Winter Manaslu: Early Progress, Then Bad Weather

While triumph and tragedy pile up around K2, Simone Moro and Alex Txikon’s team have enjoyed relatively calm on Manaslu. Great weather allowed the climbers to set up Camp 1 at 5,800m, shuttle up several loads of gear for the route beyond, and fix ropes to 6,200m. Last Saturday, however, the dramatic events on K2 and a sudden worsening in the weather broke their industrious isolation.

Txikon was leading the work above Camp 1, with Moro in Base Camp, when news broke of Sergi Mingote’s fatal accident. “I was frozen; I ordered all of us down to BC out of respect,” Txikon said. “Obviously, those of us who devoted to mountaineering are aware of the many risks, but one is never prepared to receive such blows.”

Txikon himself had attempted winter K2 in 2018-19 and despite the somber mood, he was happy for the Nepali team that reached the summit. “For years, they have been the ones who have helped us achieve our dreams,” Txikon said. “This time, they have been the protagonists of their own history.”

Two days ago, Simone Moro shared similar thoughts.

The current bad weather is expected to improve tomorrow. Photo: Phelipe Eizaguirre


Currently, they are experiencing real winter on Manaslu for the first time since they arrived. Happily, the forecast shows blue skies returning on Thursday.

Besides Txikon and Moro, the climbing team includes Chhepal Sherpa and Kalden Sherpa. Some of the people currently in Base Camp, as well as the expedition photographer, may also climb part of the route. Details are also expected on whether Cheppal and Kalden will use O2 on the climb.

Nepali guides Vinayat Jay Malla and Tenji Sherpa have also joined Moro and Txikon’s team. Originally, they had planned an alpine-style ascent of the mountain on their own, but they changed their mind. According to El Correo journalist Fernando J. Perez, who is embedded with the expedition, Malla and Tenji Sherpa have already helped with the fixing on Manaslu.