Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara begin toughest winter climb on Mt Everest

KATHMANDU: A Spanish climber, Alex Txikon (36) has returned to Mt Everest to attempt to climb the world’s highest peak without using supplemental oxygen in the winter season.

The record-holder Spaniard said that he along with Muhammad Ali Sadpara would try to climb the world’s highest peak without supplemental oxygen this winter. “It’s my seventh winter expedition without supplemental oxygen,” the mountaineer told THT while he attended a briefing at the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to collect a climbing permit each for Mt Everest and Mt Pumori this afternoon.

DoT official Tilak Ram Pandey said that only Alex-led two-member expedition has obtained the Mt Everest climbing permit in the winter season. “The team attended a briefing at the DoT today to begin climbing activities in the Mt Everest region,” he said.

Alex, Sadpara and Italian alpinist Simone Moro had climbed Nanga Parbat in 2016.

Nivesh Karki, Manager at Seven Summit Treks, informed that the mountaineers planned to set the world record becoming the first foreigners to climb Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen in the winter climbing season.

The team along with nine Sherpa support staff including two for Mt Pumori would leave for Khumbu region to begin climbing tomorrow, he shared.

“If everything goes according to the plan, the team will make their final summit pushes on Mt Everest by third week of February,” Alex, who has already summitted 11 eight-thousanders so far, said, adding that he has chosen to commence the toughest expedition in the winter season to support the country’s tourism sector.

The team will also attempt to climb Mt Pumori (7,161 m) in the Khumbu region within January before making the summit pushes on Mt Everest, he said.

Only Nepali mountaineer Ang Rita Sherpa made it to the top of the world’s highest peak without O2 in 1987. According to a record, only 15 successful winter ascents were made on the Mt Everest till date since Polish climber Leszek Cichy first reached the top of the world in February 1979.

The mountaineer along with fellow climber Carlos Rubio had abandoned his bid on Mt Everest in the last winter season citing a bad weather condition.