Again nothing. For the second time in five days, the team around the Spaniard Alex Txikon had to end their summit attempt on the eight-thousander Manaslu in western Nepal at an altitude of about 7,000 meters. Just like last Sunday, the weather put a spoke in their wheel today. Txikon, his Spanish compatriot Inaki Alvarez and the Sherpas Chhepal, Gelum and Namja turned around and descended to the base camp. “Sanity has made us turn around at 7.050m, when we were facing the ramp towards the C4,” says Alex. “The safety of the team is above all and if we continued with that wind we surely would not have counted it.”
Rather bad weather predicted
The Italian Simone Moro had already returned to base camp the day before yesterday, after the Austrian meteorologist Karl Gabl had informed him that the window of good weather would probably close earlier than originally expected. Txikon and Co. had nevertheless continued to climb – in the silent hope of perhaps still being able to reach the highest point at 8,163 meters this Friday.
Whether there will be a third summit attempt remains to be seen. For the coming week there seems to be no stable weather window (no snowfall, little wind) that would allow a new ascent. On Sunday of next week the meteorological winter ends. “Every time we are closer,” says Alex Txikon. “Although it is true that we have less time left, we will try if the weather improves.”
Update 22 February: Simone Moro throws in the towel on Manaslu, for the third time in winter after 2015 and 2019. “The mountain and weather conditions again this year lead me to give up,” the Italian climber writes on Facebook. “My limits and abilities are highly inferior to those of the Mountain I have encountered in these three winters. Acceptance of this has allowed me so far to survive my dreams and let my head prevail over my heart.” Spaniard Alex Txikon, on the other hand, apparently hopes for the chance for another summit attempt.