Winter 2014 | The Nanga Parbat Season

The much awaited winter climbing season is eventually here and Nanga Parbat is again the center of attention. The Polish team has already established C1; Ralf Dujmovits is now in Diamir Base Camp, whereas Moro, David and Emilio will also be arriving in Pakistan in a couple of days. Time cures the worst memories and presence of these teams on Nanga Parbat is surely a good example of it.

Justice for All Expedition
The Polish Team reached Latobo Base Camp (3500m) on December 12, and spent a week adjusting in new environment. Apart from shifting some gear to ABC (4100m) and hiking to a near-by small mountain-top, they simply waited for the start of calendar winter.

The Nanga Parbat climb started on Dec 21st, when the team left BC. They established C1 at 5050m on Dec 22nd and as per satellite location, they were at 5200m yesterday (24th). Currently their position is somewhere between ABC and C1.
Team at Base Camp, waiting for calendar winter; Source

Ralf Dujmovits
Today (on 24th) we had to fight our way through half a meter of fresh snow (to get here),” Ralf Dujmovits called Stefan Nestler from Diamir BC. He and Darek Zaluski are the first foreigners to reach the ill-fated Base Camp, since the massacre of eleven mountaineers in June. The team wanted to immediately perform a short ceremony in the memory of slain men, but adverse weather forced to delay it.

The team left Chilas on December 22nd. While trekking to Base Camp, Ralf and Darek were welcomed by smiles and warm greetings, although talks about terrorist attack were also ever present. During the trek, they also met one of the BC staff member from Dujmovits 2001 expedition. The man invited them to wedding ceremony of his son.

The last part of trek was dominated by extreme cold and majestic views of wind (as high as 120-150km/hr) sweepings the snow off the summit of Nanga Parbat. Ralf Dujmovits still needs to assess the mountain and finalize climbing route.

Ralf Dujmovits and Darek Zaluski (with blue cap) to Chilas.
Ralf and Darek with Pakistani officials in Chilas; Source

Dujmovits’ Associations with Nanga Parbat
From series of unsuccessful attempts to first ascent, Germans have a historical association with Nanga Parbat but a veteran like Ralf Dujmovits looks beyond boundaries, “not the German past or history that interests me. It’s a very interesting story, but not because it’s a German story.”

Dujmovits has already completed one of most celebrated mountaineering achievements, the 14x8000er. In this expedition, he simply wants to cherish the beauty of being on Nanga Parbat in winter, without competition. “My first question to Simone Moro’s group was that where they were going. I was clear. I wanted to go on Diamir side, but if they had also selected this face, I wouldn’t have been on this side. When I was told that they will be on Rupal, I decided to continue my project on Diamir. I do not think it's going to be a competition.” Ralf also adds, “I feel better if I can be alone.”

Diamir Base Camp; Photo: Tunc Findik

The North Face Team
Simone Moro, David and Emilio are celebrating Christmas with their families and will be flying to Pakistan on December 27th. Sponsored by The North Face, the team will be joining Polish climbers on Schell route.

Justice for All” is an all Polish team of Marek Klonowski and Tomek Mackiewicz (duo’s fourth consecutive winter Nanga Parbat expedition), Jacek Teler (his second attempt) and Pawel Dunaj. Poles are the uncrowned kings of winter altitude climbing, and the team feels proud of it. 80% of expedition funds have come of crowd-funding. The team is climbing Schell Route on Rupal face. Last year, Tomek Mackiewicz reached 7400m on this route.

Born in 1961, Ralf Dujmovits has been part of 32 expeditions to 8000m peaks and has completed 14x8000ers in 2009. Being his favorite 8000m peak, Ralf always wanted to return to Nanga Parbat, and here he is. He spent several nights on Aconcagua summit as an unorthodox technique of acclimatization. Although Poland’s Darek Zaluski is also with him at Base Camp and may accompany him till 5000m, Ralf will be solo climbing the Killer Mountain from Diamir side.

The man behind the rebirth of successful winter climbing, Simone Moro, was first non-Polish to achieve first winter ascent of an 8000m peak (Shishapangma in 2005). Later, from success on Makalu in 2009 and GII in 2011, to failed Nanga Parbat attempt in 2012, Kazakh (now Russian) Denis Urubko has been the regular partner of Moro, but the former is reluctant to come to Nanga Parbat because of security reasons. However, Simone is joined by dynamic young man David Gottler - with 4 eight-thousanders and who was one of the few men who scaled Makalu last spring - and versatile adventurer Emilio Previtali. Although, Emilio’s primary job will be documenting, reporting and sharing the story of winter Nanga Parbat but “I know of no climber who goes on a mountain with no desire to go on top.” - says the Italian. The North Face team will also be on Rupal side to climb Schell route.

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