Last Chance for Winter Everest: Kobusch Moves, Txikon Readies

After two days without a signal, Jost Kobusch is back on grid, gaining metre after metre up the West Shoulder. If his indicated position is correct, he is to the left of the original West Ridge route. In a brief post before leaving, Kobusch said that he found no better alternative to the icy route he had tested the previous week. That will be his chosen line to the summit. The close dots suggest that at the end of the day, he set up his Camp 2 at approximately 6,850m.

Alex Txikon is also prepping for his final stab at winter Everest. He drew up his plans based on the long-range weather forecast from one of the most respected high-altitude meteorologists, Karl Gabl of Innsbruck. According to Gabl, a short but violent storm on February 26 leads into a good weather window. February 28 will be the best summit day, with clear skies and only 20 to 30kph winds on top.

Nurbu Sherpa approaches 7,000m on the safer, alternative route to the South Col. Photo: Alex Txikon


If this forecast holds, the Basque climber and Sherpas Pechhumbe, Nurubu and Geljen Lama will leave Base Camp on Monday or Tuesday, tough out the gale as well as they can in Camp 2, then go straight the South Col via the safer detour they developed last week. There, from Camp 4, they will launch their final summit push.

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