Purja to Try Winter K2? Here’s Alex Txikon’s Take

8000ers
Nirmal Purja recently on Nanga Parbat. Photo: Bremont Project Possible

Barely back home, and one leg shy of completing his stunning attempt to climb all 14 of the 8,000m peaks in just seven months, Nirmal Purja and his home team have tentatively announced a juicy new challenge: Winter K2.

“The only problem for me would be the funding,” he said today on his Facebook page.

Winter K2 veteran Alex Txikon is spending the summer on the perfect grey limestone of Picos de Europa, an hour drive from his home in northern Spain. Despite a poor cell connection, Txikon managed to send ExWeb some voice messages.

“Wow, after completing this mega-project, will he really be willing to go back to K2?” Txikon exclaimed.

The Basque climber was impressed by something Messner said: How Purja had quit his military career and mortgaged his house to pursue this project and his guiding business. “I thought he would just enjoy the success and recognition and use it to focus on his professional future.”

Basque climber Alex Txikon on winter K2

Alex Txikon during his latest venture on winter K2. Photo: Alex Txikon

He added:

“Yeah, it’s also true that first of all he needs to complete his current quest, but given the incredible strength and speed with which he has climbed all these peaks  — 11 8000’ers in four months, for God’s sake! — I believe that the most difficult part of the last leg will be getting the permits,” he said. “At his pace, he’ll have plenty of time for the three peaks left.”

In fact, Purja previously revealed that lack of funding and “some bigger issues” also jeopardized the just-finished second leg of his project. He mentioned logistics as an added difficulty. Of the three remaining peaks, Manaslu should be no problem, but Cho Oyu and Shishapangma are both located in Tibet. Airlifts are not available in that area, although there is a good network of roads.

What does Txikon think of Purja and winter K2? “Well, if he went and we decided to go there again as well, we would definitely talk and discuss details.”

Clearly, Purja’s reputation has soared from fit peakbagger to serious powerhouse after his recent leadership on K2. Txikon shares the general amazement at Purja’s strength and speed, and respects his decision to do this project in the style that he has chosen, with support and oxygen.

“From a strictly personal point of view, I believe that in the 21st century, true excellence on 8000’ers occurs without supplementary oxygen,” says Txikon. “But hey, there is his next challenge: all 14 8000’ers in one year, but without bottled O2. Something like that would really be worth seeing.”

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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8 Comments on "Purja to Try Winter K2? Here’s Alex Txikon’s Take"

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jps
Guest

“But hey, there is his next challenge: all 14 8000’ers in one year, but without bottled O2. Something like that would really be worth seeing.” …..
This is starting to get silly, what next, all 14,000ers with one leg, one eye, blindfolded and nude? ….

Damien Francois
Guest
That’s what I thougth when I first heard of the project – fame and big money luring, even if the project was very likely to be aborted due to uncooperative weather in PAK. And here comes the but: Nims has had the strength and the focus to climb 11 (!!!) 8.000 m peaks in 4 months. Including some, well, all of the hardest. And you think it’s a show he’s putting on? Have you ever been at 8.000 m? I totally agree on the stupidity of many “records” and “firsts”, but THIS is different. Killian Jornet’s double Everest in a… Read more »
Damien Francois
Guest

I forgot to mention taht he didn’t shy away from risking his life to try and save Chin on Annapurna.
Nims is out of this world.

Jeff T
Guest

Txikon comes off as a bit of a whiner. Let’s see him emulate Purja and do the second challenge with him. My bet is he couldn’t come close to keeping up.

Not an Everest climber
Guest
Not an Everest climber

Why is Txikon even relevant to Purja’s winter K2 bid? If anything, Txikon would be slowing Purja’s progress. I think Txikon just wants a winter K2 summit to feed his ego and he’ll probably get it if Purja & Co. opened up the route and spoonfed him.

Jeff T
Guest

Evidently, according to reports, it was Purja who showed up on K2, saw all the teams sitting around in base camp waiting on a cable car to the top , and proceeded to plow thru chest deep snow and set fixed rope to the summit. Without him no one gets to the summit this season.

Nick S
Guest

Nobody plowed through snow on their summit bid, the previous snow from previous week had all blown off. Review Esteban Topo’s pictures. I haven’t climbed that high, but alpinists say oxygen simulates 7000-7500 meters. I’m proud of Purja, but Sergi MINGOTE climbed 6, w/o oxygen, I consider a harder feat.

Damien Francois
Guest

He’s an alien. The Übermensch. The climbing one…
Nims, get back to me, we (Nepali Times) want to ask you how you managed to have Shiva’s personal help! ;-))