“I cannot afford to expose my companions any further,” writes Alex Txikon on Instagram today, “and so, after discussing and meditating all morning, we have decided to say yes to life, leaving behind our pretensions of continuing to try.”
On Thursday, Txikon’s team had abandoned the ascent towards the summit of Annapurna I at Camp 3 at 6,400 meters and returned to base camp. In the days before, it had stormed heavily on the 8,091-meter-high mountain in western Nepal. The material deposited in Camp 3 a week earlier had been blown into a crevasse.
Txikon admitted that they had not been “smart or effective enough”. He himself had made a mistake. “I think staying would be foolhardy given the compromising and risky conditions on the mountain,” writes the 42-year-old Spaniard. “Annapurna is in constant transformation and makes it a threatening mountain wherever we go. ” Now it’s time to pack up and go home.