More Nanga Parbat Summits – And Diran Peak!

Today, more climbers have topped out on Nanga Parbat, on top of the summits we reported yesterday. The path is now well-trodden and ropes are fixed all the way to the summit, so climbers and their guides are practically racing up the mountain.

The Pioneer Adventure team summited at 5:14 am Pakistan time, according to Summit Karakoram. The team confirmed that Sanu Sherpa and Naoko Watanabe have summited. No news yet on Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita.

Gelje Sherpa. Photo: Gelje Sherpa

 

Adriana Brownlee and Gelje Sherpa summited as well. Both Brownlee and Gelje aim to break the current age record for a 14×8000’er summiteer (currently set at 30 years old by Mingma David Sherpa). Brownlee, 21, has better odds. Nanga Parbat is her eighth 8,000m peak. Gelje, 29, still needs Broad Peak (the pair’s next goal) and Cho Oyu.

Gelje has already taken a crack at Cho Oyu. His expedition last winter was launched from Nepal, we expect he will try again this fall.

Record summit figures ahead?

The rest of the Seven Summit Treks clients have summit plans for July 6 onwards. Some are holding off till then because meteorologists expect windspeeds to pick up between Monday and Tuesday. However, other climbers may speed up their plans and try to reach the summit tomorrow, while the weather and snow conditions are good.

No-O2 climbers, such as Tunc Findic and Marco Confortola, should be ready for a final summit push by July 6. Recently, they reached 7,000m on their final acclimatization round. They are currently resting in Base Camp.

Adriana Brownlee on Nanga Parbat some days ago. Photo: Adriana Brownlee

 

Yesterday’s summit tally was 14, distributed among 10 sherpa staff and four clients. Today a similar number is expected.

Once all the data is in, it will be interesting to see how the use of O2 has changed climbing on Nanga Parbat. The (obvious) conclusion is that the dramatic increase in human resources, equipment, and supplies has resulted in a record rate of summit success.

The excellent weather, that meteorologist Vitor Baia told ExplorersWeb was the best he had ever observed in Pakistan, has definitely helped too.

Who broke trail yesterday?

Seven Summit Treks posted a summit list from July 1, with details that differ slightly from other teams’ reports. They shared on social media that Pechhumbe Sherpa and Tenjen Sherpa (also known as Mantare Lama), fixed ropes on their way to the summit, which they reached at 9:30 am.

However, 8K Expeditions’ Pemba Sherpa reported that their team, comprising Kristin Harila, Pasdawa Sherpa, Dawa Ongchu, and Chhiring Namgyal, reached the top at 10:50 am (a later release by 8k Expedition listed their summit time a little later, at 11:30 am) and yet claimed that they had to break trail to the top. Dolma Expedition team topped-out at 10:07 am.

Other members of Seven Summit Treks summited at various times yesterday morning: Dawa Nurbu Sherpa and Dorota Lidia Samocko of Poland summited at 10 am. Chhangba Sherpa, Tenjing Sherpa, and Romanian Adrian Laza topped out at 11:00 am.

Further reports and summit pictures will surely clear up who climbed ahead or behind the rope-fixers.

 

Diran Peak success

There is also news from elsewhere in Pakistan. In a radically different style and environment, Mathieu Maynadier and Leo Slemett summited 7,266m Diran Peak, in Hunza valley.

They confirmed they had safely returned to Base Camp but have kept quiet about the most interesting detail: did they achieve the first ski descent of the mountain, as they had planned?

Maynadiere and Slemett in Base Camp. Photo: Mathieu Maynadier

 

The team will share a report and pictures in a few days, they said.

Maynadier has been engaged in several high-difficulty projects in Pakistan. In summer 2021, he attempted Pumari Chhish East (finally summited for the first time last week) with Tom Livingstone. They were forced back by excess snow 100m below the summit. Leo Slemett is a skilled climber and Free Ride World Champion.

A lonely Base Camp. Photo:Mathieu Maynadier

 

Diran is not their final goal this year, but actually a preparation climb. However, they have not revealed any details regarding their Nepal project yet.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer 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 corporates, press manager and communication executive,and a published author.