Winter 8000’ers – Off They Go

Despite gnarly weather, teams on K2, Nanga Parbat and Manaslu are either climbing or about to.

Igloos, the latest great idea in K2 Base Camp

Alex Txikon in front of his giant igloo at K2 Base Camp. Photo: Alex Txikon


The two teams, led by Alex Txikon and Vassily Pivtsov, reached K2 Base Camp last Wednesday. Txikon is delighted with the igloos he built. “I’ve had the best night in a winter camp ever,” he said, adding that the snow houses are warmer, more wind-resistant and more silent than tents. Although they are in Pakistan, the team, which includes five Nepali climbers, performed a traditional Buddhist ceremony last weekend. Waldemar Kowalewski of Poland has joined their expedition.

Meanwhile, Vassily Pivtsov and some of his members are back in Advanced Base Camp after a first push well above Camp 1 towards Camp 2 and a rough night in strong winds. “Yesterday we didn’t descend, because were sure that the wind wouldn’t be so strong at 6,000m,” the expedition team has just reported. “Today, we fixed ropes up to 6,300m.”

Difficult passage amont crevasses on winter Manaslu

“We worked so hard to pass a labyrinth of crevasses but in the end, we had to stop,” Simone Moro reported from Manaslu. Photo: Simone Moro


“After overnighting at 6,000m, we have moved forward to Camp 2 at 6,400m,” Simone Moro wrote earlier today. He and Geljen Sherpa struggled to find a route through huge crevasses and seracs, until they reached a point where ladders are required — something they don’t have and are not part of their alpine-style ascent. Instead, they need to find an alternative route, after waiting out some upcoming bad weather in Advanced Base Camp.

Nanga Parbat

Daniele Nardi’s team are back in BC after leaving a cache at 6,200m, slightly above Camp 3, last week. About the hard conditions, Tom Ballard shrugged: “What did you expect? It is winter on the ninth highest peak in the world. No picnic.”

Daniele Nardi facing tough conditions on winter Nanga Parbat

No picnic: Daniele Nardi in the murk on Nanga Parbat. Photo: Tom Ballard

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