Winter 2014 | New Year at Nanga Parbat Base Camp

The Polish, Italian/German and German/Polish teams are celebrating their New Year at Nanga Parbat BCs, where strong wind is thrashing their tents, snow is accumulating heavily and temperatures are below -20°C even inside tents. But Charly Gabl, the meteorologist, predicts that wind speeds will recede from tomorrow and weather shall remain “partly cloudy, sunny and dry” for a few days.

Flexibility in Ralf Dujmovits’ Plans
After assessing available options and eventually choosing 1978 Messner route, Ralf Dujmovits and Darek Zaluski have started working on the mountain.

After the initial reconnaissance, they stayed at Base Camp on December 28th as Darek wasn’t feeling well. Next day, both went up and spent the night at 4900m. This is the place where Messner route diverges from Kinshofer. “It was not so easy to pitch the tent in this storm. We have benefitted from our great experience of many expeditions.” Ralf told Stefan Nestler over satellite phone.

On 30th, they negotiated the treacherous ice fall and made a depot at 5500m, which may also serve as C1 in future. The weather and route conditions were tough. They witnessed avalanches and tumbled down into snow holes, few times. The duo returned to BC at night.

Trail Breaking to C1; Source

Today (on 31st), it kept on snowing all day. “We certainly have between 35 and 40 centimeter of fresh snow,” says Ralf.

To be successful in Himalayan winter you need to be proactive and flexible. The tough conditions on the mountain are making Ralf Dujmovits to rethink about his strategy. “I was hoping to be able to climb this 1000-meter-high (ice fall) section in only one push. But it became so complicated that finding the way through the crevasses and seracs really became a time consuming and scary task. I’m losing my acclimatization. Maybe I have to work my way up camp by camp… that was not really my plan.

Waiting Game for Poles
On Rupal side, the Polish climbers, Tomek, Marek, Jacek Teler and Pawel Dunaj (with Michal and Michal), reached C-1A at 5500m on December 26th, before the change in weather forced them to retreat to BC. The team is still in Base Camp, “It is the 30th of December now and we all are killing the time in anticipation for some sunshine - recovering from the last outing on the mountain, playing cards, eating loads and hearing whatever stories each of the team members has to share.

Marek Klonowski enjoying kiting at Rupal BC; Source

The North Face Athletes at BC
Jacek Teler of Polish Team wrote this evening, “its third day at Latabo that we are listening to howling hurricane. Yesterday, some meat and vegetables arrived, and today Simone & David.

Having started their journey on December 27th, the North Face athletes Simone Moro, David Gottler and Emilio Previtali are also at Rupal Face Base Camp, now.

Emilio, David and Moro at Rupal BC; Photo: Emilio Previtali

Daniele Nardi
Italian Daniele Nardi has planned to reach the BC in last week of January. “I’m very lucky that Ralf Dujmovits is in the BC of Diamir face. It’s important to have some Europeans to talk to. We already talked about the climbing; he wants to climb the normal route, Kinshofer route (Ed Note: Ralf has switched to 1978 Messner route because of excessive blue ice on Kinshofer). I keep on with my idea to finish my route via Mummery ridge (route taken by Messner brothers for descent in 1970) in alpine style in winter.

Daniele says that he is arriving late because he doesn't want it to be a competition against other climbing teams.

Note: Related to 'New Year' theme, I did a series of climbing year 2013 reviews, last month. Here are the links.:-

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