Spain’s Alex Txikon completes 1st winter climb of Mt Manaslu since 1983

Kathmandu, Jan 6 (EFE).- Renowned Spanish mountaineer Alex Txikon and six Nepali Sherpas reached the main summit of the the world’s eighth-highest peak, Mt Manaslu, on Friday.

Among the Nepali climbers who reached the top of the 8,163 meter (26,781 feet) tall Manaslu were Tenjen Sherpa (Lama), Pasang Nurbu Sherpa, Mingtemba Sherpa, Chhepal Sherpa, Pemba Tasi Sherpa and Gyalu Sherpa.

Italian alpinist Simone Moro, however, abandoned his climb.

“The mission led by Txikon reached the summit on Friday morning. It’s a proud moment for the mountaineering fraternity,” Mingma Sherpa, managing director of Seven Summit Treks, the agency handling the expedition, told EFE.

Mingma Sherpa said that the team had left Camp 3 at 11 pm.

“All the team members are safe. They will arrive at the base camp by evening,” he added.

Climbers scale Mt Manaslu every year although most of them only reach the fore-summit, which is 6-7 meters lower than the main summit, referred to by the mountaineering fraternity as the “true summit.”

The Polish duo of Maciej Berbeka and Ryszard Gajewski was the first to climb Manaslu in winter on Jan. 12, 1983.

Since then, only four expeditions with a total of 15 people have successfully scaled the mountain’s fore-summit during winter.

“Climbing Manaslu during the winter is daring. As the last short section, a snow-covered rock outcrop is very steep, climbers normally do not venture there during the autumn and winter. Its last section becomes potentially deadly because of the fresh snowfall,” Thaneshwor Guragain, the manager of Seven Summit Treks, told EFE.

On Sep. 27, 2021, an expedition comprising 14 Nepali and eight foreign climbers and led by Mingma Sherpa, aka Mingma G, reached the main summit of Manaslu, achieving this rare feat for the first time in 45 years. But they climbed in autumn.

Txikon had unsuccessfully tried to make the winter ascent of Manaslu in the 2020/2021 season, and again at the beginning of 2022 but both expeditions were hampered by heavy snowfall and winds. EFE


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