Alex Txikon and Trangoworld return to the Everest.
From: Trangoworld Press Department
With renewed energy and the experience obtained during last year's expedition, Alex Txikon and his team return to Everest for the first winter summit without artificial oxygen in history. Not yet achieved, the last winter expedition dates from 1993. Only fifteen mountaineers have reached the summit, but all of them with the support of artificial oxygen.
This year Alex will have the help of Pakistani mountaineer Ali Sadpara. Together they succeeded the first Nanga Parbat’s winter summit two years ago.
On Sunday December the 24th. they left for Kathmandu from Bilbao with the idea of arriving at Base Camp for new year. The return to Spain is planned for just after summit but according to Alex, "the idea is to spend the less time there as you know a winter expedition and on an empty mountain, multiply by far the costs of an expedition in another time of the year ".
After the expedition last year, Alex knows quite well that he must change the strategy to have more chances of success. "In the lower part we cannot punish ourselves like last year. In my case, I worked 9 consecutive days for many hours in the Khumbu icefall, loading some 25 kilos on my back, only to open the route from the base camp to camp 1. This year we have to distribute the work in groups, widening the dates".
This year Alex will has the presence of Pakistani Ali Sadpara and a team of Nepalese mountaineers. About Ali, Alex says that "already last year he was about to come, and at the last minute it could not be. It is not the same for a Pakistani as for us to enter Nepal. It is an extra difficult in terms of permits but this year it seems that everything has been achieved".
The team of sherpas is basically the same as the one Alex had last year as almost everyone wants to return with him although "until I'm there, in Kathmandu, I will not be sure. For an expedition like this, and with the language problem, until we meet in person, everything will not be closed ".
One of the fundamental variables to manage will be the weather conditions. "There in winter it barely snows. The mountain is pure ice, a hard and technical work. But the wind does not stop. At -50ºC, with strong wind, and in height, the conditions are really limit".
Another variable is the mountaineering activity above 8,000 meters without artificial oxygen and in the winter of the Himalayas. Nobody has gone without oxygen from the South Ridge to the summit. "I go without oxygen. It is not about to summit at any costs. There I will see if I go alone, or someone decides to come with me. The idea is that Ali will come with me. It is likely that he will use oxygen. He is very motivated to get the summit of Everest, and it may be his only chance".
The priority for the whole team is to return home alive. "Always on the mountain, but even more in the case of Everest in winter and with our means, it is a priority and everything else is subordinated to that. Afterwards, I would like to be able to leave Camp 4 towards the summit. Then he would discover how far I can go as I enter that unknown terrain without oxygen in winter. And for that there is something fundamental: the weather. I will need the right conditions, if not, it will not be possible. We expect a favourable day that allows me to go up without oxygen. If it not happens, it will be impossible".