Avalanches Roar Down Nanga Parbat; Mingma G Aborts Expedition

Yesterday, the Imagine Nepal team was preparing to leave Nanga Parbat Base Camp for the summit, Mingma G told ExplorersWeb. But Pakistan is suffering the worst monsoon in years, and yesterday, avalanches from the heavier-than-normal snowfall roared down the Kinshoffer Face of Nanga Parbat.

Naila Kiani, currently in Nanga’s Base Camp after summiting K2 and Gasherbrum I this season, first reported that an avalanche had swept their chosen route. It was a close call: They were having a final night’s rest before leaving for the summit.

Avalanches and rockfall

Later, Mingma G told ExplorersWeb that in fact, three avalanches hit their chosen line. “This morning Chiriring and I went to check our route and gear,” the expedition leader said. “We found nothing.”

Mingma G went on: “There’s constant rockfall on the Kinshoffer Wall, and our planned new route is directly exposed to avalanches falling from the Mazeno Ridge.”

Chris Warner and Mingma G pose together in the grassy base camp, a tent by their side.

Mingma G (right) with American Chris Warner, some days ago in Base Camp. Photo: Mingma G


After weighing the risks, Mingma G made a tough decision. “I can’t risk the life of my team…so we have decided to stop and go back home safely.”

The entire team agreed that calling the expedition off was the only option.

Bad timing

Mingma G had gambled by going to Nanga Parbat at an unusual time, two months later than the typical early July. He hoped to find early post-monsoon conditions, but the current monsoon has lasted much longer than usual. This is also the strongest monsoon in decades, aid agencies told the BBC.

As a result, rain has flooded low-lying areas, destroyed roads and bridges, and exacted a terrible toll on human life. The death toll approaches 1,000, and around 33 million people have been displaced. Thousands more must evacuate, as the rivers keep rising. Pakistan has declared a national emergency.

So Mingma’s G’s idea might still work in a typical season, but not in this one.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.