Will Broad Peak, Everest See Summits Before the End of Winter?

Open crevasses in the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: Alex Txikon

Alex Txikon is back in Base Camp after a hard-working day in the Khumbu Icefall, re-fixing part of the route. “Some crevasses are now wide open, and we’ve had to assemble ladders in order to cross them,” said Txikon. “High winds have made some seracs crumble down, leaving chaotic but less dangerous fields of rubble.” In a few hours, the team will leave for Camp 2 and a longer stay in the higher reaches.

The Spaniards plan to set up Camp 3, then advance to the South Col and pitch Camp 4, weather permitting.

The dogged Jost Kobusch is also back in Base Camp after a failed attempt to reach Everest’s West Ridge and set up Camp 2. After a windy night in Camp 1 at 6,050m on the Lho La, he stoically tried to proceed further up, but he didn’t get very far. “I had to bow to the wind, and turning around was the only sensible thing to do,” he admitted. “I almost flew away while walking!”

Despite relentlessly high winds, Jost Kobusch climbs toward the Lho la and Everest’s West Ridge. Photo: @terragraphy

The wind was so strong that it again flattened Camp 1 and his tent sustained some damage. He wasn’t able to fix it because in the winter cold, the glue wouldn’t stick. His tracking device also seems to be on the fritz, which kept followers intrigued yesterday: After hours without a signal, it located him on an entirely different ridge!

On Broad Peak, Urubko has delayed summit plans after the latest weather report suggested that February 20-22 promised better conditions than Sunday-Monday (February 16-17). It predicted cold (-35ºC) but sunny days and relatively weak 20 to 40kph winds. He also informed his porters of the delay and so Urubko should have just enough time to summit and return before they dismantle the camp.

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. From Dec19 to Feb20, I'll be also working as press manager for Alex Txikon's expeditions to Antarctica, winter Ama Dablam and winter Everest.

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