Winter Everest: Txikon Debriefs Camp 4 Ascent

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The Everest winter climbers left from Base Camp on Thursday, February 2, to stock camp 4 at 8000 meters.

“We are at the limit,” Txikon wrote in his debrief today, “We don’t have much more gear or the necessary resources.”

Leaving for Camp 4 at midnight the following day, the cold hit 30-35 below zero. “Nobody talks. The night is dark, but the stars shine [..] On a night like this, you’re so close to the sky that it seems you can reach it!”

Reaching camp 3 (7250m) at 5 am the climbers can barely feel their toes. One hour later, even the stars vanish and the frigid night turns black.

When the sun returns, it reaches only far below.

“I look down the valley and I am perplexed by the dawn, probably one of the most beautiful sunrises my eyes have ever seen; the majestic wake of the Chomolugma…”

The beauty comes at a price: “The dawn punishes us, the wind blows in all directions and the cold gains in intensity.”

The climbers use some old rope on the vertical wall to push upwards. After 11 hours climbing mostly in the dark the sun reaches the men at last: At 7950 meters, camp 4.

Stocking their future outpost with tent, gas, and rope, the men descend to C2, now running targets for rock and ice cut loose from the wall by the midday sun.

Chhepal wants to stay in C2 but with hurricane winds forecast, Alex decides to continue to BC. “I tell Chhepal and ask for the radio; I think he tries to stop me, but I tell him to relax, I’ll be fine.”

The Spaniard hits BC bruised but happy. “A good dinner and a great birthday cake for Pablo makes us feel for a moment almost like home.”

“The next time we go to summit.”

Txikon’s full dispatch (Spanish translate)