The eight-thousander Manaslu in western Nepal remains an almost impregnable winter fortress. With the Spaniards Alex Txikon and Inaki Alvarez and their Sherpa team, the last climbers on the eighth highest mountain on earth also threw in the towel at the weekend.
“We were very close, but in the end it was not possible,” said Alex Txikon. “The weather forecasts don’t show any improvement for at least 10 days and after that we don’t know what will happen. So it’s very risky to extend the permit.” The permit from the Nepalese government was only valid until 28 February, the end of the meteorological winter. Twice, Txikon and Co. had ascended to an altitude of around 7,000 meters before bad weather and deep snow had forced them to turn back.
Moro failed for the third time
The Italian Simone Moro had already left the mountain a week ago. For Simone, it was already the third failed winter attempt on Manaslu after 2015 and 2019. Moro and Txikon had originally planned to reach the 8,163-meter-high summit without bottled oxygen and then climb on to the nearby 7,992-meter high summit of Pinnacle East. Already at the beginning of February, the two Nepalese Vinayak Jay Malla and Tenji Sherpa had given up their attempt to climb Manaslu in winter in alpine style.
The first winter ascent of Manaslu – to date the only one in the calendar winter, which in the northern hemisphere begins with the winter solstice on 21 or 22 December – had been achieved by the Poles Maciej Berbeka and Ryszard Gajewski on 12 January 1984. In addition there were successful ascents in the meteorological winter: in December 1985, 1995 and 1998. The meteorological winter begins on 1 December.