Spanish climber Alex Txikon, 3 others scale Mt Pumori

KATHMANDU:  Spanish climber Alex Txikon and his climbing partner Muhammad Ali Sadpara successfully stood atop Mt Pumori (7,161 m) without using supplemental oxygen in the Mt Everest region on Saturday morning becoming the only team to scale a peak above 7,000 m in the winter climbing season, the expedition organiser informed.

Chhang Dawa Sherpa, Board Director at Seven Summit Treks, said that the record-holder Spaniard along with Pakistani climber Ali Sadpara, Pemba Bhote Sherpa and Nuri Sherpa successfully climbed the mountain at around 11:30 am.

Txikon (36), who has returned to Mt Everest to attempt to climb the world’s highest peak without using supplemental oxygen in the winter season, has first chosen Mt Pumori during his acclimatisation rotation to prepare himself for the Mt Everest bid, Sherpa shared. “Mt Pumori is considered a highly technical peak in the Khumbu region.”

Tilak Ram Pandey at the Department of Tourism said that only Alex-led two-member expedition has obtained the climbing permits for Mt Everest and Mt Pumori in the winter season as the mountaineers planned to set the world record becoming the first foreigners to climb Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen in the winter climbing season.

“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, while talking to THT last month.

According to Sherpa, the two-member team is being supported by two ice-fall doctors and five climbing Sherpas on Mt Everest. “The team members have already reached Camp II during their acclimatisation activities on Mt Everest.”

Only Nepali mountaineer Ang Rita Sherpa made it to the top of the world’s highest peak without supplemental oxygen 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 winter bid on Mt Everest in 2016 citing a bad weather condition.