Winter 2013 | Update on Nanga Parbat Expeditions

Nanga Parbat is a mountain with an intriguing history. First attempt to scale an 8,000er peak was carried out at the end of nineteenth century, when Englishman Albert Mummery lead an expedition to Nanga Parbat in 1895. The expedition ended tragically, with Mummery and two Nepalese Gurkhas disappearing on Rakhiot Flank (Diama Glacier). Between 1895 expedition and first ascent by Hermann Buhl in 1953, Nanga Parbat took 31 lives and earned the notorious name of ‘Killer Mountain’. It’s the only eight-thousander that stands alone and has an easier access to base camp. Nanga Parbat’s Rupal Face is amongst the biggest walls on earth. There have been around a dozen unsuccessful attempts to scale Nanga Parbat in winter.

With only three eight-thousanders yet to be climbed in winter, more teams chose to try their luck on Nanga Parbat this winter, majorly due to financial and logistical issues related to Broad Peak and K2. Though latter also presents circumstances rougher than others.

Justice for All Expedition of Polish climbers was the first team to arrive at the base of Nanga Parbat. They spent cloudy and snowy day of Christmas at Base Camp, but weather has improved since then. On New Year’s eve they were at around 4900m. Afterwards established Camp 1 at 5100m and climbed as high as 5500m before returning to Base Camp on Thursday. Trips between base camp and higher camps are part of acclimatization process and shifting the equipment to higher camps. They are resting in base camp at the moment.
On Nanga Parbat in winter - Photos by Justice for All Team :-

American-Hungarian Expedition’s arrival at Base Camp was delayed by a couple of days. They spent two days at Chilas - making final preparations, socializing and interacting with locals. You can read two interesting dispatches here and here. Ian Overton, the American team member, suffered sort of food poisoning in Chilas but has fully recovered now. Team started journey towards base camp on first day of 2013; spent one day resting at a midway village and probably have established base camp by now.

Photos from: Expedition Page

Joel Wischnewski, the French snowboarder who’s a fresh face in 8000er world, is in Tarishing - the bigger village before Rupal Face base camp. Joel intents solo-climbing Rupal Face via new route, without porter support and a snowboarding descent. His approach seems a little too optimistic and probably he would have to make some changes. The first change comes even before start of climb; he is thinking of hiring porters for assistance. This is to gain time lost in arrival of baggage. His luggage couldn’t arrive due to cancelled flights between Gilgit and Islamabad because of weather conditions. The airline has promised to get the shipment done in two days. Till then Joel is walking around Tarishing and observing his route on Rupal Face.
Joel's photos of Nanga Parbat :-

Last team approaching Nanga Parbat consists of Daniel Nardi and Elisabeth Revol. Revol arrived in Islamabad, as per schedule, on 4th January and team moved to Chilas very next day. Their journey to Chilas was similar to that of US-Hungarian team; i-e lot of security check points and a long drive. They are expected to have moved towards base camp today.
Images by Daniel :-

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