Basque mountaineer Alex Txikon (36), who was on his epic journey to Everest winter expedition (2017-18) without supplemental oxygen via South Col with Pakistani mountaineer Muhammad Ali Sadpara (45) posted on Facebook, "...This time, winter has not given us the opportunity, but I'm sure the future will bring us together in a new adventure.", today, thus announcing the end of the expedition. Alex attempted the same with Spanish mountaineer Carlos Rubio in previous winter (2016-17) and reached up to 8000m. According to Mingma Sherpa, the owner of their support agency, they have turned around the expedition and now on their way down to kathmandu. "Weather was not so good, the expedition got delayed...and they had to cancel their expedition this time. However they have reached upto 7900m approximately," Mingma added.
On 3rd January 2018 Alex with his team arrived at Base Camp (5300m). On 12th January they equipped up to Camp 1 and after spending a night there on 15th, they arrived at Camp 2 (6500m) on 16th January 2018 and then returned to the Base Camp on the same day. He summited Mt. Pumori (7161m) on 20th January with Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Nuri and Temba Bhote as a part of their preparation for Everest. They reached Camp 3 (7100m) on 31st January and managed to equip up to around 7900m. After that they spend so many days at Base Camp and on 21st February they went for summit and reached Camp 2 and on 23rd February they reached Camp 3. On 24th February, 2018 the team tried to reach Camp 4 from Camp 3, but had to retreat their approach due to strong winds and came down to Base Camp for the safety of the members. Alex posted on Facebook, "...These following days we will assess the situation..."
Coincidentally yesterday (26th February) was the two years completion of the first Nanga Parbat winter summit. Alex posted (Today, early in the morning) a photo of that expedition and wrote "...2 years ago we did the first winter summit of Nanga Parbat. As then, Ali Sadpara and I are together today..." and declared the end of these winter journey.
The Basque mountaineer earned reputation through his remarkable mountaineering activities from a very young age. In his career he has carried out many expeditions in various countries. The following is a list of his notable expeditions in Himalaya -
2003 - Broad Peak (8051m) in Summer:
A 13 members "International Peace & Friendship expedition to Broad Peak 2003" led by Mike Hale. Alex summited at the age of 21.
2004 - Makalu (8481m) in Spring:
A 6 members International team led by Peter Guggemos via NW side. Alex summited with Edgar Ivan Vallejo Ricaurte without supplemental oxygen.
2004 - K2 (8611m) in Summer:
Attempt via Cesen Route, Alex reached up to 7400m.
2004 - Cho Oyu (8201m) in Autumn:
A 12 members Spanish team led by Iñaki Ochoa de Olza via NW side. Alex summited with Igor Astondoa without supplemental oxygen.
2005 - Makalu (8481m) in Spring:
A 10 members Spanish team named "Grupo Militar de Alta Montana (GMAM) West Pillar Makalu 2005", led by Alberto Ayora via west pillar, reached up to 7600m.
2006 - Shishapangma (8027m) in Autumn:
South West British Route. Alpine style up to 7800m.
2007 - Shishapangma (8027m) in Autumn:
Alex summited with José Ramón "Koke" Lasa via SW Face.
2008 - Dhaulagiri (8167m) in Spring:
A 8 members mostly Spanish team named "Al Filo Dhaulagiri" led by Edurne Pasaban via NE Ridge. Alex summited with Edurne Pasaban and Asier Izaguirre Pasaban without supplemental oxygen.
2008 - Manaslu (8156m) in Autumn: A 9 members mostly Spanish team named "Al Filo Manaslu 2008" led by Edurne Pasaban via NE Face. Alex summited with Edurne Pasaban, Kinga Baranowska, Juan Josep (Juanjo) Garra, Asier Izaguirre Pasaban, Ferrán Latorre, Ester Sabadell and Mikel Zabalza without supplemental oxygen.
2009 - Kangchenjunga (8586m) in Spring:
A 6 members Spanish team named "Al Filo de lo Imposible Kangchenjunga" led by Edurne Pasaban via SW Face. Alex reached up to 8500m.
2009 - Shishapangma (8027m). Alex reached the summit.
2010 - Annapurna (8091m) in Spring:
A 6 members Spanish team led by Edurne Pasaban via North Face. Alex summited with Edurne Pasaban, Asier Izaguirre Pasaban and Nacho Orviz Menendez without supplemental oxygen.
2010 - Shishapangma (8027m) in Spring: A team led by Edurne Pasaban. Alex summited with Edurne Pasaban, Asier Izaguirre Pasaban and Nacho Orviz Menendez without supplemental oxygen.
2011 - Gasherbrum I (8080m) in Winter:
Alex made first winter attempt of Gasherbrum I via a partially new route with Louis Rousseau and Gerfried Göschl, reached up to 7050m.
2011 - Gasherbrum I (8080m), Gasherbrum II (8035m) and K2 (8611m) in Summer:
An International team led by Gerfried Göschl in Summer season, Alex summited Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II without supplemental oxygen and reached up to 7900m on K2 via Abruzzi route*.
2012 - Gasherbrum I (8080m) in Winter:
A seven member International team led by Gerfried Göschl, summit team (Gerfried Göschl, Cedric Hählen and Nisar Hussain) reached around 7700m via a new route and disappeared. Alex reached around 6800m**.
2013 - Laila Peak (6096m) in Winter:
Alex made first winter ascent of Laila Peak with José Fernández via West Face without supplemental oxygen.
2013 - Nuptse (7861m) in Spring:
A 4 members mostly Spanish team named "Bizkaria Gailurretan Nuptse Expedition" led by Alex Txikon himself via North Ridge. Alex reached up to 7820m.
2013 - Lhotse (8516m) in Spring:
A 4 members mostly Spanish team led by Alex Txikon himself via West Face. Alex summited without supplemental oxygen.
2013 - K2 (8611m) in Summer:
The "Lela's international K2 expedition 2013" via Abruzzi Route, reached up to 7100m.
2014 - Kangchenjunga (8586m) in Spring:
A 5 members International team led by Denis Urubko via North Ridge. Alex reached up to 8350m.
2014-15 - Nanga Parbat (8126m) in Winter:
Alex led a 3 members International team (Alex himself with Muhammad Ali Sadpara and Daniele Nardi) via Kinshofer route, reached up to 7850m.
2015-16 - Nanga Parbat (8126m) in Winter:
First winter ascent of Nanga Parbat via Kinshofer route with Muhammad Ali Sadpara and Simone Moro without supplemental oxygen.
2016-17 - Everest (8848m) in Winter:
Alex led a 2 members Spanish team (Alex himself with Carlos Rubio) via South Col. reached up to 8000m.
2017-18 - Pumori (7161m) in Winter:
Winter ascent of Pumori with Muhammad Ali Sadpara without supplemental oxygen.
2017-18 - Everest (8848m) in Winter:
Alex with Muhammad Ali Sadpara via South Col. reached up to 7900m.
* According to Alex Txikon website. Gerfried Göschl expedition note reported Cesen route.
** The highest point reached is not verified. According to AAJ 2012, Alex was at Camp 2 (around 6800m) when he spotted the summit team before they lost on the mountain.
Photo Courtesy: Alex Txikon