Climbing 8,000 meters peaks are hard enough, but in winter all the odds are against making the summit. This winter is validating that axiom. The summit push was halted on Broad Peak due to strong winds and dangerous conditions, while an injury to Jost has temporarily stalled his solo effort. But Txikon did make through what he characterized as a very climbable icefall to reach the traditional site of Camp 1 in the Western Cwm. We are now in February, some call it the last month of winter.
Jost on West Ridge – Injury Recovery at EBC
German alpinist Jost Kobusch, is back at EBC after a quick trip up the Lho La according to his tracker. Apparently, he injured his foot in the process but remains optimistic. His high thus far was 6146 meters / 20164 feet on the Lho La Pass where he established two camps. You can track his location on this excellent map from 3D Reality Maps. He gave this recent update on Facebook:
Back in Basecamp! There were only shreds of rope left from what used to be my established route. In the darkness the wind was so strong that small ice particles were swirling around in the air. No chance to climb up like this. In retrospect as luck would have it the route collapsed and I had to descend again. Because yesterday morning I woke up with pain in my left foot. All the adrenalin must have covered the pain of the day before yesterday.🤪 But if I had climbed up to camp one, I might not have been able to descend again. Yesterday and today I stretched my foot, mobilized and dipped it into warm water – but I limp at the moment. Though now don’t jump to conclusions!🧘🏽♂️ There is already a solution for the collapsed route and when the foot has recovered, I will try to push up to 7000m – there are no problems, only challenges!🤘🏽
In review, he plans on a winter, solo Everest climb without supplemental oxygen and no Sherpa support. This exact style has never been attempted or accomplished. Jost has now been at EBC for about a month.
Txikon on Southeast Ridge – To C1
Alex Txikon and some of the team are now at Everest for an attempt on the standard SE Ridge route. Txikon’s home team gave this update:
Alex Txikon and his Everst climbing team are spending their second night in Base Camp. Earlier today, Alex ventured for the first time this winter in the Khumbu Icefall — all the way to Camp 1 and back — and sent some videos (in Spanish, English and Euskera) assessing the situation.
I received this video from his home team:
His team includes Spaniard Oscar Cardo, Jonatan García and Nepalese Sherpas Chhiji Nurbu Sherpa, Pechhumbe Sherpa, and Tenjen Sherpa. You can follow him on his tracker.
K2 – No Os – C1 Established!!
Mingma Gyalje Sherpa‘s Imagine Nepal team are working to establish high camps on their acclimatization rotations. They have tagged their Camp 2 at 20,796.75 ft【6.339 according to John Snorri’s tracker. A few days ago, Mingma posted this on Facebook:
K2 in winter is not like what we expected. It is extremely cold and windy. Our sleeping bags are frozen, clothes are not dried. Tomorrow some of us will sleep in camp1 and try to set up route to camp2.
Snorri added today:
Update: K2 winter expedition. I just got message from John Snorra. Him and Tomaz are on ther way to C2 making the route. He said “I’m well, me and T alone”
Broad Peak – Turned Back During Summit Push
Broad Peak First then Maybe K2
In what has been reported as a”solo” attempt, Urubko left Don Bowie and Lotta Hintsa at their camp at 6,600 meters and climbed to 7,650 meters before turning back due to crevasse danger. He slept in a crevasse to wait out a raging storm. Urubko posted on Facebook:
We turnerd back to 7650. No ropes and a lot of crevases. Tired to break trail, too risky, not enough time, but good acclimatization. Now we are drinking tea in C3, Tomorow BC
Don Bowie added:
Our 4th day on the mountain now. Denis, Lotta, and I made a single push from base camp to Camp 2 on the 29th. I am so proud of Lotta because it was a tough day with 1500m climbing in poor conditions and heavy packs, and she handled it like a champ. On the 30th, Denis and I pushed the route to 6900m (essentially Camp 3) then returned to Camp 2 for the night. Yesterday (31st) Denis left early for Camp 3 and Lotta and I departed sometime after. (we hesitated because of the appearance of strong winds above us). After 2 hours of climbing, the wind and blowing snow increased dramatically. Denis reached a crevasse below 7000m and crawled inside to shelter. Lotta and I hastily found a small platform and pitched our tent. Today (Feb 1) the storm abated. Denis managed to camp in the crevasse. I am not totally clear on what Denis did after this, but he said over the radio that this morning he tried to climb higher but was stopped by crevasses. @lottahintsa and I decided to stay put because big winds are forecast for the night and tomorrow, so we will retreat to base camp in the morning. Still I’m happy with establishing Camp 3 on this trip up.
It appears, Denis, at least, will continue to attempt the summit at some point but the weather continues to be fickle. Denis Urubko’s goal is to complete, what he considers, the first true winter ascent of Broad Peak and then, perhaps, go to K2 within his “winter.” He is teaming with Don Bowie and Lotta Hintsa.
Batura Sar – Climbing
They have established their Camp 1 at 4800 meters. In preparing for a 2020/21 K2 winter attempt, Piotr Tomala,Rafał Fronia, Wojciech Flaczyński, Filip Babicz, Mariusz Hatala, Kacper Kłoda, Marco Schwidergall and Oswald Rodrigo will try the first winter at Batura Sar, an impressive 7,795 meter peak, located in the western Karakoram Pakistan. The latest from their site:
Batura Sar expedition set up CI on 4800m a.s.l. Two teams went up today. Mariusz Hatala and Kacper Kłoda went first to pave the route to CI. Hour later with the camping equipment Wojciech Flaczynski, Filip Babicz and Marco Schwidergall went up. At 1 pm local time (9:30 am in Poland) they managed to set CI. Three climbers will spend the night there. Action will be continued on the following days.
Everest At 6000 meters
- Mingma Gyalje Sherpa – C2 established
Broad Peak, then K2?
- Denis Urubko – Turned back at 7650m
- Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger – Over. Due to injury
- Zoltán Szlankó, Alex Goldfarb
Memories are Everything