Winter 2014 | The all Important Acclimatization Climb

Simone Moro, David Gottler, Pawel Dunaj and another Polish climber (most likely Michal Obrycki) are in C2 at 6100m, right now. Tomek Mackiewicz is still in one of the lower Camps. The weather has been quite promising so far, but is forecasted to start deteriorating by Wednesday. These days are critical as the progress now will dominate the summit strategy of both teams.

Daniele Nardi is approaching the infamous Diamir BC, under the cover of police rifles, with mixed sentiments. “There is a lot of tension in the air and is understandable. Despite this I'm much focused and I feel in great shape”, wrote the Italian solo climber.

Sunset from Nanga Parbat C2 (6100m); Photo: Simone Moro

The North Face Team
Italian Simone Moro and German David Gottler have blended perfectly to formulate the toughest team of the season. Simone is experienced, David is young and both of them are strong. They work on a ‘light and fast’ strategy. “Composition is small, but they are very fast. (They) don’t walk together side by side … they just swing.” Tomek Mackiewicz said in an interview few days back.

The duo left BC (3600m) on Sunday afternoon, reaching C1 (5100m) in about 5 hours. This morning, they cruised up to C2 (6100m). Skies are clear, there is no wind, the temperatures are extremely low and there is fresh snow in upper sections. Tomorrow, Simone and David will try to establish C3 (somewhere around 6800m~7000m) and spend one night there for acclimatization. Due to forecasted bad weather, they may not be able to proceed to Diamir side of Schell route.

Simone Moro and David Gottler on Nanga Parbat; Source: The North Face Expedition

Justice for All
It has been 45 days since the arrival of Polish at Base Camp. Their visas were deemed to expire in three weeks but the team has already requested an extension. In previous weather window, they excavated a snow cave at 6100m, which serves the purpose of C2. Almost the entire route fixing till C2 was led by Poles.

To utilize the current weather window, three Poles, including Pawel Dunaj and Tomek Mackiewicz, climbed directly from BC to C1 on 26th. Tomek stayed in C1 today as he wasn’t feeling well, whereas the other two ascended to C2. Tomek is expected to join them tomorrow.

C2 Cave of Polish Team; Photo: JFA Expedition

Daniele Nardi
The Italian climber Daniele Nardi wants to attempt Mummery ridge in alpine style, alone. He is currently trekking in Diamir valley and will reach the Base Camp, tomorrow. Following the horrific incident of June 2013, the environment of Diamir valley is still dominated by fear and anxiety. Daniele is being escorted to BC under police cover.

Ralf Dujmovits was the first foreigner to visit Diamir BC since Taliban massacre. He wanted to let the people know that the valley is still reachable and presumably safe for climbing teams. However, the German climber noticed something different during the expedition.

On one hand you have the problem with the Taliban in the far periphery of Nanga Parbat. But I think the greater problem results from the sociocultural situation right in the Diamir Valley above Chilas. The people living in this area are very conservative and fundamentalist. There are still many feuds. If someday grandfathers had a dispute, their grandchildren will carry it on.

The people can barely be described as open to strangers. It’s not quite like feeling welcome. I am no longer one hundred percent sure that the assassination in the basecamp was really committed by the alleged Taliban. I am saying this quite frankly, I have strayed far from my original conviction.” - Ralf told Stefan Nestler in an interview after returning to Germany.

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