Winter 8,000’ers: One Canceled but Four Still Active

While attempts on Nanga Parbat fizzled out this winter, hope remains on four other 8,000m peaks — Cho Oyu, Everest, Manaslu, and K2.

Gelje Sherpa’s Cho Oyu team flew to Lukla earlier today and will reach Base Camp on the mountain’s south side later this week.

Grace Tseng and Dolma Outdoor are ready to start up K2. According to local outfitter Summit Karakoram, they spent today organizing the gear that porters carried to Base Camp before winter set in. They also pitched tents, charged batteries, and prepared to set up Camp 1 tomorrow.

Violent winds

On Everest, Jost Kobusch is back in Lobuche, happy to have made it there in one piece. He recently went up Everest despite an unstable forecast. And he paid the price. On his first night at Camp 2 on the top of the Lho La, violent winds pounded his little tent.

“Overnight, the tent bent completely,” he wrote. “I heard cracking, and poles broke and tore a hole in the flysheet. The whole thing completely collapsed.”

An unhappy Jost Kobusch in his wind-battered tent on Everest. Photo: Jost Kobusch

 

“The only option left was to crawl out, remove the poles and try to get some sleep in that wreck of a tent. I’ll say this much, it didn’t work out very well…”

Kobusch said he was lucky to be able to climb back down to Base Camp, instead of his wrecked tent carrying him away like a flying carpet.

Manaslu remains on hold

With bad weather also lashing the mountains east of Everest, the winter Manaslu expedition won’t resume soon. Alex Txikon remains in Samagaon, and Simone Moro returned to Kathmandu to tend to his helicopter company business.

Pasang Rinzee, who is still in Base Camp, reports that a huge new avalanche roared down the mountain but caused no damage. He says that he has never seen so much snow. He sent a video to illustrate just how buried Base Camp is.

Snow keeps piling up in Manaslu Base Camp. Will the slopes have time to clear? Photo: Pasang Rinzee Sherpa

 

Rinzee Sherpa and Gelje Sherpa were both on the Sherpa team that successfully guided Grace Tseng up Kangchenjunga last fall. Now, all three are climbing, but on different mountains. Rinzee is on Manaslu, Tseng on K2, and Gelje is bound for Cho Oyu.

The leader of the Kangchenjunga autumn expedition, Nima Gyalzen, also leads Tseng’s current expedition on winter K2.

Finally, Denis Urubko and Russian partners Anton Kravchenko, Andrew Shlyapnikov, and Max Berngard reached Skardu yesterday, according to outfitter Askgar Ali Porik. They will spend two days acclimatizing, then head for the Shigar Valley on Thursday. They plan to climb Baltistan’s Khosar Gang (6,046m).

Denis Urubko, far right, is back in Pakistan this winter. Photo: Ashgar Ali Porik

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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Vincent
Vincent
3 months ago

Manaslu is west of Everest.

Dan
Dan
3 months ago

Cho Oyu expedition is able to continue because Nirmal Purja has personally sponsored the climb. Great news for the Nepali climbing community!

Apy
Apy
3 months ago

Latest update: because of the prevailing bad weather, the Cho Oyu team could not fly to Lukla but had to go by jeep and then trek. Not an auspicious start…

Monica
3 months ago
Reply to  Apy

Oh no! Hope everyone is safe and sound… Thank you for update!

Vossi
Vossi
3 months ago

Kobusch ist ein Träumer. Er wird es niemals im Winter alleine und ohne O2 auf den Everest schaffen. Seit November ist er nun in der Nähe des Everest. Geleistet hat er noch nicht viel.