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Nanga Parbat Summit-bid Strategy and ‘Bad Omens’ on Manaslu

Posted: Feb 20, 2015 10:58 am EST

(By Raheel Adnan) The waiting continues for Nanga Parbat climbers. Nonetheless, the team is in positive mood and getting ready for summit-bid once weather window arrives. Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger are concluding Base Camp arrangements and will kick off the climb in next couple of days.

Wait Continues at Nanga Parbat BC

Altitude reached by Kinshofer route climbers, 6700m, is lesser than that attained by Tomek & Elisabeth or the Russian team. But they have a real chance to make it to the summit, if weather holds for a few days.


In an interview with barrabes.com, Alex Txikon details the hard work done on Kinshofer route and their chances of success on the mountain. When asked about the level of climbing done so far, Spanish climber remarked, “Buff .... very very hard. I knew it would be, but not so much. Now I understand why so many expeditions have failed to overcome the technical sections and reach as high as us.” “Mixed rock, and a lot of hard ice. As it stands now, opening these 2500m are comparable in difficulty to K2 that too in poor condition, and with the addition of winter.”

However on a positive side, Alex explains that they have overcome the challenging sections of route. Weather permitting; the ascent from this point onward should be relatively easier. “We've fixed 2550m rope. This allows us to go back up now, but most importantly lets us descend safely. There may be few less complex stretches to camp 4. We estimate that perhaps we should have 50m more rope, especially to ensure the safe descent, and then, if time permits, we are in real conditions of an attack on summit.” “From C4, we have the summit in our reach; there is 12 hours of easy terrain, with axe in one hand and pole in the other; always considerate about the difficulty of winter, of course.”


Talking about chances of success, Spanish climber doesn’t underestimate the winter Nanga Parbat. “It's hard to say. The technical and committing hard work is done. I'd say we have 25 percent chances. But you never know ... the Karakorum winter is Karakoram winter [sic], and technical complexity is only one part of the game.”

Alex Txikon states that a weather window is expected to arrive by next Wednesday. The team will be leaving BC on Monday to reach C3 by Wednesday, and have two days for summit push. All climbers (Alex, Daniele, Pakistanis and Iranian) will be going up together. Alex goes on to explain that there is still one month of winter left and they’re in no hurry. They move forward only if conditions allow, without taking too much risk.


Bad Omens on Manaslu?

Today is Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger’s fourth day at BC. Apart from heavy snow on second day, they have sunny weather now. After getting final batch of equipment shipped to Base Camp today, the climbers are hoping to proceed towards C1 in coming days. Weather is predicted to remain stable till Wednesday.


As previously reported, there is a lot of snow on Manaslu this year. Local community thinks that it hasn’t snowed this much since past two decades. Tamara Lunger also blogged about another incident, “When Kusang and Mambhadur joined us yesterday, after climbing up in the snowstorm, they told us, that the Lama of Samagaon said, that this year Punge (local name of Manaslu) seemed to be not so good minded, because just few days before the monastery had burned down completely.

It was like a knife stab in my heart. I looked over to Simone and said: “It was better not to know this!” Immediately I took my wooden jesus on my neckless in my hands and spoke to him! Because I know, once I lose my positive thoughts, I have no chance to do this anymore.

Luckily the sun came out this morning and gave me a positive and very energetic kiss.”


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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Preparing platform at Manaslu BC.
Tamara at Manaslu BC
Nanga Parbat climbers at BC
Snow at Nanga Parbat BC