Moro and Txikon to Winter Manaslu

This winter won’t be just about K2: Simone Moro and Alex Txikon have just announced that they will join forces on winter Manaslu. Txikon confirmed the facts directly to ExplorersWeb, while Moro shared their plans to La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Both men, dubbed The Lords of Winter by Italian media, know that difficult game by heart: No one has bagged as many winter 8,000m firsts as Moro (four), while Txikon has spent recent winters attempting ascents of Everest (2018, 2020) and K2 (2019). They also proved that they can work well as a team by reaching the first winter summit of Nanga Parbat together in 2016.

At that time, the two of them shared the summit of Nanga with Pakistan’s Ali Sadpara, who will be on K2 this winter with his son Sajid Sadpara and Iceland’s John Snorri. Convinced that they need at least three people are needed on a winter attempt, Txikon has enlisted Iñaki Alvarez.

Simone Moro hopes to be luckier on 8,156m Manaslu this time than on his two previous attempts. In 2014-15, deep snow thwarted him and Tamara Lunger. And in 2018, he and Pemba Gelje Sherpa had to abandon their alpine-style attempt because of massive avalanches. As with Ali Sadpara, Pembe Gelje will spend this winter on K2, working for the big Seven Summit Treks expedition.

Dangerous conditions forced back Simone Moro and Pemba Gelje on Manaslu two winters ago. Photo: Simone Moro


It would be interesting to know whether Tamara Lunger, who has not confirmed winter plans yet, could end up on either of the two expeditions. Her name was initially listed on the K2 venture, but she quickly denied that, saying that she had not yet made up her mind. But she has regularly climbed with Moro in winter and she also joined Txikon and Moro on their 2016 winter Nanga Parbat, although she retreated shortly before the summit.

Manaslu was firstly ostensibly climbed in winter by Maciej Berbeka and Ryszard Gajewski in January, 1984. However, by Simone Moro’s criteria, that can’t be considered a winter ascent, since it actually began in early December, still autumn, and by December 21, the climbers had already reached 7,000m.

However, climbers such as Denis Urubko prefer using meteorological winter, which runs from the first day of December to the last day of February. By this standard, the Polish expedition qualifies as a winter endeavor, because they reached base camp on December 2, 1983.