Poor weather has arrived on Nanga Parbat, stalling out climbing efforts on that mountain, where no less than four teams will be trying to complete the first winter ascent. The notoriously difficult peak has already sent one team home this year, and now it is looking to repel all-comers once again. But there is a little less than two months to go in the season, and teams aren’t ready to give up just yet.
We’ll start with an update on the team that has departed Base Camp. Polish climber Tomek Mankiewicz is now in the town of Gilgit where he is receiving treatment for an injured leg and broken ribs that he suffered as a result of a fall down a crevasse while making his descent following a summit push. He also has severe frostbite in his toes, which may need to be amputated. He will likely spend a few more days there before he starts his journey home.
Meanwhile, Tomek’s climbing part Elisabeth Revol is already back home in France. There was a bit of confusion in the report about her departure last week, as it wasn’t clear if she had left BC for home or had gone back up the mountain to try another summit push. It is now more than clear that she has returned home, doing so without even saying goodbye to the other teams in Base Camp. In a post-climb interview with ExWeb Elisabeth says that she now believes that the mountain is unclimbable for the winter, as poor wether has set in. She and Tomek spent 10 days trying to reach the top and were turned back. With that weather window now closed, she feels that there won’t be another one for this winter, which is why she decided to leave.
Italian climber Danielle Nardi remains in Base Camp on the Diamir Face and is waiting for the weather to clear so he can go back up the mountain. With his acclimatization now complete, he is also ready to stock his high camp with supplies and potentially press on towards the summit. But it has been snowing for several days now, and hurricane-force winds have arrived on the mountain, making it impossible for anyone to climb at the moment. Everyone is stuck in BC and waiting for a weather window to open.
Over on the Rupal Face, the Russian team of Nickolay Totmjanin, Valery Shamalo, Serguey Kondrashkin and Victor Koval have not updated their progress for a few days. The last we heard, they had climbed up to 7100 meters (23,293 ft) as they established camps up the side of the mountain. Presumably they are back in BC as well and waiting for their opportunity too.
Finally, two new teams are set to arrive on the Diamir side soon. Alex Txikon, along with two local climbers – Muhammad Ali Sadpara and Muhammad Kahn – should reach Base Camp within the next few days, while the Iranian squad of Reza Bahadorani, Iraj Maani and Mahmood Hashemi are a few days further back. They’ll arrive on a mountain that is now displaying the full challenges of climbing during the winter season, and it won’t be a warm greeting.
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