Alex Txikon is now at Everest Base Camp on the Nepal side preparing to begin his acclimatization rotations on Everest.
He is being supported by Seven Summits Treks and five Sherpas who will fix the route thru the Khumbu Icefall. They had their Puja today, January 6, 2016.
Txikon along with Simone Moro and Muhammad Ali Sadpara knocked off Nanga Parbat last winter leaving on K2 as the last 8000er without a winter summit. An effort for a winter K2 summit by Polish climber Krzysztof Wielicki was canceled due to lack of funds.
The weather is the foremost problem facing the team. In January, the coldest month, the summit temperature averages -36° C (-33° F) and can drop as low as -60° C (-76° F). According to the Weather Underground on February 2004 the winds reached 280 km/h or 174 mph.
Txikon is climbing without supplemental oxygen significantly increasing the effort.
Technically winter begins on December 21st or 22nd and ends on March 20th so Txikon must summit by late March to claim his winter ascent.
The majority of Everest winter summits have been in December and predominately by Japanese climbers who have accounted for 10 of the 15 winter summits.
A paltry 0.2% of all summits since 1953 have occurred in the winter. See this post for more Everest winter statistics.
Meanwhile over on the 8000 meter mountain Manaslu, French alpinist Elisabeth Revol is at base camp preparing for her alpine style attempt on the world’s 8th highest peak at 8163 m, 26,781 feet.
Fellow french climber Ludovic Giambiasi has plans to climb with her but only to Camp 2 at 6,400 meters.
She posted at the end of December that she has no communications capability so we will have to wait for her return for an update.
On base camp today. We are in winter : it’s cold and windy. But weather is ok for now. Have a nice end of year, and an happy new year 2017. I’ll have no connection on base camp !
Best of luck to all,
Memories are Everything