At 8126 meters (26,660 ft) in height, Nanga Parbat is the 9th tallest mountain in the world. It also happens to be one of only two 8000 meter peaks that have yet to be climbed in winter, the other being K2. Over the years, the pursuit of the summit in the coldest months has proved elusive, and sometimes deadly. But this year at least two teams are prepping to make the attempt, which will get underway with the official arrival of winter next week.
For anyone who knows anything about winter climbing, it should come as no surprise that a team of Polish mountaineers are already in Pakistan and getting ready to begin their attempt on the mountain. That squad consists of Marek Klonowski and Tomek Mackiewicz, who have winter experience on Nanga Parbat already. Last year, Mackiewicz made it has high as 7400 meters (24,278 ft) before turning back. This year they’ll be joined by Jacek Teler and Pawel Dunaj, who will only help strengthen the team. They’ll be posting updates to their Nanga Dream blog in the days ahead, where they have already posted a video of their early days in Pakistan.
It appears that they are already trekking into Base Camp and should arrive there in the next day or two. That will give them some time to set up BC, prep their gear, and rest a little before launching the climb itself. In order for this to be an official winter climb, it must take place entirely during that season, which doesn’t begin until December 21. After that, look for the climbers to start moving up.
The Poles aren’t the only ones attempt NP this winter however. Italians Simone Moro, Emilio Previtali and German David Göttler will also be attempting the mountain. Moro, of course, has lots of experience in the big mountains in winter, having put up the first ascent of Gasherbrum II a few years back. The team has yet to depart for Pakistan and aren’t expected in country until after the holidays. The video below serves as a teaser for the climb, which we’ll be able to follow at The North Face Journal.
Finally, Explorers Web reports that Ralf Dujmovits may also be leading a team to NP this winter, although that has yet to be confirmed. ExWeb has been gearing up for this big Nanga Parbat push this past week or two by sharing the history of winter climbing on the mountain. You can read the three part series here, here and here. It makes for an excellent primer heading into the winter climbs.
I’ll obviously be sharing more on these expeditions, and other winter climbs, as they unfold.
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