“Without a doubt, one of the toughest experiences of my career. But super rewarding!” That’s how Spanish climber Alex Txikon describes his successful Manaslu winter ascent. As reported, the 41-year-old Basque had reached the summit of the 8,163-meter-high mountain in western Nepal on Friday together with the Nepalese climbers Tenjen Sherpa, Pasang Nurbu Sherpa, Mingtemba Sherpa, Chhepal Sherpa, Pemba Tashi Sherpa and Gyalu Sherpa.
First videos and pictures of the ascent show to all appearances the “True Summit”, the very highest point at the end of the summit ridge – around which there had been so much fuss in recent years. A joint summit photo was not possible there due to lack of space, Txikon reported after returning to Kathmandu, adding that one after the other, they climbed to the highest point.
Thanks to Nepalese climbers – and to Simone Moro
In several interviews, Alex said that – as in all his eight-thousander projects – he had also climbed without bottled oxygen this time. According to his words, his Nepalese companions used oxygen bottles, but because of the great cold, the devices did not work properly in the end. Txikon expressed his gratitude for the “hard work of my Nepalese companions, of whom I am very proud. They were on Manaslu for their country. They wanted to reach the summit, as mountaineers,” as the Spaniard told Italian journalist Alessandro Filippini.
Txikon also did not leave unmentioned the Italian Simone Moro. The 55-year-old had abandoned the climb because he was suffering from diarrhea and had returned to base camp alone. Moro had not wanted to hinder the team’s ascent, Alex wrote: “Thanks, friend!”
Gelje Sherpa’s Cho Oyu team back in Kathmandu
Meanwhile, Gelje Sherpa‘s winter expedition on Cho Oyu has apparently come to an end. The team, which included eight-thousander “hunters” Kristin Harila of Norway and Adriana Brownlee of the UK, posted group photos from Kathmandu. After the planned route on the Nepalese south side of the mountain had been secured with fixed ropes up to Camp 3 at about 7,300 meters shortly before Christmas, violent storms had made a new ascent impossible. A large part of the equipment deposited in Camp 1 had been blown into a crevasse.
Göttler and Barmasse on Dhaulagiri at 5,800 meters
This leaves only one of the three eight-thousander expeditions left this winter: that of David Göttler and Hervé Barmasse on Dhaulagiri. The 44-year-old German and the 45-year-old Italian want to climb the 8,167-meter-high mountain in western Nepal in alpine style: without bottled oxygen, fixed ropes and fixed high camps, and without Sherpa support. Today they posted videos from an altitude of around 5,800 meters – in good weather.