Winter Climbs 2016: Revol and Mackiewicz at 7200 Meters on Nanga Parbat

Over the past week, we’ve been watching the events unfold on Nanga Parbat very closely, mostly because the weather is reportedly good right now and one of the four remaining teams hoping to reach the summit this winter has launched a summit bid. Now, as the weekend arrives, that squad is ready to have a go at the top, and possibly make history in the process.

As you probably already know, the 8126 meters (26,600 ft) Nanga Parbat is one of just two 8000 meter peaks that has yet to be scaled during the winter months, with the other being K2. In recent years, a number of teams have come close to finally putting up the first winter ascent, but the mountain has continued to turn everyone back. Just last year, Elisabeth Revol and Tomaz Mackiewicz climbed within 300 meters (984 feet) of the summit, but poor conditions forced them to turn back. Now, nearly one year later, they’re ready to do it again.

According to their latest report, the duo are now above Camp 4 at 7400 meters (24,278 ft) and are preparing to go for the top. If everything holds in place, they could summit this weekend. But, they still have a long way to go, and based on last year’s results, it is doubtful that they are taking anything for granted. The weather can change quickly on the mountain, and while the window looks like it’ll be open for another couple of days, it could also slam shut rapidly as well. Stay tuned for more updates on their progress.

Elsewhere on the mountain, Alex Txikon, Daniele Nardi, and Ali Sadpara are working their way back up the mountain after all three took a few days to catch their breath following their last rotations. The trio have gone back up to C2 at 6100 meters (20,013 ft) and have taken enough rope with them to continue the process of fixing the lines up to C3, which should be located at 6700 meters (21,981 ft). They report heavy snow on their route at the moment, which made for slow going, but they are prepared to press ahead.

The Polish Justice For All team has hit a milestone on their expedition as well. They’ve now fixed the ropes up to 7000 meters (22,965 ft) as they join the race for the summit too. After completing that work, they’ll now reportedly descend back to BC for some much needed rest. They’re also keeping a close eye on Elisabeth and Tomaz’s progress as well.

Finally, we have an update on Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger, the Italian squad who have been working the mountain as well. While the duo have been tightlipped about their progress, Aliex Txikon says that they have returned to Base Camp. Apparently, they had both been resting in BC for a few days, and were preparing to launch a summit bid, but a change in weather along their route has turned them back. They’ll now continue to wait for an opportunity to reveal itself once again.

That’s it for now. Hopefully Monday will bring us good news on the progress of all of the team, but especially Elisabeth and Tomaz. Good luck to them as they push forward.

Kraig Becker