Pakistan 2012: Action On Nanga Parbet


It has been a bit of a slow start to the climbing season in Pakistan this year although things should start to get interesting in the next few weeks. At the moment, there are two expeditions on Nanga Parbet who are getting settled in and have started their work, but for the most part the other teams are still in transit.

One of the more interesting climbs of the summer will no doubt be the attempt at a first ascent along the Mazeno Ridge. This expedition includes Sandy Allan, Rick Allen and Cathy O’Dowd, who will be trying to summit NP along a very challenging and difficult route. The Mazeno Ridge is over 10km (6 miles) in length, making it the longest approach of any 8000 meter peak, and features eight individual 7000 meter (22,965 ft) sub-summits. As you can imagine, this makes for an incredibly demanding climb, which has led to the route being labeled “the ultimate endurance challenge” in mountaineering.

The team arrived on the 8126 meter (26,660 ft) tall Nanga Parbet last Thursday and immediately went to work on setting up Base Camp. Since that time they’ve also climbed up to their Camp 1, which is located at 5650 meters (18,536 ft) as part of their first acclimatization rotation. They’ve since gone back down to BC where they’ll be resting tomorrow before going back up. The plan is to reach C2 on Friday, but descend back to C1 for the night’s rest.

Conditions are said to be good so far, although colder weather and some wind to help pack the snow would be welcome. The team needs some clear days to help with navigation but at the moment they’re mostly interested in stability and predictability while they get established.

Meanwhile, ExWeb is reporting that a second expedition in on Nanga as well. That one consists of Romanian climber Zsolt Torok and Americans Kathy Koslicki and Bob Semborski. They’ve already established their route up to Camp 2 on the mountain, but avalanches have already played havoc with their gear in C1 and BC. Both camps will need to be rebuilt before they proceed much higher.

Watch for more updates from the region in the near future. Expeditions are prepping for Broad Peak, Manaslu, the Gasherbrums and of course K2.

Kraig Becker