from eleven climbers – as originally planned – to seven, due to lack of money. Now the experienced Kazakh Vassily Pivtsov, who has already scaled all 14 eight-thousanders, will lead only six climbers: the Russians Artem Brown, Roman Abildaev and Konstantin Shepelev, the Kazakh Tursunali Aubakirov and Dmitry Muraviov and the Kyrgyz Mikhail Danichkin. The mountaineers from the former CIS states are on their way to Northern Pakistan.

Nardi and Ballard in Camp 1

Daniele Nardi on Nanga Parbat

Still in the old year the Italian Daniele Nardi and the Brit Tom Ballard arrived in the base camp at the foot of Nanga Parbat. As reported, they want to climb together with the two Pakistani Rahmat Ullah Baig and Kareem Hayat the 8125-meter-high mountain on a new route via the Mummery Rib in the Diamir Face, which has not yet been mastered. They already reached Camp 1 at 4,700 meters.





4. January 2019 | 14:06