Karakorum 2008: Crisis Averted on Nanga Parbat

Excellent news from ExWeb today on Walter Nones and Simon Kehrer, the two climbers who were stranded high on the mountain following the death of their partner, Karl Unterkircher, who fell down a crevasse last week. Today, it’s being reported that the pair were able to descend, by way of skis, to 5700m, where they were airlifted by the Pakistani military. They are now back in BC, safe and sound.

Rescue operations are also underway on Shimshal Whitehorn, where Ben Cheek has been attempting to climb the mountain for the past two weeks. The weather has turned bad, and there are now fears for his life, as climbers head to he Shimshal guest lodge to begin organizing a search party. Don Bowie is amongst them and will be posting updates to his website. Keep your fingers crossed folks, just as we get one team out of jeopardy, it looks like we have another climber in trouble.

Elsewhere in the Karakorum, teams are preparing for their summit bids. On K2, which has been beset with bad weather for much of the season, the weather is beginning to clear, and expected summit pushes are predicted for July 28th on the Abruzzi route, and the 29th on the Cesen. Teams are meeting tomorrow to discuss their last minute plans for topping out together.

A similar story is coming out of Broad Peak Base Camp, where teams are also planning to work together to achieve a joint summit. Preliminary reports have a weather window opening over the weekend, with summit attempts also coming on July 28th and 29th.

Finally, on Gasherbrum IV they’re praying for good weather as well. After 39 days of working the mountain, camps are established, supplies are in place, and the Spanish team there is hoping for just a three day weather window so they can finish what they’ve started. Here’s hoping they get the chance.

Kraig Becker

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