Manaslu: Alex Txikon Leads a Risky Summit Push Without Moro

It’s cold, windy, and snowing intermittently on Manaslu, which is already overloaded with fresh snow, but Alex Txikon is leading a new summit push. He is putting his faith in a tiny window that is expected to open on Friday, and which will be followed by a snowstorm lasting for days.

Simone Moro, concerned about the conditions, has chosen to pass. He and Gelung Sherpa broke trail from Base Camp to C1 this morning, noting that the higher they got, the deeper they sank in fresh snow. “Once I arrived at C1, it had already started to snow,” wrote Moro, “[so] I called Karl Gabl who told me that the window of good weather was reduced by 24 hours: February 18 with snow and 19 with some clouds; and then strong wind arrive.” Gabl’s warning prompted Moro to decide that it’s not worth the risk.

Alex Txikon texts home yesterday from Base Camp. Photo: Phelipe Eizaguirre


But for Txikon, it’s a question of going up now or heading home. He, Chhepal Sherpa, and Inaki Alvarez discussed the news at Camp 1 but made the choice to continue, while Moro headed down.

“I gathered all my things and packed the two duffel bags containing the equipment, clothing, and garbage,” said Moro. “I backpacked with a rope around my waist and dragged the bags downhill like a sled.” He arrived back in Base Camp exhausted after 10 hours and will remain there, available to help if needed.

Meanwhile, Txikon and the others are resting in Camp 1. Gelung Sherpa and Ramja Sherpa climbed a further 250m and pitched a bivouac. According to Moro, they will proceed to Camp 2 and Camp 3. Then, “if the weather changes radically and does not respect the forecasts of Gabl (and two other bulletins), they will try to climb to C4 and as high as possible,” says Moro, adding with a pinch of irony: “I have the limitation of blindly trusting Gabl, who doesn’t seem to be the only one predicting high winds and clouds.”