The weather has relented some on Nanga Parbat, allowing the teams on the Diamir Face to move up at last. While high winds and heavy snow had been keeping them in Base Camp in recent days, it seems that conditions have improved on the mountain, allowing them to move forward. But temperatures are said to be brutally cold, holding at a constant -20ºC/-4ºF in BC, and much lower further up the slope. A possible weather window is expected to open now, but it remains to be seen if anyone can take much advantage of it.
Italian climber Daniele Nardi is the one person who may be ready to launch a summit bid if the weather holds. He’s been on the mountain the longest at this point and seems acclimatized enough to make a solo attempt on the top. According to his latest dispatches he is now in Camp 2 at 5200 meters (17,060 ft). When he arrived there, he found his tent and other gear buried under heavy snow, and according to his home team, he spent several hours just digging everything out and reestablishing his campsite. He’ll rest there tonight before hopefully moving up to ascend the Mummery Spur.
Also on the move are the combined teams of Alex Txikon – along with his partners Muhammad Ali Sadpara and Muhammad Kahn – and the Iranian squad consisting of Mahmood Hashemi, Iraj Maani, and Reza Bahadorani. The two groups are the late comers to Nanga Parbat, and it seems they have joined forces to a degree. The climbers have moved up to their Camp 2 site, which is found at 5900 meters (19,356 ft). They are hoping to establish C3 at 6700 meters (21,981 ft) before descending back to Base Camp, and the current plan is to sleep in C1 tonight and C2 tomorrow as part of the acclimatization process.
As reported yesterday, the Russian squad on the Rupal Face is back in BC where they are resting and regrouping. They will be keeping a watchful eye on the weather as well, and weighing their options for making another summit bid. This past weekend they had climbed to as high as 7150 meters (23,458 ft) and were waiting to make a summit bid, but high winds forced them to retreat. It is unclear if they’ll have another go at the mountain, but it does seem very early in the season for them to pack it in.
All of the climbers are attempting complete the first winter ascent of the 8126 meter (26,660 ft) mountain. Traditional, the weather on Nanga has been incredibly bad in February, so all of the squad are looking to take advantage of any break they can get. Of course, “good” weather is a relative term this time of year, as hurricane force winds, subzero temperatures, and heavy snow are not uncommon there at all. Hopefully they’ll get the weather window they need to at least take a shot at the summit, but for now we’ll all just have to wait and watch to see what happens.