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"At 6000 meters with blue ice - one mistake is enough to bring you down 2000 meters," Nardi told ExplorersWeb.
Image by Daniele Nardi courtesy Daniele Nardi/Elisabeth Revol, SOURCE
"You have to be focused for hours on end."
Image by Daniele Nardi/Elisabeth Revol courtesy Daniele Nardi/Elisabeth Revol, SOURCE
"To keep speed up we do most of the technical part of the ridge without safety."
Image by Elisabeth Revol courtesy Elisabeth Revol, SOURCE
"I was very scared when the stoves and the gas didn’t work in the first attempt on Mummery ridge."
Image by Daniele Nardi courtesy Daniele Nardi, Elisabeth Revol, SOURCE
"I am very happy to have met her," says Daniele about Eli, "because she is funny and very strong."
Image by Daniele Nardi/Elisabeth Revol courtesy Daniele Nardi/Elisabeth Revol, SOURCE
File image of Daniele Nardi on one of his signature technical climbs.
Image by Daniele Nardi courtesy Daniele Nardi, SOURCE
The duo's latest position plotted on Eli's blog.
SOURCE
Share Everest: In 2011, along with Daniele Bernasconi, Nardi fixed a weather station at Everest South Col to prepare for real-time data on temp, wind, humidity, pressure and solar radiation.
Image by Daniele Nardi courtesy Daniele Nardi, SOURCE

Winter Nanga Parbat ExWeb interview with Daniele Nardi: "We can't afford mistakes"

Posted: Feb 12, 2013 05:59 am EST
(Tina Sjogren) Suspense is building on Nanga Parbat. Pinned down at 6000 meters by fierce winds (100 km/h) Elisabeth Revol and Daniele Nardi hoped to continue to 7000 meters on Tuesday.

The team is attempting Mummery Ridge, still unclimbed, in alpine style.

Italian Nardi is an accomplished mountaineer with Everest, K2, a virgin ascent in India, and tons of technical climbs.

A few days back ExWeb caught up with the small team in Nanga Parbat BC, just as the duo prepared to leave for the current summit push. Here goes our interview with Daniele Nardi.

ExplorersWeb: You are a skilled alpinist as well as high altitude mountaineer. You climbed Everest, K2, and how many more?
 
Daniele: I have five 8000ers if one includes Shisha Pangma middle. I do - because I reached the summit in 19 hours and was left alone to do the ridge between middle and main - but I don't run for the fourteen 8000ers.

ExplorersWeb: How does the current attempt feel compared to your other climbs?
 
Daniele: It's impossible to compare this climb with my other 8000ers. There are too many differences concerning the weather and the cold. And we use real alpine style on the unclimbed Mummery Ridge. To me this is a mix of Bhagirathi (2011) and Nanga Parbat (2008) where technical and exploration meet fast climbing.

ExplorersWeb: You climbed a Broad Peak/Nanga Parbat double header in 2008. What route did you do on Nanga back then? Is that experience helpful to you?
 
Daniele: We did Kinshofer route in 2008. We set 3 camps but managed to climb the mountain in only 15 days thanks to abundant sun. The experience helped me to understand the mountain and shaped my dream to climb the Mummery ridge. I told Elisabeth this was my dream in my very first calls and meeting with her and now I try to realize it.

ExplorersWeb: We are not clear on who is on your team?

Daniele: I know there has been some confusion about my team. At first I was supposed to come alone and if possible collaborate with the Hungarian team. But they had a different idea about the route and winter climbing. When Elisabeth sent me an email offering to join the expedition I went to Gap in France to get to know her. We immediately found common grounds and the team was set. I am very happy to have met her because she is funny and very strong.

ExplorersWeb: Elisabeth described that a winter climb has so many unknowns (gear, gas, weather) - what is your biggest "unknown" before the summit push?
 
Daniele: The unknown for me was if the gas and stoves would work. We can acclimate our body to cold and high altitude but gas won't work at such low temperatures. I was very scared when the stoves and the gas didn’t work in the first attempt on Mummery ridge. I tried to put the flame on the valve on both and risked to make a bomb. In the end we made it work by using the chemical warmer to heat the gas.

ExplorersWeb: What has surprised you the most in this climb so far?
 
Daniele: That alpine style can be used also in winter. I wasn't sure about that before. And how hard the human body fights in the hardest cold, sometimes you are able to do more than you thought. The other surprise is how fast Elisabeth and I became a real team. It was a question I'm really glad to have found an answer to.

ExplorersWeb: The most difficult about the climb so far?
 
Daniele: To keep speed up we do most of the technical part of the ridge without safety. It's not so hard but you know, at 6000 meters with blue ice - one mistake is enough to bring you down 2000 meters. And you have to be focused for hours on end. But this is our life and I'm enjoying it.

ExplorersWeb: Easier than expected?
 
Daniele: Nothing really. I did not expect such a steep and sustained route and then there's the other part to the plateau we have to do. It seems the second part is easier than the first but we will see, I hope.

ExplorersWeb: Any critical gear you bring on the summit push?
 
Daniele: Nothing in particular. Only more layers under the suit and spare gloves. Chemical warmers for my toes that froze on other expeditions. And a human rights flag that 8000 children signed for peace in the world.

ExplorersWeb: How does this climb differ from Everest and K2? Bhagirathi III?
 
Daniele: Everest is totally different. I respect it and I think it more difficult than other 8000ers and hard to climb even with fixed rope and oxygen (too many people died because they underestimated it) but you know, it's completely different to alpine style. Climbing the Mummery ridge on Nanga in winter and light style is like a mix of Bhagirathi and K2.

I climbed K2 in 2007 in 2 days and half. Bhagirathi, in 2011, was my hardest technical and light climb (I did it with my really good friend Roberto delle Monache). This time there are three difficulties combined: high altitude, technical route, and the hardest winter season.

ExplorersWeb: How did you come up with the idea of Nanga Parbat winter? Was Simone an inspiration?
 
Daniele: I too wanted to experience a winter climb but when Simone tried to climb it with Urubko I started to organize my second expedition to Charakusa valley in Pakistan. I changed my mind when they failed their attempt and thought of Mummery. This is my dream I said to myself, and now here I am.

ExplorersWeb: What's your next plan on Nanga?
 
Daniele: I love this route but we are worried about the snow. The lower part is very dangerous, we just took an avalanche.

ExplorersWeb: Are you guys in touch with the Rupal face climbers?
 
Daniele: Not so much. Ali, our agency guide is in contact with them. To me this is not a competition, I'm after the experience, taking it to the edge. I'm OK with it if they arrive before us. We are at different sides of the same mountain and in the same hard season. I wish them the best on the very hard face they chose.

ExplorersWeb: What about the Everest weather station - what's the next step?
 
Daniele: I don't know right now. I was honored to be part of the team that tried to put it on the south col but it was more of work to me. They do a great job over there and I'm happy to be part of the project.

Italian alpinist, engineer and World Human Rights ambassador Daniele Nardi loves to read, play basketball, swim, and mountainbike.

Following technical climbs in the Alps in 2001 Nardi entered high altitude with Gasherbrum II and Cho Oyu. He topped out Everest in 2004, followed by Shisha Pangma middle, and climbed K2 in 2007 in just two-and-a-half days. In 2008 he bagged Nanga Parbat and in 2011 Nardi climbed Bhagirathi (6856 m, India) in alpine style. Also that year, along with Daniele Bernasconi, Nardi set up a web cam at Kala Patthar and fixed a weather station at Everest South Col to prepare for real-time data on temp, wind, humidity, pressure and solar radiation.

Food: Meat, vegetables and fruit.
Music: Bruce Springsteen (Nardi dedicated a new route in Charakusa Valley to "Telegraph road") Dire Straits, Led Zeppelin, Giorgia, Jovanotti, Pink Floyd.
Movie: Carpe diem (ed note: Dead Poets' Society) with Robbin Williams, La ricerca della felicità (The Pursuit of Happiness) with Will Smith, The Social Network, The Lord of the Rings, Fahrenheit 9/11 and more.
Books: In Vetta al mondo by Dario Ricci and Daniele Nardi, Beyond the summit by Steve House, No Boundaries: Spirit of Adventure by Ed Viesturs, Wild, Le Terre del Nord, I Fiori Del Male by Charles Baudelaire, "and many more".


Expedition reports:

Nardi's reports

Eli's reports

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Italian high-tech mission on Everest

ExWeb interview with Sara Sottocornola at Montagna.tv
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