ALEX TXIKON SUMMIT ATTEMPT IN K2 DISMISSED: THE STRONG WIND SLOWS DOWN THE ATTEMPT IN K2 AND THE MOUNTAINEER AND HIS TEAM SET COURSE BACK HOME

 

In our mountaineering section we have been followed the Alex Txikon expedition these days to K2 with no oxigen. Unfortunately and due the strong wind, the team was not able to continue the ascent from 7150 meters. Let’s have a look at the video and see the all the feelings, obstacles and achievements lived in the attempt to summit during these three hard months of expedition.

 

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K2 #WINTERTOAPPEAL BREAKING NEWS: ATTEMPT DISMISSED

 

THE STRONG WIND SLOWS DOWN THE ALEX TXIKON SUMMIT ATTEMPT IN K2 AND THE MOUNTAINEER AND HIS TEAM SET COURSE BACK HOME: 

The expedition #WinterTopAppeal of the mountaineer Alex Txikon comes to an end and begins the descent on foot along the Baltoro. After returning from the Nanga Parbat rescue, the Biscayan climber and his team were back at Base Camp from which he made the last attempt at the only eight thousand virgin in winter. However, the strong wind prevented the ascent from 7150 meters. From Camp 3 Alex Txikon recorded and photographed the impressive images that we are sending you. This graphical material serves as accompaniment to the following chronicle in which all the feelings, obstacles and achievements lived in the attempt to summit and during these three hard months of expedition in the winter Karakorum are collected.

 

K2 FOR NEXT YEAR, INSHALLAH, by Alex Txikon

Everything is ready for the last attack on K2 (8611m), not the last attack because I want but because after a long time of deliberation and consulting new possibilities the time to return home has come. After so much work I am very sorry to leave. We are collecting and dismantling our home in these three months and did not fail to remember this last ascent in this beautiful mountain that I have in front of me.
Day 14, 10:00 a.m. We left Base Camp and at a slow pace, so as not to wear ourselves out, we arrived at Camp 1 in just under 7 hours. We are going to have to try it camp by camp, step by step. In the month of February the wind hasn’t stopped and we haven’t been able to prepare the ascent as we would have liked. As I said a couple of years ago, K2 has to be tried for at least 3 consecutive years, for me that’s really attempting K2.
We got to C1 at 6100 meters. Cheppal, Walung, Geljen, Pasang and me with a perfect coordination with Felix and Ignacio who have supplied us the C1 in case something had gone flying; they helped to mount the tents, and returned to the Base Camp, because the next days they would have to help us to withdraw and to gather everything from Camp 2 down.
The day is much worse than expected as far as weather is concerned, but we managed and separated into teams of two to sleep. The morning of day 15 is stable but the atmosphere was getting complicated at times, and we suffered the first casualty of one of our members, Geljen had had a bad night and noticed discomfort on the side. The base camp mates climbed up to meet Geljen and help him down. The rest of us went on and at a slow pace we reached camp 2 in only 3 hours. Our intention was to continue, but the weather did not allow it, so we rested at 6500 meters. The next morning, Wallung had spent mornings, vomiting and vomiting, and I told him to go back to Base Camp, that I was not going to let him go up like this. Felix and Ignacio went out for him again, to help him go down, as he was going down in a very bad state. They get the maximum point of power and resistance in an expedition, long before us, but in the end they end up suffering something more than us.
Day 16. I’ve been awake since 05:30 and I’m amazed at the spectacular sunrise in front of me. We dismantled a tent and Cheppal, Pasang and me continued the adventure. We climb with a lot of weight since we are equipping, there are only fixed ropes frayed every 20 meters, and if you trust that you can kill yourself or the second option, you eternalize doing maneuvers of ascent and descent tired. So, the two options are each more dangerous.
In the Chimney House we only find 30 meters of new Korean. We continue through Camp 2 high and see many remains of mountaineers who have remained in the mountain … the cold wind from the south component begins to blow us fully. We continue equipping easily ascending by three lines of old rope and equipping a new line until reaching the 7020 meters. We set up a tent as the Jet Stream looks out over the balcony. We protected ourselves from the strong wind and enjoyed the wonderful unique views of the winter Karakorum. I take out my camera and I can’t stop photographing and recording this beautiful landscape without equal. Cheppal stays in the store as he has a slightly injured finger, although it’s nothing to worry about, and Pasang and I go out to equip the next few meters. We surpassed 7150 meters arriving at a location of stores. We know that from now on, there is only the option of using old ropes and that we will only be able to climb if the weather gives us a window. We descend and I realize that unfortunately I have left the Inreach in the backpack and that therefore, it does not mark that last exit of Pasang and mine very enjoyable and productive.
We take shelter in the tent and spend the whole night without sleeping waiting for the wind to slow down and give us a window, we know that reaching the summit will be difficult but from where we are, in less than 5 hours, we can reach C4 and in 4 hours more at the foot of the Bottle Neck.
It would be very positive to be able to reach that level in order to better understand this beautiful mountain, and transmit to the rest of the companions what can be lived up there to learn how to really ascend it. But, the hours pass and the constant wind exceeds 50 km per hour. I don’t want to risk our lives just to be able to say that we have reached higher than anyone but to get nothing. I want me and all my team to continue living and dreaming about these adventures. Determined, we get off. It’s a hard time dismantling Camp 3 but we managed to dismantle it. Between the three of us we took 200 meters of semiestatica, 4 piolets quark, 8 ice screws, 5 epigas primus special for winter that melt the ice at less than 40º, 3 sacks, 3 mats, a mr reactor, a tent, a little food and a lot of drink.
We began to abseil passing a carabiner by our line and we abseiled down very fast until the Field 2. There we continued collecting 15 kg of garbage to take it down to Base Camp. We continue descending to Camp 1 and there we dismantle the last tent and lower the mold to make the igloos. It’s a pity we couldn’t build it there like at Base Camp and Advanced Base Camp. But learning is always a new opportunity. We started abseiling down along our line as Felix and Ignacio had cleared from Camp 1 to Advanced Base Camp, good work on their part. We arrived at Base Camp and the good thing is that of the 3,000 meters we have equipped, we have lowered about 1,200 meters of rope throughout the expedition time, about 200 meters from the glacier and the rest from above. We have managed to collect all the garbage generated and bring it down to Base Camp plus some of the garbage we have found in the mountain, among which, 200 meters of Korean, 4 yellow sacks and 30 kg of recent remains. For this, the help of Felix and Ignacio has been fundamental.
On the other hand, at Base Camp, the companions have packed and recycled approximately 200 kg in 25kg sacks, differentiating by type of garbage including 5 cans of faeces. We have only left 1,800 meters of fixed rope in the mountain, the rest is in Base Camp. I think it is very important to raise awareness of the impact on the mountain. We have to take care of this if we really are mountain lovers.
In winter K2 I think it’s 100% effective to throw what you can’t get down with you from 6700 down, even from something higher. So, throw the hundreds of kilos of rope that we found in the next high camp until we lower them to Base Camp. In summer some, I reiterate, will remember us for the rest of fixed ropes we have left and the deposit with everything usable for friends of 7 summits.

Finally, I would like to clarify a number of important points:

– Along with the importance of collecting garbage and material from the mountain, I would like to add that in the evacuation of Nuri in the helicopter, due to the freezing of the index finger, we took the opportunity to put 3 bags of recycled garbage in the same helicopter. Many people from Pakistan congratulated us because they said that garbage had never been unloaded in the helicopter.
– The meteorologists have done a magnificent job but K2 does not leave anyone indifferent, as it is difficult to get it right. Therefore, for next year we will place the weather stations in the High Altitude Fields as well as in the Base Camp. This will be one of the first changes or improvements.
– There has been much, perhaps too much, talk of parallel routes or equipment this winter in K2. Although I didn’t want to comment on this subject because we only talked about our work, I would like to point out that this winter only a new line of rope has been equipped. Specifically, from 5,300 meters to 7,150 meters equipping 3,000 meters of rope in 72 meetings of which we have filmed the first 46 meetings in which it can be seen that only one line has been equipped. We have been judged to be competitive without being true. We have followed our ascent by the new line we have created. We had no parallel. Even this has caused problems for our expedition, since the use of old deteriorated ropes has made that they will get involved with our new line and we had difficulties at the time of rappel because we could not do cleaning to guarantee our safety.
– Finally and in my opinion for anyone who wants to try the winter K2: K2 will only be climbed in March and therefore, those who think that the winter ends in February should try in early December or until mid-January. I think that arriving at Base Camp at the beginning of February is enough, since in 3 or 4 days of work you can equip up to Camp 3 and in 6 days of work up to Camp 4. When we arrive home we will make public all the information reflected in our Base Camp weather station that will reinforce our thesis with real data.
– The only possibility will be to leave from Base Camp or Advanced Base Camp to Camp 3, and from Camp 3 to 7,400 meters to summit and return to Camp 3. Or as Reinhold Messner told us several weeks ago, he believes it is possible even from Camp 2. If we soon have the funding we will train and work hard to try from Camp 2, every day I believe more in this theory.
– Hopefully other mountaineers will rely on these initiatives of igloo construction and wind defense. They will hold out until the spring expeditions, and even in summer, if they keep them covered with snow.

Many thanks to all the sponsors who have been part of the history of mountaineering, to all the media who have given voice to this expedition and to all the followers who have lived the expedition every day and at every moment.
Alex.

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ALEX TXIKON K2 ATTEMPT 2019: PHOTO GALLERY

 

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Info by Mayayo Oxígeno for Trailrunningspain