Spanish climber Alex Txikon is currently en route to Islamabad in Pakistan where he’ll meet up with his climbing partners prior to heading to K2. Over the next few months, he and his team will be focused on making the first winter ascent of that mountain, but prior to his leaving for the Karakoram he announced plans for a summer expedition to K2 as well. Those plans include a daring attempt to not just summit the world’s second highest peak, but also traverse the mountain north to south.
According to The Himalayan Times, Txikon’s plans start with climbing K2 from the Chineses side of the mountain, reaching the summit from that seldom used route, and then descending down into Pakistan. To undertake this ambitious expedition the Spaniard will first have to obtain climbing permits from both countries, something that isn’t always easy on the Chinese side in particular. If he is successful however, this will be the first traverse of the peak, which many consider to be amongst the most difficult in the world to climb.
The logistics for the expedition will be handled by none other than Seven Summit Treks, the Nepali operator that has transformed Everest with its large groups and relatively low costs. But the company has also become one of the top support teams in the Himalaya and Karakoram, with Chairman Mingma Sherpa leading some daring climbs on the world’s tallest mountains over the past few years.
Seven Summit Treks plans to send 20 Sherpas to support Txikon in his effort to complete the traverse. It remains to be seen if any other mountaineers will join him on this expedition however, although Alex is extending an open invitation. He told The Himalayan Times, “The world climbers who want to join my team are most welcome.”
For now, Txikon is squarely focused on completing K2 in he winter and after spending the past two winters on Everest, he should have an idea of what he is in for. But we’ll definitely be following his traverse attempt later this year, which should be one of the more interesting mountaineering expeditions for 2019.