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with Stefan Nestler

Txikon finishes Everest winter expedition

Alex Txikon

Alex Txikon throws in the towel. His second summit attempt failed too – and so did the entire winter expedition. The 35-year-old Basque and his Sherpa team decided in Camp 2 at 6,400 meters not to ascent further up. Instead, they packed up and returned to Everest Base Camp today. “It really would have been suicide to go on,” Txikon told his team by satellite phone. “As the head of the expedition, I should not endanger the lives of my companions. And not my own.” Nevertheless, the decision to abandon the summit attempt was not easy, Alex admitted.

Minus 40 degrees Celsius

In the Khumbu Icefall

According to Txikon, the wind had not calmed down in the past two days as previously hoped. Again and again there had been gusts at speeds of up to 70 km/h, with temperatures around minus 40 degrees Celsius, “felt lower than minus 50 degrees due to the strong wind”. For Thursday morning, gusts of up to 115 km/h were expected, said Txikon. High time to return.

Txikon wants to come back

74 days after the departure from Spain, the Basque declared his attempt to climb Mount Everest in winter without bottled oxygen to have definitively failed. He wants to return to Kathmandu as soon as possible, rest there for a few days and then return home. In his first summit attempt three weeks ago, Txikon and Co. had reached Everest South Col at 7,950 meters before the storm had forced them to descend. “This year it was not meant to be,” Alex said. “This mountain in winter requires a lot of respect and does not allow any follies.” Despite his failure, Txikon has not yet buried his Everest dream: “There will be more opportunities, and then I will return and try it again in a pure style.”



8. March 2017 | 12:21