Winter 8,000’ers: Everybody in Base Camp

The latest news from winter Manaslu, Nanga Parbat, and Everest.


“Thank God we turned around and reached Base Camp yesterday,” Alex Txikon reported from Manaslu. “It is snowing hard, we had 40cm of extra snow last night.”

Stef Maginelle and Sophie Lenaerts have been getting out and shoveling to prevent the snow from flattening their tents. “If this doesn’t stop, things will start looking bad soon,” they said.

The teams on Manaslu have only enjoyed three days of good weather since the last heavy snowstorm. With the mountain overloaded, it was impossible to reach Camp 2 because of waist-deep snow and high avalanche risk.

Nanga Parbat

Bad weather has also engulfed Nanga Parbat, where Herve Barmasse and David Gottler patiently wait for a chance to assault the mountain’s Rupal Face.

Barmasse has posted a video on La Gazzetta Dello Sport, showing the climbing gear that they intend to carry on their summit push. It is minimal, to say the least: a pair of ice screws, a couple of extendible quickdraws, one 60m rope, a pair of crampons, and one ice ax (though it seems likely that they will both carry an ax).

Barmasse and the minimal assortment of climbing gear they will carry up Nanga Parbat’s Rupal Face. Photo: La Gazzetta Dello Sport


“We are really trying to carry the very minimum gear possible, in order to respect the purity of the climb and the mountain itself,” Barmasse said. “The alpinist is a knight, a D’Artagnan of the mountains, passionate for the mountains he loves above everything, and therefore must do as much as possible to keep them pure.”


On Everest, Jost Kobusch is also back down. Kobusch has been breaking trail and spent two nights at 6,460m on his first rotation up the mountain’s West Ridge. Kobusch’s tracking device was off all day yesterday, so we don’t know whether he moved up any further during the day.

Speaking of gear and personal loads, Kobusch left Base Camp with a hefty 21kg backpack. This almost certainly contained a tent and the material needed to set up a third high-altitude camp.

Kobusch, climbing solo, on his latest rotation on Everest’s West Ridge. Photo: Jost Kobusch