Alex Txikon and Simone Moro to Return to Winter Manaslu

No, they didn’t have enough last year. Yes, they still want to do it. So Alex Txikon and Simone Moro are preparing for a fresh attempt on winter Manaslu.

Will they have the mountain to themselves, as they more or less did last winter? Or will they have to deal with commercial teams on the same route? This answer will take time to sort out, but right now, it looks like they may not be alone.

In addition to cold, deep snow on Manaslu can pose serious problems for for small teams. Photo from last winter: Alex Txikon


In addition to Moro, Alex Txikon will again team up with his partner from last winter, Iñaki Alvarez, Txikon told ExplorersWeb by phone, while queuing to get a COVID vaccination. For Base Camp manager, they will rely on Txikon’s friend and expert Basque chef, Eneko Garamendi.

They plan to leave Spain by December 13 in order to reach Base Camp by December 21. They want to start working on the mountain from the very first day of calendar winter.

A weathered Simone Moro after last winter on Manaslu. Photo: Simone Moro


Meanwhile, Simone Moro intends to keep a low profile while pursuing his usual style of climbing in a small team. This would be his fifth winter ascent without O2 on an 8,000m peak, something no one has done before.

Manaslu’s main summit and East pinnacle. Photo: Simone Moro.


“Also, Manaslu will involve a winter double goal for me,” Moro told ExplorersWeb. His personal objective is to reach the main summit and then traverse Manaslu’s East pinnacle before returning to Base Camp.

Seven Summit Trek’s Winter Manaslu ad, posted some weeks ago on the outfitter’s Instagram page.


Commercial company?

However, it does seem that Txikon and Moro are not the only ones with winter Manaslu in mind. The powerful Seven Summit Treks agency offered a commercial expedition to winter Manaslu some weeks ago. Although not yet confirmed, SST told Txikon that they have some interested clients.

Txikon is not concerned about any possible clashes with a commercial expedition. It’s similar to what he is currently doing in Spain’s Picos de Europa, he says. “Right now I am climbing in Desfiladero de la Hermida [Hermida gorges]. You can see climbers doing classic routes, sport climbers, many people on a via ferrata — which is the main attraction and source of income for the area — hikers, families bathing in the river, etc… and that’s perfectly all right, we don’t disturb each other.”

Txikon climbing last week. Photo: Alex Txikon


“After all, Seven Summit Treks organized and (with other teams) achieved the first winter climb on K2, after we had all tried and failed,” Txikon added. “Even I was skeptical at first.”

He and Moro have hired SST for their logistics. “We’ve known them for a long time,” he said. “Iñaki, Simone, and I will mind our own business, climb together, and learn from the mistakes we made last year. For example, we arrived in Kathmandu too late, thinking we wouldn’t need to quarantine, but then we did.”

Alex Txikon on Manaslu last winter. Photo: Alex Txikon