Winter Annapurna: Camp 3 Tomorrow

Alex Txikon’s team is back on Annapurna, at Camp 2 at 5,600m. Tomorrow they head to Camp 3. Here, they will decide whether to continue toward the summit.

Alex Txikon, Tashi Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa, Matia Conte, and new arrival Moeses Fiamoncini left Base Camp yesterday for Camp 1. They moved up to Camp 2 today. Passang Nurbu, Ming Temba, and Pemba Serpa joined them there, after climbing all the way from Base Camp. Winds dropped through the night, and they are reporting great weather.

On Thursday, at Camp 3 (6,400m), they will make their decision.

“If conditions remain this good and the climbers feel as well as they do now, they will launch the final summit push that same night,” Txikon’s press team wrote.

Ang Gyalu and photographer Andres Navamuel accompanied them to Camp 2 today. After a short rest, they then returned to Base Camp.

Txikon has his face completely covered by a mask and sunglasses, and a fur-rimmed hood on. Behind, there is a tent planted in the snow.

Alex Txikon at a higher camp on Annapurna. Photo: Alex Txikon

A very long summit day

Friday could be a very long day for the team, as they do not have a fourth camp. They will have to climb 1,700m to the top, including some vertical sections that might require fixing ropes. Then there’s the long summit ridge, with deep, soft snow and no packed trail, plus the descent back to Camp 3. As usual, Txikon is not using supplementary oxygen. We don’t know whether anyone else is.

The weather has been cold but sunny and nearly completely dry since the expedition reached the base of the mountain on Dec. 23. Last week, the jet stream hit the upper part of the peak, forcing the climbers to stay in Base Camp.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.