Strong winds forced Spanish climber Alex Txikon to abandon his attempt to climb Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen from the Nepal side in the winter season, his expedition organiser said.
The 35-year-old along with five Nepali Sherpa climbers returned to the base camp from the Camp IV at 7,950m on the world’s highest peak as high winds made it highly impossible for the team to head to the summit point on Tuesday, according to Mingma Sherpa, Managing Director at Seven Summit Treks.
The team members have now been resting at the base camp and will descend to the Khumbu Valley in a day or two, Sherpa informed. They had made it to Camp IV to make a final summit push on Monday night.
“It has been a hard day fighting against the wind with all our willpower. At times, it has become a tougher battle than the summit attack of last winter in the Nanga Parbat. Amazing. I still can’t believe it. We have put all our strength and desire, and despite the intensity of the wind higher than expected and the lowest temperatures around -40º, we have thrown forward as a few wild boars by the ascent to the South Col,” the Spaniard stated in his latest social media post.
“When we have arrived at 7,950m we have done everything in our power to set up the tent, but the wind has not respected us and it has been impossible for us. Therefore, we have decided it was not the time to challenge nature at these heights and conditions, since we are nothing in dealing with it, and we could have suffered frostbite or even worse.”
The Txikon-led two member team was the only expedition on Mt Everest this winter as the mountaineer planned to set the world record becoming the first foreigner to climb Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen in the winter climbing season.
According to Shepra, Carlos Rubio (28) had already abandoned climbing after suffering from lung inflammation followed by the high altitude sickness. The team’s liaison officer Padam Jung Rai died of altitude sickness at Tukla (4,000 m) on January 17.
Only Nepali mountaineer Ang Rita Sherpa made it to the top of Mt Everest in 1987 using the normal route without supplemental oxygen in winter season.
Source: The Himalayan Times