Winter 2014 | Nanga Parbat Summit Push has been Cancelled

Success on Nanga Parbat in winter is greatly a matter of being fortunate. In past 25 years, seventeen expeditions including some of the finest mountaineers of the era, attempted to reach its summit in winter and failed. Apart from obvious hazards like hard ice, bitter cold and avalanche risks, the major reason behind failure is continuous bad weather. The climbers simply never get a chance to go higher and launch a summit push.

After months of preparation, the current Schell route climbers were also waiting for their summit push chance, when forecasts predicted a couple of good days around February 10th. Both the Polish and The North Face teams tried their luck but apparently it wasn’t their chance. A combination of intense cold, harsh wind and further reduction in predicted weather window forced the climbers to return to Base Camp.

On Friday
Tomek Mackiewicz and Pawel Dunaj climbed to C1 on Thursday (Feb 6th), while Simone Moro and David Gottler decided to start the summit push a day later. Other members of Polish team, Jacek Teler and Michal Obrycki, also remained at BC.

On Friday, Tomek and Pawel continued upwards from C1, in extremely cold and windy conditions. Pawel had to turn back before reaching C2 due to cold and he was too late to reach the cave at around 6000m. The resilient Tomek climbed to C2, alone. "Today was terrible; cold, snow and windy," he told Emilio after reaching there.

Meanwhile, Simone and David reached C1 along with Michal and Jacek.

Today (Saturday)
Both Tomek and the duo Simone/David were hoping to reach C3, today. Simone and David’s plan was to ascend directly to C3 (ca. 6700m) from C1 (5100m), if wind was not too strong. Tomek called Emilio in the morning that it was still windy above C2, although much better than previous day.

Tomek went up from C2, but the wind and cold were too severe to go further. Simone and David also reached 5700m. But by the afternoon, everyone was coming down. As of now, all the climbers are back in BC.

Next Chance?
Mountain-Forecast predicts that starting from Tuesday, summit winds will be approaching 100km/h throughout next week. Probably the climbers will have to remain patient and wait for some time before they can go up, again

Nanga Parbat this morning; Photo: Emilio Previtali

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