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Nanga Parbat: It's Over. No More Summit Attempts!

Posted: Mar 13, 2015 06:43 pm EDT

(By Raheel Adnan) Nanga Parbat climbers have decided not to make any further summit attempt and they will be retreating to Base Camp tomorrow, reports Alex Txikon’s Base Camp team.


"After spending the afternoon discussing, they've finally agreed that the most responsible decision is TO GIVE UP and come down to BC tomorrow. Communication by radio was very difficult, tomorrow we'll know more about the reasons," the team wrote on Facebook page a while ago.


Last night, Nanga Parbat climbers Ali Sadpara, Alex Txikon and Daniele Nardi left C4 (7200m) at around 3am local time. Under perfect meteorological conditions, their success was very much likely. However, a wrong turn in darkness led them to a dead end. By mid-day, they had already descended to C4 and were resting / recovering for another summit push starting from tonight.

Here is Alex Txikon team's report about summit push and the 'error':-


"An error has forced Alex Txikon and his companions to go back to C4 (7,200m) after reaching 8.000 metres altitude [Editor's Note: Probably, the climbers misjudged the altitude and were still below 8000m. This may be confirmed once climbers share detailed report]. At this time they’re resting inside the tent to try again tomorrow. Weather forecast predicts for tomorrow very similar conditions, like today: sunny and not windy.


Dawn has been superb in every way. Moon has given us unforgettable images and, especially, Alex Txikon’s call at about 07:30 made us believe, even for a moment, that the dream was about to be fulfilled. In fact, despite the early hour, the whole Base Camp (five people at that time, no more) has been revolutionized; all nervous, screaming and smiling, running from one place to another without direction or meaning, just euphoric.


The last contact with climbers had been around two in the morning and we were put on notice that in half an hour they were leaving towards summit. Despite the extreme cold, they spoke snow was fantastic, quite hard but holding very good, and that slope of about 30º of tilt required no rope. The truth is that this last stage of the ascent, apart from the obligatory fatigue accumulated and the lack of oxygen, does not involve major technical difficulties compared to previous days. They felt strong and full of motivation.


The surprise has come, therefore, at 07:30: “I don’t know if you can see us but we are at 8000 meters [sic]”. Indeed, binoculars helped us to verify that Alex Txikon, Ali ‘Sadpara’ and Daniele Nardi were advancing on cruise eastward at an altitude much higher than would be expected for that time. They looked to go up very fast.


And too fast have come bad news, rage and grief. Just would have been twenty minutes when Alex Txikon again made contact with CB to announce that they were going down to C4 (7.200m): “We screwed up, we were wrong. At night, in the dark,  we passed away the corridor by which we should have gone up. We continued eastward, too long. We are at 8,000 meters, but in a very rocky point where it is impossible to shoot up; we have no time frame or strength to go back and correct “. So they decided to descend to C4 (7.200m) where they have come in less than an hour and a half. Here they will rest and drink to try again tomorrow. They will repeat strategy: will start  at about 02:00 (22:00 at home), “It is impossible to leave earlier, cold is too unbearable”.



Based in Pakistan, mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for Explorersweb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at Altitude Pakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.



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"After spending the afternoon discussing, they've finally agreed that the most responsible decision is TO GIVE UP and come down to BC tomorrow," Base Camp team reported a while ago.
Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara and Daniele Nardi returning to C4 after unsuccessful summit push this morning.