The winter climbing season of 2019/20 continues. A bit of progress but no summits .. yet. There are expeditions planned for K2, Everest, Broad Peak, and the Gasherbrums plus a few others.
Everest – Exploring
German alpinist Jost Kobusch, age 27, has arrived at Everest Base Camp. He appears to be exploring an alternative route to going through the Khumbu Icefall. Prior to his arrival he had mentioned wanting to use the West Ridge but then said the standard Southeast Ridge. His route tracker shows him taking a few hikes up the Lho La Pass. This from his tracker:
He is doing posts on his Facebook page but no reveal as to his plans:
The days up here are so unreal in this radiant stone desert, which is icy and yet so beautiful and can also be a little warm as soon as the sun shows up . I love to challenge “accepted thinking” – I’m totally excited and I’m really happy that everything starts now – it all feels big and meaningful Merry Christmas everyone.
In review, he plans on a winter, solo Everest climb without supplemental oxygen and no Sherpa support. Jost has been acclimatizing on other peaks including Amotsang (6,393m), Island Peak (6,186 meters) and Pachermo Peak (6,259 meters) so he may try for a fast, alpine-style attempt now that he is at EBC. However, most Everest climbers, especially those not using supplemental oxygen try to reach 8,000 meters before making a summit attempt thus I would expect him at the very least to go to 7,000 meters before attempting the summit.
Also planning the south side of Everest is Alex Txikon who is back for his third winter attempt. But first, he’s in Antarctica to explore new routes on various peaks before going to Nepal to acclimatizing for Everest on Ama Dablam. His team includes Spaniard Oscar Cardo, Jonatan García and Nepalese Sherpas Chhiji Nurbu Sherpa, Pechhumbe Sherpa, and Tenjen Sherpa. He last reported in:
Hi everyone! It’s been several days after the Drake crossing. It has been very hard days. In the words of the captain, we have faced winds that if they had happened in the Caribbean would have been a category 4 hurricane.
With some more calm than no tranquility (you can not relax in such a wild environment), we started our activity on the mainland!!
Yesterday, the 26th, we opened the way to a peak that we don’t know if anyone has climbed before. The feeling is of real adventure. It is what I was looking for, an authentic environment, without transforming by the human being, in which to climb in alpine style. Soon we will tell you more about our trip to this amazing place!
Broad Peak – Depot at 5,100 meters
Broad Peak First then Maybe K2
Denis Urubko’s goal is to complete, what he considers, the first true winter ascent of Broad Peak and then, perhaps, go to K2. He is teaming with Don Bowie and Lotta Hintsa who will stay in base camp to support the two climbers. They are at Broad Peak Base Camp where Bowie posted on IG:
Denis Urubko and @lottahintsa return from establishing the route to the bottom of the west face of Broad Peak, leaving a gear depot at 5100m. The bitter cold temperatures of our approach have abated (it was a frigid -40C the morning we arrived at base camp) and now daytime temperatures are a balmy -5C, but feel warmer in the high altitude sun. I think I am finally over the barrage of illnesses which have battered me for two and a half weeks now. Today was the first day my lungs felt clear, and I should be ready to climb in a few days. Trekking for 8-days in winter with a fever has definitely been a lesson in personal suffering for me, and now I think I have enough antibodies built up that you could probably inject me with the plague and I’d be OK. #sufferfest –
Gasherbrum Traverse – In Pakistan
Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger are in transit to Skardu to start their trek to base camp planning to make a winter attempt on Gasherbrum I and II. They want to traverse the two peaks in a single push via the Gasherbrum La at 6,400 meters. They tried to acclimatize to 6400m/20,100 feet using an altitude chamber. You can read about their technique in this article.
- Mingma Gyalje Sherpa – soon
Broad Peak, then K2?
- Denis Urubko – on the trek
- Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger – in Pakistan
Memories are Everything