It’s All Over on Manaslu

Despite a forecast of wind and snow for 10 more days, Alex Txikon was ready to wait patiently on Manaslu in order to launch one last summit push before the end of winter on March 21. But sometimes willingness is not enough.

Administrative, financial, and logistical issues have all played against him. “We were not allowed to extend our permit,” Alex Txikon explained yesterday in a video recorded (in Spanish). “We would have had to get a new spring permit. That would have added up to approximately €10,000, which could have doubled if we added agency expenses. Right now, we don’t have the money.

“But even if we had found a way to get the budget, Cheppal Sherpa, Kalden Sherpa, and Namja Sherpa had other professional assignments, so the task of opening the route again in deep snow would have been too much for the rest of us.” [presumably, Alex Txikon, Gelum Sherpa, and Iñaki Alvarez]


While the Base Camp crew packed, Txikon, Gelum, Cheppal, and Namja managed to climb to C2 on Friday to retrieve the tents and gear. Unfortunately, dangerous conditions – as seen in this Instagram video — prevented them from reaching Camp 3.

“We swam in snow up to the waist and there was a lot of wind,” said Txikon. “Hopefully, someone will find the cache [of sleeping pads, food, gas, two ice axes, and a tent] in autumn. It is well-marked with bamboo sticks.”

Packing up at Manaslu Base Camp. Photo: Phelipe Eizaguirre


“It’s painful, we were so close!” Alex Txikon admitted. “I was sure we would make it.” At least, all members are safe and ready to try again another year.