ALEX TXIKON WINTER EVEREST ATTEMPT: UPDATE ON JONATAN’S ACCIDENT & ROUTE-FIXING DETAILS
After achieving Ama Dablam. as acclimatization a few days ago, the expedition was already moving to winter Everest Base Camp. In the first sections of ascent we have the Khumbu Waterfall, probably the section with the highest number of accidents accumulated on this mountain due to the constant variation and rupture of the ice through the path.
And that happened to Alex’s mate, Jonatn, who felt into a crevasse suffering an accident from which he fortunately recovers already, out of danger.
Let’s find what happened from Alex’s own words and images
AN UNEXPECTED BLOW by Alex Txikon
Today, Feb2, started cheerfully, with a nice puja ceremony in BC, as mandatory once the team is finally reunited. Although we reached Base Camp two days ago, the local team departed Kathmandu already on December 28th. – except for Norbu, who set off on Jan6. Jan 7, the team had fixed BC, but then gale-force winds picked and forced the crew back to Gorak Shep for 4 days. It almost destroyed everything. Back in Base Camp, the team has made good progress, fixing 2,000m of rope between BC and Camp 1 (at 6050m) with 11 ice-screws, 25 poles and 47 ladders (not yet fixed).
Yesterday, Feb 1, we went up to Camp 1, left the Ferrino tents we’ll use at altitude and a large amount of rope. No one has went further than Camp 1, but all going well, we plan to depart on Feb 4 towards camp 2.
Today after lunch, we set off from base Camp, together with Jonatan, carrying some ladders to a heavily crevassed spot in the Icefall, knowing that those crevasses would be impassable in a couple of days unless we fixed ladders across. By the way, carrying ladders through the Khumbu icefall is anything but easy: it’s difficult, exhausting and requires experience. We are on our third winter here, so we sort of know what we’re talking about.
One hour after leaving BC, we were at work when there the ice bridge collapsed with a mighty crash… and Jonatan fell 12 meters in a crevasse. After the noise stopped and the ice dust settled, he was hanging in the void. Luckily, I carried my Petzl’s Microtraxion in the harness and therefore I managed to get Jonatan back to the light. He is all right but with some injured ribs, so we have ordered an airlift tomorrow.
Luckily, everything was just a (big) scare. Jonatan will be fine, but his departure is a great loss for the team: Jonatan did a great effort on Ama Dablam, showing his true colors even with his feet on the limit due to severe cold conditions, always motivated and hard-working.
ALEX TXIKON K2 ATTEMPT 2019: PHOTO GALLERY
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