Txikon’s Last Chance for Winter K2

8000ers K2
The hardships of Karakoram winter show on Alex Txikon's face during the aerial search operation on Nanga Parbat.
The hardships of the Karakorum winter show on Alex Txikon's face. Image taken last week during the aerial search on Nanga Parbat.

After an emotional week leading the searching operations on Nanga Parbat, Alex Txikon is back to what he calls “home” — not the green hills and ragged cliffs of his home Basque Country, but the frozen rocks and glaciers of K2. He and his team are making a last-minute bid to climb K2 in winter.

Basque climber Alex Txikon on winter K2

Alex Txikon is back at “home, frozen home” on K2. Photo: Alex Txikon

This is the last opportunity to write a bright epilogue to an otherwise somber winter season, after the powerful Eastern team led by Vassiliy Pivtsov packed and left Base Camp yesterday, and the bodies of deceased Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard rest on the slopes of Nanga Parbat.

Nepalese Sherpa climbers in Alex Txikon's team for winter K2

While three Polish climbers have abandoned the expedition due to health reasons, the five Nepali mountaineers are still keen to give the peak a try. Photo: Alex Txikon

However, barely a week away from the beginning of the spring equinox, the odds are stacked against the remaining K2 hopefuls. Although the five Nepali climbers made it to Camp 2 while Txikon and Criado flew to Nanga Parbat, there have been no details about the highest point reached.

In fact, the expedition plans for the next few days have been not revealed, and the gaps are filled with questions rather than news: How far have Txikon’s team fixed ropes on the route? Have Pivtsov’s team left some ropes that Txikon and company could use? When does their permit expire? Would they consider to keep climbing into the spring season?

Nanga Parbat search video

Last weekend, Alex Txikon submitted a long, detailed report of the search operations conducted on Nanga Parbat. The climbers also shared a video showing how it felt to be looking for the missing climbers with all resources available, including the avalanche hazards of searching  on foot the route previously followed by Nardi and Ballard. Check the footage here:

Related stories:

Bodies Found, Nanga Parbat Search Ends

Winter K2 Wins Again: It’s Over for Pivtsov’s Team

Investigation of Two “Shapes” on Nanga Parbat Delayed

Two Silhouettes Spotted on Nanga Parbat

Hope Fades for Missing Climbers

Txikon Searches on Foot for Nardi and Ballard

Alex Txikon & Co. en Route from K2 to Nanga Parbat

Weather Again Delays Search

No Sign of Climbers, Avalanche Risk Too High for Searchers

Wrecked Tent and Avalanche Debris Spotted on Nanga Parbat

Nardi and Ballard Missing on Nanga Parbat

Txikon Searches on Foot for Nardi and Ballard

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Sport journalist, published author and communication consultant. Feeling back home at ExplorersWeb after five years exploring distant professional ranges.

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