Winter 2016 | Towards C4 and Setting the Stage for Final Battle on Nanga Parbat

Despite the fear of an abrupt change in conditions and doubts about acclimatization level of climbers, the summit push is happening on Nanga Parbat. This weather window is definite and sufficiently wide. Climbers are strong, motivated and can actually feel the proximity of summit. Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara, Tamara Lunger and Simone Moro are on the way to C4 (7200m).
Nanga Parbat summit as seen from C3; Source

Day-3: C3!
Unlike the marathon climb from BC (4200m) to C2 (6100m) and a forced rest day (due to strong wind), the ascent to C3 (6700m) was less troublesome. It took around five hours to overcome 300 meters of mixed terrain and 200 meters of pure ice. Alex Txikon and Ali Sadpara had previously deposited some gear at this site in January.

By late afternoon yesterday, the four climbers were resting and hydrating in C3. Unlike C2, the campsite is spacious and comfortable. The team plans to fix route to C4 today and launch summit push at night. "From here, the summit of Nanga Parbat (8.126m) seems to be really close", Simone Moro told BC over the radio.
Route from C2 to C3; Source

Different Challenges
The group has now left the technical challenges of Kinshofer route behind. The path from this point to summit is relatively easier and safer. However, they now face a set of new tests: accumulated fatigue, the effect of altitude and extreme cold.

In Good Hands
Nanga Parbat is known for abrupt change in conditions, and any such event above 7000m can be fatal. However, the climbers are allowed to feel safer as two weather expert, Karl Gabl and Javier del Valle, endorse the current window. “A high pressure (anticyclone stable weather) have almost been placed on Nanga Parbat massif, so we expect favorable conditions for these two key sessions and for a safe descent. Light wind and no clouds/precipitation.”

The 30th Team
29 teams have failed on Nanga Parbat in winter thus far, including an attempt by Alex Txikon and Ali Sadpara last year and Simone Moro’s two attempts in 2012 and 2014. The former duo almost pulled off the first winter ascent in March 2015, when a wrong turn led them to a dead end near 7800m. Simone Moro’s attempts ended at 6800m and 7200m on north face and Schell route (Rupal side) respectively.
Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara and Daniele Nardi's 2015 attempt; Source

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