Manaslu: Moro Leaves, But Txikon Stays

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.