Winter Climbs 2016: Two Teams Join Forces on Nanga Parbat

1280px Nanga Parbat Rupal Base camp%2C Gilgit Baltistan

The teams climbing on Nanga Parbat have made solid progress since we last checked in. They’ve all had opportunities to work their respective routes, and everyone is acclimatizing as expected. There is still a long way to go before they launch any perspective summit bids, but with a period of good weather on the mountain, things are progressing about as well as can be expected at this point of the season.

The Polish Justice for All team is working the Rupal route. They’re currently above 6200 meters (20,341 ft) and are fixing ropes towards Camp 3. So far, they’ve been making steady progress, although it hasn’t been as fast as they’d like. Still, the team is slowly, and methodically, working its way up the mountain, acclimatizing as they go, and installing camps where they’ll need them for any potential summit pushes down the line.

One interesting note however is that this squad originally had several Pakistani members as well, but according to ExWeb, they left the team a few weeks back. It is unclear why the local climbers decided to depart, but there seems to have been some dispute over the best way to climb the moutanin together.

Elsewhere, two of the teams on the Kinshofer Route have decided to join forces. One squad was originally made up of Alex Txikon, Daniele Nardi, and Ali Sadpara, while the other included the duo of Adam Bielecki and Jacek Czech. Each of these climbers is extremely strong and experienced, but it was in their best interest to work together to try to make the first ascent of Nanga Parbat in the winter. They have managed to fix rope to 5700 meters (18,700 ft), with another 3000 meters of rope shuttled to various points on the mountain. That should be more than enough to get them to the top, although there is lots of hard work to be done getting all of it into position.

With these two squads now working together, the rope fixing should go more quickly and efficiently. And since there are so many strong climbers on the team, the chances of success for all of them has increased all around.

ExWeb is reporting that Tomek Mackiewicz and Elisabeth Revol have now reached Camp 3 at approximately 6600 meters (21,653 ft), and were expecting to go above 7000 meters (22,956 ft) later today. That will put them in good position for a potential summit push, although they’ll likely retreat to BC to rest up before that will ever happen. The two climbers were reportedly sharing camps with Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger as well, although the Italian climbers have not posted an update on their progress since last week.

All in all, it has been a good start to the winter climbing season on Nanga. It is still too early to know if anyone will be successful in their attempt o climb the mountain however, as the winter weather conditions can shift quickly, with heavy snows, high winds, and extreme temperatures gripping the region for days. Still, the teams remain optimistic that they can finally climb this beast during the harshest season of the year. We’ll just have to wait to see if they get the chance.

Kraig Becker