German, Spanish climbers eye toughest winter ascent on Mt Everest

KATHMANDU: At least two German climbers reached the base camp of Mt Everest to attempt to climb the world’s highest peak in the winter climbing season, according to the expedition organiser.

“Jost Kobusch, 27, along with fellow climber Hug Daniel, 34, will be attempting to climb Mt Everest via the rarely repeated West Ridge this winter,” Rishi Bhandari, Managing Director at Satori Adventures Pvt Ltd said.

According to Bhandari, the German duo have already reached the base camp to begin climbing activities.  “The climbers will attempt to scale the mountain in an alpine style without using supplemental oxygen,” Bhandari, who manages ‘Satori Everest Winter Expedition – 2019/20’, added.

Jost has already climbed Amotsang (6,393m) in the Damodar Himal region making the first successful ascent of the peak in October, according to Bhandari. “Anup Rai and Ngima Dorjee Sherpa will assist the expedition at the base camp.”

Meanwhile,  a three-member team of climbers led by record-holder Spaniard Alex Txikon will be arriving Nepal on January 10 to begin its winter expedition on Mt Everest.

Pemba Sherpa, Managing Director at Outware Treks and Expedition, said that Alex Txikon, Oscar Cardo Briones and Jonathan Gracia Villa from Spain would try to climb the world’s highest peak without supplemental oxygen this winter.

“Chhiji Nurbu Sherpa, Pechhumbe Sherpa and Tenjen Sherpa will accompany the Spanish climbers on Mt Everest,” Sherpa said.  Nepali team would be leaving for the base camp on Deember 28, he said.

Txikon and other members would first try to scale Mt Amadablam before heading to Mt Everest.  Mingma Sherpa, Chairman at Seven Summit Treks said that his company would run a 14-member expedition led by Txikon on Amadablam this season. “It will be Txikon’s eighth winter expedition without supplemental oxygen.”

The Spaniard, who has already climbed 11 eight-thousanders including the winter ascent of Nanga Parbat in 2016, had, however, abandoned his attempt to climb Mt Everest in the winter season without supplemental oxygen from Nepal side due to strong winds in 2018.

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.