Winter Climbs 2013: Another Team Departs Nanga

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The demands of the winter season have begun to take their toll on the climbers on Nanga Parbat. Yesterday I reported that one squad had already departed after getting as high as 7000 meters (22,965 ft), while the other teams were all moving up with the hopes of taking advantage of an expected weather window. That weather window may yet appear but the mountain isn’t making it easy on the climbers and as a result, another team has elected to call it quits and head home.

The latest casualty on Nanga is the Hungarian-American team of David Klein and Ian Overton. The two men were hoping to move up to Camp 2 yesterday, but high winds and deep snow made it impossible to proceed. When they went back down to BC, they exhausted climbers decided that enough was enough and began packing for home. It has been a very long expedition for them, with few comforts. The team never could get their generator to operate reliably and as a result, they ended up uncomfortable most of the time. The third member of the team, Zoltan Acs, had already set out for home last week after suffering frostbite in his feet.

Meanwhile, we’re still awaiting word from most of the other climbers on the mountain. Daniel Nardi and Elisabeth Revol are high on the mountain and expected to move further up today. ExWeb reports that they should move to 7000 meters, where they’ll hold for the weather window that is expected to open starting tomorrow. If the forecast is correct, and conditions improve, they’ll make a dash for the summit, but if the high winds and snow persist, they’ll likely head home too.

There still has been no word from French snowboarder Joel Wischnewski on his progress. Considering his poor health prior to the summit push, I’m simply keeping my fingers crossed on this point that he is okay.

On Broad Peak, the Poles remain in BC for a few more days while they wait for the weather to clear on that mountain. After that they hope to finish fixing the ropes up to Camp 4 at 7500-7600 meters (24,606-24,939 ft) before making their ultimate summit push.

More to come soon.

Kraig Becker