Karakorum 2008: Death on Nanga Parbat

Sad news in the latest Karakorum update from ExWeb today, where it is being reported that Italian climber Karl Unterkircher has died on Nanga Parbat after falling into a crevasse. Karl was reportedly climbing with Walter Nones and Simon Kehrer and attempting to open a new route on the Rakhiot face. According to the story, Karl was leading the trio above 6000m when an ice ledge gave way under him, causing him to tumble into the crevasse. Walter and Simon then spent the night trying to rescue him, but all their efforts went to no avail, and now the two are forced to climb up to 7000m to exit the face because of the unsteady nature of the route they are on.

In other news from the region, word from K2 is that the weather there is even worse than the teams were anticipating. There was a projected weather window for the 18th of the month, but that no longer looks possible, and the shifting jet stream has caused high winds to hit the upper portions of the mountain. Because of that, the spirits of the teams still on the mountain are a bit low, as they wait and hope for an opportunity to go up.

On Broad Peak, it’s a different story, where a number of teams are said to be moving into position to make their bid for the Summit, including the Spanish and Italian teams, as well as Valeriy Babanov and Victor Afanasiev who are attempting a new route, and have already moved up over the 7000m mark.

On GII, the Field Touring Alpine team called off their summit bid on Monday due to poor weather conditions, with high winds and blowing snow on the summit. Over on the Distaghil Sar the climb is finished. Don Bowie and was climbing the mountain with Bruce Normand determined that it was unsafe around the main summit and elected to come down from the mountain and return home. Meanwhile, Simone Moro has returned to the Karakorum to give Batura II a shot. The 7762 meter peak is located in the Batura Massif and forms part of the Batura Wall, and while not well known, is certainly a challenging peak to climb.

Kraig Becker

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