Winter 2013 | Bad Weather All Around

Broad Peak, Laila Peak and all winter teams on Nanga Parbat are currently enjoying (an unwanted) period of rest. Bad weather encapsulated the entire region on 3rd February and stayed there till yesterday. A record amount of snow in 30 years has been reported from some areas. Nonetheless weather is improving and action on altitude peaks would resume soon. (Previous Report)

Broad Peak
Polish team couldn't establish C3 on Broad Peak as expected earlier. Bad weather, that was supposed to hit Broad Peak and its populace (five Poles, three Pakistanis and base camp team of Polish Winter Himalayaism expedition) around 5-6th February, arrived a few days earlier than anticipated. Also there had been a slight confusion about C2 site that consumed additional time and resources. On 31st January, Tomasz and Artur made a 9 hour climb from BC to C2; they wanted to work on C3 route on 1st February. But it was discovered that C2 was actually at around 6060m (instead of 6200m), so they spent the day in hauling campsite upward. Adam and Maciej too arrived in C2 later that day.
On February 2, four men worked on route and managed to reach “6,550 m according to altimeter and 6,400 m according to spot measurement” (probably same confusion caused lower C2 site). Later that day, all four climbers returned to BC while Wielicki with three Pakistanis went up to C2. Next day strong wind stopped Amin and Karim from working on C3 route beyond 6550m. They, along with Wielicki and Shaheen, descended to base camp. Weather has been constantly bad since then. Winds above C2 are blowing at a speed beyond 80kph and are supposed to remain similar till 7th. Team assesses that the possibility of two day weather window around 7th and 8th February seems less likely.
Video and images (below) from Polish team.

Nanga Parbat
Justice for All team on Rupal face has transformed their C-2C at 6600m into third campsite. News arrived from team when Marek shared the brief story on 2nd February after reaching BC while Tomek is still on the mountain. Tomek Mackiewicz and Marek Klonowski, who went up from ABC on 19th January, started working on route beyond C2 on 22nd. They spent three nights in temporary snow caves (C2-A at 6000m, C2-B at 6100m and C2-C at 6600m) before converting third one into Camp-3 to fight stormy days. On 28th January weather improved but deep snow didn’t allow them to make any significant progress. They climbed merely 50m from C3.
Next day, they descended to C2-B where bad weather halted their movement for two days. On 31st January Marek came to C2 to grab solar charger for satellite phone but bad weather forced him to retreat from the mountain and descend to BC. Tomek was left on the mountain with “4 meals in C2-B. Around 6 meals+sweets and gas in C3” to spend stormy and snowy days ahead. Tomek climbed to C3 on 2nd February,
Latest map position says, “Tom left the C3 (6586) at 3:50 am-GMT 6.02.2013”. He is probably descending to base camp since food available with him wasn't enough to gain significant altitude in forthcoming good weather days. (Edit: Tomek didn't turn back; rather he is climbed up.)

Image Source
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BC in bad weather; Image Source
French snowboarder, Joel Wischnewski has been facing multiple challenges all alone on Nanga Parbat since the beginning of expedition. His stomach has been a continuous source of pain and Joel believes it's because of Crohn Syndrome. Also a couple of weeks back, his phone charger malfunctioned forcing him to leave the mountain and retrieve a replacement from nearby village, Rupal. After staying in ABC for a couple of days, Joel climbed to C2 at 4300m on 1st February. Until a while ago, he was jailed inside his tent to avoid fierce winds. As weather improved this morning, Joel didn't waste any time in resuming the climb. "The central pillar and the wall are too dry. I’m going to try the S-E pillar." writes Joel before leaving C2.

US-Hungarian team had a major setback this week as the senior climber, Zolton Robert Acs, has been forced to terminate his climb. He had been dealing with frostbitten feet issue since the start of the expedition and now after a detailed consultation with doctor over the phone, he has been advised to fly back home. Currently the team is in Chilas. Zoltan would start the return journey from here, while Ian and David are gaining energy and freshness required to go into thin air again.
Previously, Ian and David couldn't reach C2 and have to deposit the luggage temporarily somewhere between C1 and C2. Detailed (and intriguing) daily logs of team can be enjoyed here.

Daniel Nardi and Elisabeth Revol are still in base camp, waiting for weather to improve. Here are a couple of beautiful videos from team. 1) Mummery Ridge 2) Base Camp Rugby

Laila Peak
Before getting stuck in base camp and witnessing accumulation of a meter high snow around their tents, the four Spanish men, Ramon Portilla, José M. Fernandez, San Sebastian and Alex Txikon managed to reach 5450m on Laila Peak. They would go up again to set up C2 before summit push. Laila Peak (probably 6096m high) has never been climbed in winter.

Regular updates would appear in tweet box on upper right corner of this blog, as teams resume their climbs; Alternatively twitter users can follow updates here.
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