The Basque mountaineer Alex Txikon succeeds together with the six Nepalese mountaineers Tenjen Sherpa, Pasang Nurbu Sherpa, Mingtemba Sherpa, Chhepal Sherpa, Pemba Tasi Sherpa and Gyalu Sherpa on a historic winter ascent of the 8163 meter high Manaslu. Almost 40 years have passed since the first summit success in winter. To date, only 22 mountaineers have achieved this enormous feat.

It is the morning of January 6, 2023 when the radio message arrives at base camp: Summit! The Basque Alex Txikon and the Nepali Tenjen Sherpa, Pasang Nurbu Sherpa, Mingtemba Sherpa, Chhepal Sherpa, Pemba Tasi Sherpa and Gyalu Sherpa stand on the summit of the 8163 meter high Manaslu. For Alex Txikon it is the second successful winter ascent of an eight-thousander after Nanga Parbat in February 2016.

Simone Moro not on the summit

Member of the international expedition at Manaslu was also Simone Moro. The Italian is a proven specialist when it comes to winter mountaineering. Together with Alex Txikon he had already tried to climb the eighth highest mountain in the world for the past two winters. However, large amounts of snow thwarted their plans on both occasions.

Not this year. In the New Year's week, a window of fine weather with low wind speeds opened up, which the mountaineers used to make rapid progress on the mountain. However, the Italian 8000 veteran turned back en route to Camp 2 due to digestive problems.

A major setback for the 55-year-old Italian, one would think. "Manaslu is also this," says Simone Moro, showing his true greatness. He is not used to being sad or regretting a part of his life that took a different turn. "I'm glad I was able to share so many winters with Alex and that he got to the top on the perfect day we've been waiting for."

"Fate didn't want me to be there, it wanted the whole team to finish the project. Fate also did not decide that I would lose motivation. Another constructive farewell to the Nepalese mountains."

Simone Moro

Chronicle of the winter ascents of Manaslu

year ( YYYY )climbers
12 January 1983Maciej Berbeka and Ryszard Gajewski, Poland
14 December 1985Yasuhira Saito and Noboru Yamada, Japan
8 December 1995Alexander Baimakhanov, Anatoly Boukreev, Shafkhat Gataoulin, Oleg Malikov, Dmitri Sobolev, Vladimir Souviga, Yuri Moiseev and Dmitri Mouravev, Kazakhstan
6 December 1998Young Seok Park, South Korea
6 December 1998Kami Dorchi (Kami Dorje) Sherpa (Kerung, Solukhumbu) and Ang Dawa (Dawa) Tamang (Lapcha, Gorakhani, Solukhumbu), Nepal
6 January 2023Alex Txikon, Spain, Tenjen Sherpa, Pasang Nurbu Sherpa, Mingtemba Sherpa, Chhepal Sherpa, Pemba Tasi Sherpa and Gyalu Sherpa, Nepal
Source: Himalayan Database

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    Credits: Cover picture Alex Txikon