Winter 2015 | Nanga Parbat Summit-bid from Rupal Side: Russians Waiting in C4

Wind 100 km/hour, snow blizzard, no visibility, the real February frost; Waiting weather improvement”, was the SMS from Russian winter Nanga Parbat team from 7150m on Schell route, yesterday evening. They had reached there a day before.

The Road to Summit Push
Russian climbers Nickolay Totmjanin, Serguey Kondrashkin, Valery Shamalo and Victor Koval reached Rupal BC at the end of December. By the third week of January, they had established three camps at 5100m, 6000m and 6700m, and made a deposit at around 7150m (which has now been converted to C4) on Schell route. It has been reported that there is hard ice everywhere above 6000m. The team has fixed approximately 700m of rope on the route.

After setting up C3 and making deposit at 7150m, the climbers retreated to BC on Jan 20th. For a week, harsh conditions held back the team inside their tents. On 27th, they messaged, “Breathed the fresh air, BTW reopened the way from 3600-4600m”.

(Left to right): Nickolay Totmjanin, Serguey Kondrashkin, Valery Shamalo and Victor Koval; Source

Towards the Top
Summit push started on January 28th, from BC. Weather forecast showed a break in snow, but the winds were predicted to remain strong. Winds at summit level was forecasted to reach 100kph.

Nonetheless, the ascent continued and on January 31st the team was in C4 (at 7150m). Their plan was to proceed towards Diamir side on following day, but the harsh conditions didn’t let them go any further. The team is still in C4 waiting for improvement in weather.

What's Next?
Mountain-Forecast predicts that hurricane wind will start dropping by Tuesday evening, but the wind speed will remain above 50kph for this week next 9 days.

Last year, when Tomek Mackiewicz and David Gottler were approximately at this point on Schell route, we analysed the time required for summit push (post can be access here). The quickest round-trip time from here to the summit is two days (in summer conditions, obviously!).

Before the start of expedition, the team told Russianclimb that they will carry a small bivouac tent for the summit attempt. The website wrote “climbing plan is: C1, C2, C3 (about 7000m); rest and then summit push with a small tent, which they'll set on the route between C3/7000m and the top.”

Photo from Mazeno Ridge Expedition (2012) shows the climbing route above Mazeno Pass.
Sandy Allan and Rick Allen climbed the blue line to join Kinshofer route to summit. Bivouac sites are marked as x.
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