Messner is scheduled to meet Spanish climber Alex Txikon at the Mt Everest base camp on Monday morning, according to a source close to the Italian alpinist.
“Messner came here to meet Txikon who is now at base camp to make a second attempt to climb the world highest peak without supplemental oxygen in the winter climbing season,” the source said.
One of the world’s greatest mountaineers of all time, Messner will be flying to the base camp on a Heli Everest flight in the morning as he has been highly impressed by the Spaniard alpinist for following his footsteps in mountain climbing.
Advocate of the traditional alpinism, Messner is the first climber to reach the summit of Mt Everest without oxygen support and also the first person to climb all 14 of the world’s highest peaks above 8,000 metres.
Txikon (35) along with six Sherpa climbers returned to base camp last week as the team earlier abandoned their first attempt citing high winds above the Camp IV on Mt Everest.
According to Mingma Sherpa, Managing Director at Seven Summit Treks, Alex Txikon-led two member team was the only this year’s winter expedition on Mt Everest as the alpinist planned to set the world record becoming the first foreigner to climb Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen in the winter climbing season.
“Alex Txikon has decided to return to the mountain after an eight-day break in Kathmandu,” he said.
Messener, who lately turned himself from politician to filmmaker/director, will also visit Kunde Hospital in Khumbu as the Messner Mountain Foundation has supported the hospital, initially built by Edmund Hillary, in the aftermath of devastating earthquake of April, 2015, according to the source.
“Everything is possible to the extent that you think it is possible, since a winner is a loser who never gave up!,” Txikon recently posted on his Facebook page.
Txikon’s team does not have any liaison officer this time while winter climbing season also runs till February end, according to the Department of Tourism.
Earlier, the team’s liaison officer Padam Jung Rai died of altitude sickness at Tukla (4,000 m) on January 17.
Only Nepali mountaineer Ang Rita Sherpa made it to the top of Mt Everest in 1987 using the normal route without supplemental oxygen in the winter season.
– By Rajan Pokharel for THT