2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Injury and Summit Push

K2 from Concordia 2014 by Alan Arnette

The weather on Everest is making for slow progress but it’s better in the Karakorum where the Broad Peak team is hoping to summit soon.

Everest – Back at EBC

Jost on West Ridge

German alpinist Jost Kobusch, is back at EBC after a quick trip up the Lho La according to his tracker. 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 had acclimatized on other peaks including Amotsang (6,393m), Island Peak (6,186 meters) and Pachermo Peak (6,259 meters).

Txikon on Southeast Ridge

Alex Txikon and some of the team summited Ama Dablam but a few still need to make an attempt.  They will now move to Everest for an attempt on the standard SE Ridge route. His team includes Spaniard Oscar Cardo, Jonatan García and Nepalese Sherpas Chhiji Nurbu Sherpa, Pechhumbe Sherpa, and Tenjen Sherpa. Txikon home team gave this update:

Jonatan, Oscar, Eneko and Sergio are leaving tomorrow for Everest BC. Ignacio and Lur will set off towards Ama Dablam higher camps, together with the Nepalese climbers and some other team members. The plan is to reach Camp 2 on Friday, conditions and weather permitting and then – we’ll see. Alex and Ramón will watch from BC.

K2 – No Os – C1 Established!!

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa‘s Imagine Nepal team arrived at Broad Peak Base Camp in deep snow and have started carrying loads as high as 19,187.01 ft​【5.848 m】according to John Snorri’s tracker. Mingma posted 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:

After 3 hours we will head to K2, for camp 1 (6.050 m / 20.000 ft) and sleep there over night. Next morning we will start making the route to camp 2 (6.700 m / 21,980 ft​【6.700 m】 ). If we manage to fix the route to C2 we will sleep there over night to rest, and then head back to C1 to sleep for our acclimatization. The winter is cold , and we know it is important to have strong minds in this harsh environment.

Broad Peak – Beginning the Summit Push

Broad Peak First then Maybe K2

The team is on their summit push.  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. Montagna Magica gave this brief update

Denis Urubko and Don Bowie reached 6950mt (yellow point), after C3, near final bergschrund – equipped with old fixed ropes – that lead to the plateau. The pair is now resting at C2. Tomorrow could be the decisive workday on the route; Saturday, Feb 1st could be the day of summit bid. Nice weather expected until Sunday, Feb 2nd.

Don Bowie added:

Smiles all around. Why? Because the weather seems to be opening a little- and we are heading up in the morning to work the route again and… and… and maybe see if the summit winds abate enough to take a shot at going all the way. Keep your fingers crossed. I’ll update you in a day or so.

Batura Sar – Climbing

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. They are at Batura’s base camp now. The latest from their site:

On January 29th, a team of five climbers of the Batura Sar expedition (7795 m a.s.l.) explored the route to Camp I. They reached 4650 m. a.s.l

Climbers left the Base Camp (4100 m a.s.l.) in the morning with the intention of clearing the route towards the planned Camp I. The initial stage led in deep snow reaching armpits at times – it took climbers one and a half hours to cover one kilometer section.

After four hours, they reached the altitude of 4,600 meters where they met first climbing difficulties. They managed to overcome them and set up a stand and a handrail rope for next teams. In total, the action lasted eight hours. In the evening everyone returned safely to the Base Camp.

Today, (January 30th) is a rest day and time for preparation for the next wall exits. For now, weather conditions are favorable, although the biggest snowfall in 26 years is a problem. In places, the snow cover is 1.5 meters thick. The lowest temperature recorded in the Base is -27 degrees Celsius.

Winter 2019/20

Everest At 6000 meters


Broad Peak, then K2?

  • Denis Urubko – Climbing

Gasherbrum I/II

  • Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger – Over. Due to injury

Ama Dablam

  • Zoltán Szlankó, Alex Goldfarb

Climb On!
Memories are Everything


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