History of Winter Climbing Nanga Parbat | Episode 2

After almost getting Nanga Parbat climbed in winter 1996-97 and the luckless trip of winter 1997-98, Andrzej Zawada was planning for a third attempt in winter 2000-01. But, unfortunately, the life didn't give him that chance. The respected Polish expedition leader died on 21-Aug-2000.

Climbing Mummery Rib on Diamir Face; Source

7. The Return of Poles 2006-07
An experienced team of Polish climbers united under the winter manifesto of Krzysztof Wielicki returned to Nanga Parbat in winter 2006-07. Led by Wielicki himself, the team consisted of outstanding veteran climbers like Artur Hajzer, Dariusz Zaluski, Jacek Jawien and Jacek Berbeka and front line young climbers like Przemyslaw Lozinski and Robert Szymczak. They arrived at Rupal BC early and established C1 (5000m) on Schell route before the start of calendar winter season.
The things turned ugly, after that. Hurricane-force gale and extremely low temperatures made climbing slow and painful. Thanks to a bold attempt by Robert and Lozinski, C3 was set up at 6800m, but all attempts to climb higher remained unsuccessful. “Above 6000m was only freezing hell”, said Krzysztof Wielicki. After an avalanche swept away a tent at C2 and Robert and Lozinski suffered frostbite, the expedition was called off on January 17th.

8. Simone La Terra 2007-(08)
Together with Mehrban Karim, Italian Simone La Terra made a winter attempt on Nanga Parbat's Diamir face in 2007-08; although the expedition was over even before the start of calendar year 2008. They established C1 at 6000m on December 10. On the night of December 21, a blizzard blew off the team's kitchen tent with everything in it across the glacier. After losing all the supplies, it wasn't possible to continue the attempt. 

9. Polish Attempt 2008-(09)
While the primary team of Polish winter climbers led by Artur Hajzer attempted Broad Peak in winter 2008-09, a second team of Jacek Teler and Jarosław Żurawski headed to Diamir face. Tough conditions awaited them as four feet deep snow didn't allow them to reach the Base Campt. BC was established five kilometers away from its normal location. After breaking trail through one meter deep snow, C1 was established at 5400m. Excessive snow, bitter cold and difficulties in supply (due to adverse weather) forced the climbers to end the expedition by end-December.

10. Serguey Tsygankov Solo 2010-11
Sufficiently experienced in winter climbing elsewhere, Serguey Tsygankov Nikolayevich was a fresh name in Himalayas. He arrived at Diamir Base Camp at around mid-December to solo attempt Kinshofer Route. Just a few days after his arrival, Serguey showed the symptoms of a pulmonary edema and problems related to respiratory system caused by the altitude and cold. Serguey managed to reach an altitude of 6000m, before health issues forced him to retreat.

11. 'Justice for All' 2010-11
Polish duo Tomek Mackiewicz & Marek Klonowski silently arrived at Diamir BC in winter 2010-11, to attempt Kinshofer Route. It was their first endeavor in Himalayas and they were probably under-prepared for the task. Expedition was called off at around mid-January, due to excessive snow, high avalanche risk and gear related issues.

12. Simone Moro and Denis Urubko 2011-12
Italian Simone and Kazakh Denis undoubtedly make the best pair in modern winter climbing era. Apart from their success in Himalaya proper, they made the history by climbing first Karakoram (and Pakistani) eight-thousander, Gasherbrum II, in winter 2010-11. When the duo announced 2011-12 winter expedition on Nanga Parbat, many believed it was the best chance of the success on the mountain. They reached Diamir base camp on January 3rd to attempt Kinshofer Route. Later on, they decided to try a different route on North Face, previously attempted by Reinhold Messner, Hubert Messner, Hanspeter Eisendle and Wolfgang Tomaseth in 2000, because of difficult conditions on Kinshofer. By the end of January, C3 was established at 6800m. After that it was simply a test of their patience. It snowed continuously from January 27th till February 14th. With forecast showing no respite in hostile conditions, Simone and Denis made the difficult decision to turn back home.

13. 'Justice for All - 2' 2011-12
After the unsuccessful first attempt, Tomek Mackiewicz and Marek Klonowski were back to Nanga Parbat, in winter 2011-12. This time, they shared the base camp route with Moro and Urubko. The terrible conditions on the mountain can be envisioned from the fact that during their 45 days stay at BC, there was hardly any weather window to climb the mountain. The pair abandoned the expedition on January 13th, with the pact, they will try again.

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