Sherpa climbers eye record speed winter ascent on Everest

KATHMANDU: A four-member team of Sherpa climbers from Makalu, Sankhuwasabha left for Mt Everest region to attempt to climb the world’s highest peak in just over five days in the winter climbing season, today.

The ‘Breathless Winter Everest Speed Climbing Expedition’ led by Tashi Lakpa Sherpa will be attempting to set the world record by scaling Mt Everest in five days in the winter season.

The team comprises three more experienced Sherpa climbers – Pasang Nurbu Sherpa, Mingtemba Sherpa and Halung Dorchi Sherpa.

“We have decided to take a tough challenge on Mt Everest this winter season to promote the country’s mountaineering tourism in the world,” Tashi Lakpa, who reached Lukla this afternoon to begin climbing activities, told THT Online. “We are a strong team and we will do it,” he added.

According to him, this is the first ever winter expedition of Nepali climbers on Mt Everest. Generally, winter expedition on Mt Everest takes more than two months to complete. “We plan to do it in just over five days,” he said.

Tashi Lakpa, a eight-time Everest summiteer, has already set world record becoming the youngest person to scale Mt Everest without using supplemental oxygen at the age of 19 in 2003.

“This time, I will also be attempting to stand atop the roof of the world without using supplemental oxygen,” Sherpa said. The team will try to reach Camp II tomorrow planning to reach the summit point on February 29. The team will also carry a banner of Visit Nepal 2020 while attempting to reach the summit of Mt Everest.

Mt Everest rarely records climbers in the winter season. Spanish climber Alex Txikon and Jost Kobusch from Germany are now in the region to attempt to climb the peak. The duo had reportedly reached around 7,000 m while searching a route to the world’s highest peak. Sources said that Alex, along with the Nepali team, would give a last try while Jost would be abandoning his bid in a day or two. “Alex is now at the base camp and Jost is descending from the higher camp.”

Sherpas’ Expedition Itinerary:

February 24: Kathmandu-Lukla-Base Camp

February 25: BC to C2

February 26: C2 to C3

February 27: C3 to C4

February 28: C4 rest day

February 29: Summit and back to C2

March 1: C2 to BC and chopper back to Kathmandu.