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Feb 232020
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Final Winter Summit Pushes, Surprise New Team

The two expeditions left on the 8000ers this winter, both on Everest, are starting their final pushes. One is already in the midst.  The wildcard, as always, will be the weather and this week’s forecast has a few short windows, but nothing ideal, especially in winter. Wind chills are consistently forecasted around -50F/C, the limit for most climbers. Everest Jost on West Ridge – Nearing the West Ridge, Time running out German alpinist, Jost Kobuschh’s is at his high point for this expedition, 7,329-meters/23,750-feet at his C2 according to his tracker. But the last reported location was Saturday, February 22, at 6:16 continue reading

Feb 212020
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Only Two Left

Only two teams are left on the 8000ers this winter, both on Everest and both are struggling. Both suggest one more attempt to get as high as possible before ending their efforts. While the temps have been cold and the winds high, there is running water at Everest Base Camp, a warning sign for the spring season. Denis Urbuko ended his winter Broad Peak effort and his 8000er career. Everest Jost on West Ridge – Potentially nearing the End German alpinist Jost Kobuschh’s last trip from EBC to his C1 was disappointing and he feels he may be near the end continue reading

Feb 172020
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Urubko Ends Broad Peak Summit Push

Denis Urbuko ended his winter Broad Peak effort after reaching 7000m, getting hit by an avalanche. Spaniard Oscar Cardo on Alex Txikon’s team evacuated from Everest C2 with some form of AMS. Controversy over the early termination of the K2 expedition. Broad Peak – Over – Hit by Avalanche Denis Urubko ended his summit bid citing several issues. His message to his partner Maria Cardell: I am in BC, no summit but survived despite some incidents Wind was 70-80 km at the top. An avalanche slide me for 100 m, then I fall down with a broken fixed rope for continue reading

Feb 152020
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Urubko Launch Broad Peak Summit Push tomorrow

Broad Peak weather forecast changed so Urbuko will leave for the summit Sunday, February 16 aiming to top out on the 17th. He’s alone with no comms so we won’t have any updates until mid-week. Txikon moved to C2 on Everest while Jost seems to be exploring options for the West Ridge. Broad Peak – Targeting February 17 Denis Urubko is working the schedule around the weather. Txikon’s home team including Pintér László and Mozgasvilag gave this update: Denis sent an SMS to Pipi Cardell a few minutes ago: “16feb BC-C3, 17feb try summit 🙂 Than BC and expedition finished” This means that continue reading

Feb 142020
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs:What Went Wrong on K2?

I was quite surprised when I read the news from John Snorri that their winter K2 attempt had come to a sudden halt and all members had flown back to Askole. I’ve known the expedition leader, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa‘s and his Imagine Nepal guide company for years and highly respect his skills and leadership ability. The big picture is the expedition was delayed arriving at K2 Base Caamp by deep snow on the Baltoro glacier. The extreme cold temps below -30C/-22F took a toll on humans, supplies, and gear. They lacked K2 Winter experience to fully understand the challenge as they continue reading

Feb 132020
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Fighting the Weather

Jost was blown back to EBC after a tough night on the Lho La.  Urbuko wants to get Broad Peak in February to meet his definition of winter and now is targeting February 20/21. Porters have been pushed back to February 22. Everest Txikon on Southeast Ridge – Headed Higher With an improved forecast Alex Txikon and team are headed back up to the mid camps in the Western Cwm after big winds destroyed some of their tents at base camp. I assume they will see similar damage at the previously established high camps. High winds have stopped Txikon on his continue reading

Feb 122020
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Wind Stops Everyone

The good news is it is a bit warmer on both Everest and Broad Peak, the bad news, it’s too windy to climb. Time is running out for Urbuko on Broad Peak. Porters are coming on February 20. Everest Txikon on Southeast Ridge – Holding at EBC Alex Txikon and team were hoping to leave EBC for Camp 3 or even 4 at the South Col but high winds at EBC flattened tents and gave them pause about conditions higher. So they are holding for a bit more. Txikon’s posted this update on Facebook and Twitter As we mentioned yesterday, Everest can continue reading

Feb 112020
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Warming Conditions

The cold is easing up a bit allowing more movement on Everest. No word from Denis Urubko on Broad Peak. Everest Txikon on Southeast Ridge – At EBC Alex Txikon and team are hoping to leave EBC for Camp 3 or even 4 at the South Col in a day or so. Txikon’s posted this update on Facebook and Twitter Finally, after one month know the Himalaya, we can have lunch outside! His team includes Spaniard Oscar Cardo, and Nepalese Sherpas Chhiji Nurbu Sherpa, Pechhumbe Sherpa, and Tenjen Sherpa. You can follow him on his tracker. Jost on West Ridge – At continue reading

Feb 102020
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Only A Few Remain

Cold has hampered the remaining expeditions, two on Everest and one on Broad Peak. However, this week looks better for Everest but still mind-numbing wind chills on BP.   Broad Peak Denis Urubko was thought to go on his summit pus solo this weekend but stayed at base camp due to weather. The porters are trekking to BC to take all the gear back to Askole so his time is running out. Hopefully he will get a couple of days window of low winds to make his attempt but this forecast from Meteoexploration is not encouraging: Denis Urubko’s goal is to continue reading

Feb 072020
2019/20 Winter Himalaya Climbs: Weekend Update

Climbing in the winter is dramatically different than in the usual seasons, obviously. More expeditions don’t summit than stand on top. There are many reasons for this ranging from experience, preparation, and team dynamics to weather, mountain conditions or just that after weeks on end at temperatures hovering under -20F/-29C and winds gusting over 100mph/160kph it takes a toll on the human body. In those conditions, you hole up in your tent passing the days waiting for better weather. And when a break it comes it is usually just a few days. At some point, you just give in. We continue reading