Alex Txikon will attempt to climb Mount Everest this winter without bottled oxygen. No climber has ever climbed Everest in winter without bottled oxygen. The first winter ascent of Everest was in 1980 by Polish climbers Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki. Txikon has climbed 11 8,000ers, including Nanga Parbat last winter (watch video below).
In 1985, Brian Hall wrote in Alpine Journal, “The [winter] season is officially from Dec. 1 to Jan. 31, though the calendar winter season starts on Dec. 21 – a date when the majority of successful expeditions have already reached the summit. The beginning of December has stable, clear weather, in fact more of an extension of the post monsoon period, though the winds are higher and the temperatures colder. Also, the Nepalese government allows winter expeditions to reach Base Camp and even establish a Camp I (though not man it) before Dec. 1. Thus the winter season is not as unattractive as it at first appears.”
A number of climbers have reached the summit of Everest after Dec. 21, but high altitude climbers now agree that you have to begin climbing in the calendar winter season and summit, so between Dec. 21 and March 21. According to ExplorersWeb, joining Txikon will be Carlos Rubio, Aitor Bárez and Pablo Magister. The team arrives in Kathmandu on Christmas Day. A team of five Sherpa have been hired to fix ropes through the Khumbu Icefield before the team arrives. You can follow along on Txikon’s site here.