Manaslu: Moro Leaves, But Txikon Stays

Manaslu Winter 8000ers
Simone Moro portrait
Simone Moro. Photo: Simone Moro

Manaslu has defeated Simone Moro for a third time, including his previous attempts in 2015 and 2019. “The mountain and weather again this year led me to give up,” he said.

The Italian modestly added that his “limits and abilities are highly inferior to those of the Mountain I have encountered in these three winters.”
“Acceptance of this has allowed me so far to survive my dreams and let my head prevail over my heart,” he said in a Facebook post. Moreover, Moro leaves gracefully, thanking everyone in Base Camp, his social media followers, and especially his partner, Alex Txikon, who has chosen to remain.
“Never a disagreement, never an argument, total harmony have confirmed the fraternal friendship that I have with Alex, even after this surrender of mine,” he wrote.
Partners Moro and Txikon in Base Camp

Simone Moro left) and Alex Txikon in Manaslu Base Camp. Photo: Phelipe Eizaguirre

“The crevasses we encountered on the Normal Route in mid-January and the new variant that Alex and all of us opened consumed the most beautiful and stable days I have had in all my winters,” Moro said. “Unfortunately, by the time we completed the variant, the winter on Manaslu was back to its old self — very strong winds at high altitude, interrupted by a few days of clouds and fog, and the usual snowfall — though less this year.”
Moro added: “The wind tore the snow off the ridges and settled it on the medium-low part of the mountain, and it was always an immense effort to break trail. We often sank up to our bellies, even with snowshoes on.”
Bad weather is supposed to continue until the end of February — the end of meteorological winter, as some climbers define it — which spelled the end for Moro, who has always ended his winter Manaslu attempts by then.
“Spring will not begin until March 20, though,” he conceded, in deference to Txikon and his team, who may ask for a permit extension to continue their climb into March.
Alex Txikon portrait

Alex Txikon, still game to tackle winter Manaslu. Photo: Phelipe Eizaguirre

Alex Txikon remains optimistic for either a sudden weather change or at least, a permit extension. He told El Correo that the route is fixed and that the team’s high camp at 7,000m has an ample supply of food, gasoline, and ropes. “We only need two good days to summit,” said Txikon.
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About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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Jankel
Jankel
9 months ago

So after never ending series of selfies, trips to Samagaon, hanging out and pondering glacier crevasses and winter snow in the dining tent, and never going above 7,000m the trips over. What was this really all about? Self promotion? Please Mr. Moro, let it not be so.

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Twinkletoes
Twinkletoes
9 months ago
Reply to  Jankel

Moro has nothing to prove and he has nothing to hear from the likes of you. I think it’s great that he puts safety first.

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Vincent
Vincent
9 months ago
Reply to  Twinkletoes

Agree, and lets dont forget that he is over 50, so time to take a bit less risk

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PARTHASARATHI DAS
PARTHASARATHI DAS
9 months ago
Reply to  Jankel

It’s easier said than done. You don’t know whom you are trying to belittle. Simone Moro is a legend in the world of alpinism with the highest number of first winter successful summiting of the 8,000 metres to his credit till date. It’s a tremendous achievement that adorns his resume as a mountaineer. Messner has never successfully summited any 8000 er in winter. So MORO with his wealth of experience has taken the most prudent decision not to continue. It’s quite doubtful that Alex and his team will make it to the summit of the heavily snow studded MANASLU before… Read more »

John
John
9 months ago
Reply to  Jankel

God forbid that he might actually be enjoying himself. That him and Alex might actually enjoy breaking a new route onto the mountain, overcoming new challenges and becoming better mountaineers in the process. The calm, methodical and professional approach they take to the mountain, is exactly why they have both achieved so much, and why they are still breathing while so many others aren’t. High altitude mountaineering is about planning, precision and risk management, not merely running at the mountain blindly. I think it’s a great inspiration for young mountaineers, to see two athletes of this level approach a mountain… Read more »

Trish
Trish
9 months ago

Very brave of Moro to know his limits and to call “game over”. The mountain will always be there. If it’s not right in your gut you can not deny that. His family and close friends just breathed a huge sigh of relief. 🙂

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Twinkletoes
Twinkletoes
9 months ago

I love how these people say “OK it’s too dangerous I’m going back” and the way back is a trek more dangerous than anything I ever did in my life

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Steve
Steve
9 months ago

Didnt dan bowie summit annapurna on his 6th try. Moro and these legends listen to themselves and know when to go up.

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