Success on Nanga Parbat

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LaFaille opens new route, Viesturs summits 13th peak in 8000-meter questFrench climber Jean Christophe Lafaille and American Ed Viesturs of Bainbridge Island, WA reached the summit of 26,548 foot Nanga Parbat in Pakistan on June 27th. Lafaille succeeded in climbing a new, 2000 meter line on the Diamir face with Italian Simone Moro before joining Viesturs on the standard route. Moro was forced to turn back due to insufficient acclimatization.Nanga Parbat was Viesturs’ 13th 8000 meter peak in his Endeavor 8000 quest to climb all 14 of the world’s highest mountains without supplemental oxygen. Viesturs described the high-altitude ordeal on his website, as “one of the most difficult and challenging of my career.” Only Annapurna, in Nepal, remains on Viesturs’ high altitude tick list, the ascent of which would make Viesturs the first American to have climbed all 14 of the world’s highest peaks. Last spring Viesturs attempted Annapurna alongside LaFaille, but turned back due to what he considered unreasonably high avalanche danger. LaFaille and Spanish climber Alberto Inurrategui continued to the summit in spite of the objective dangers. “It just wasn't worth the risk,” said Viesturs on, after returning to basecamp. Another attempt on the mountain, however, seems likely for Viesturs, one of the world’s foremost high-altitude mountaineers.