Today, 20 December, we are leaving Pokhara for base camp on the north side of Annapurna at 8,091 metres. On expeditions, unforeseen events often occur, with the problems that they cause. However, with the experience we have, we gather our courage and continue step by step, because we are aware that the road is a long one.

In the next few days, exactly on December 22, we hope to reach base camp, at 4,200 metres, right at the beginning of the astronomical winter, as in all our winter expeditions, which we have always followed at the beginning of the winter.

There is no consensus about winter expeditions, there are many opinions about these expeditions; therefore, it is becoming more and more common to find in press articles, and even in the specialised press, aspects that are not at all accurate. This leads us to fall into subjectivities, for example, depending on the nationality of the ascent. Sometimes it is elevated to the Olympus, while in some cases it is attributed minimal importance.

We are lucky, because we do it for and by ourselves, which makes the terrain easier for us. However, to be honest, since 2010/11, during the first attempt at winter, we realised that the weather conditions are much more favourable in December. In March, the temperatures start to improve substantially, so the worst conditions start in January and February. I say this in order to seek a consensus where each and every opinion leads us to the same starting point.

In my opinion, it would be a good idea for all the invited actors in this Himalayan discipline to start building a story, where each and every opinion is taken into account. In this line, instead of destroying, it would be good to build, opening an ethical debate in which we understand what a winter expedition is, why they are born, where and when it all began.

If all goes well, as I have already mentioned, we will reach base camp on December 22, and without delay, we will start to work on the mountain, we will start to play in and with it, which, after all, is what we have come for, to have fun and enjoy ourselves as much as possible.

Although many people do not understand the benefits of an expedition like this, I would like to confess that we, and I in particular, are so passionate about what we do that we are capable of risking our lives to get to the top of it. To gain, more than anything else, our own freedom, achieving our goals and boosting our ego to the max, by carrying out the most selfish act we can undertake.

In the coming days and weeks, we will see how far our experience (interspersed with some good fortune) and our desire and motivation will take us.

We will send the first photographs and impressions on our arrival at base camp.

Best regards and see you soon.

By the way, I would like to highlight the work of the porters before we meet them. They are the ones who will carry all the loads for a couple of days until we reach base camp. I would like to thank each and every one of them for their effort and commitment, because without them it would not be possible. I would also like to thank our sponsors, as their help, as well as that of all the people who are watching us, is essential.

A big hello from Pokhara.