Winter Himalayan Teams Reach Base Camps. Plus: Sherpas to Antarctica

Winter officially begins in one week, and some teams have already reached their Base Camps. Others are acclimatizing not far away.

The Pyramid. Photo: EvK2CNR


Winter Everest: Jost Kobusch is in Lobuche, his home for the next two months. “I am beside the Pyramid,” he texted ExplorersWeb. He’s referring to the high-altitude research centre at 5,050m. The German solo climber left Kathmandu on December 8 and trekked all the way from Salleri  — the last point accessible by Jeep — instead of flying to Luckla.

The point was not to acclimatize more slowly. “You don’t get acclimatized in the lowlands,” he points out. He just wanted to reduce his carbon footprint without going full Goran Kropp and cycling from Europe to Everest. Kobusch will spend the next days “organizing gear, reading some books, going for walks, and preparing for a quick start once winter begins.”

Jost Kobusch during an acclimatization climb earlier this month. Photo: Jost Kobusch


Moro’s change of plan

Winter Manaslu: As we reported yesterday, Alex Txikon’s team and Oswald Rodrigo Pereira are already in Kathmandu. They plan to reach Base Camp on the first day of winter. Meanwhile, Simone Moro is acclimatizing in the Khumbu. Originally, he planned to do Ama Dablam as a training climb, but a forecast of very high winds on the upper mountain for the next five days has forced him to change plans. Instead, he is heading for Lobuche Peak (6,119m). Moro confirms that he will climb with Pasang Rinzee Sherpa during acclimatization and on winter Manaslu.

Simone Moro (right) introduces his new climbing partner, Pasang Rinzee Sherpa. Photo: Simone Moro


Winter K2: Visa problems are delaying Grace Tseng’s arrival in Pakistan, her outfitter, Dolma Expeditions, told ExplorersWeb. The Taiwanese client’s Sherpa team has already received their visas and is ready to leave at any time.

Hiraide and Mitoro: Kazuya Hiraide and Takuya Mitoro are in Base Camp after reconnoitering the unclimbed and unnamed 6,020m peak they have set their sights on. The pair also plan the first ascent of 7,000m+ Karun Koh’s North Face. Bad weather should keep the climbers in BC for at least two days.

Kazuya Hiraide (left) and Takuya Mitoro. Photo: Kazuya Hiraide


Nepalis for the Seven Summits

Tashi, Mingma, and Chhang Dawa Sherpa, the three brothers who jointly own Seven Summit Treks, are temporarily abandoning their Himalayan realm and extending their tours to Antarctica. This winter, the trio will guide both Mount Vinson and a last-degree ski trip to the South Pole. For Dawa, Vinson would mark the fifth of Seven Summits. The siblings hope to become the first Nepali team on Vinson, but they will have to hurry: Nirmal Purja is also there, guiding another Nepali, as well as Qatar client Asma Al Thani, who was with Nims on Manaslu and Dhaulagiri.

Tashi Sherpa. Mingma Sherpa, and Chhang Dawa Sherpa before leaving for Antarctica. Photo: Seven Summit Treks


Finally, the brothers are planning not only to complete the Seven Summits but also to do some kind of trek to the North Pole next spring (in all likelihood, a last degree). They will be back in Nepal in time to oversee their company’s expeditions, which has hundreds of clients signed up for Everest and other 8,000’ers.