Nanga Parbat: Towards C4 and Setting the Stage for One Final Battle (Updated)

K2 Mountain

Despite the fear of an abrupt change in conditions and doubts about acclimatization level of climbers, the summit push is happening 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). (Edit: an earlier version of this report missed Simone Moro’s name in summit push party, which has been corrected now.)

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.

UPDATE (1800hrs Pakistan time):-

Alex Txikon’s tracker shows that the team has reached around 7100m and set up C4 at the edge of Bazhin Basin. They will traverse the field tomorrow and go up the summit trapezoid. Final summit-bid is expected to start early in the morning.

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 northeast face and Schell route (Rupal side) respectively.

Route from C2 to C3 Source:Alex Txikon

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of