Brits Summit Nanga Parbat via Mazeno Ridge


7/31/12 - British alpinists Sandy Allan and Rick Allen have become the first to summit Nanga Parbat via the Mazeno Ridge in Pakistan. One of the greatest remaining challenges in the Himalayas, the 13-kilometer Mazeno Ridge traverse crosses eight peaks before reaching the 8,126-meter summit of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain on Earth.The expedition, which started on July 2, included Allan, Allen, South African Cathy O'Dowd, and Sherpas Lhakpa Nuru, Lhakpa Rangduk, and Lhakpa Zarok. On July 12, the team made a bid for Nanga Parbat's summit despite high winds. But due to the poor weather conditions, the team got off-route. After re-routing, O’Dowd abandoned her summit attempt and headed back to base camp with the three Sherpas. Allan and Allen decided to continue after having spent 12 days above 7,000 meters and make one last bid. They rested for two days, and then summited Nanga Parbat on July 15, returning to base camp on July 19. (Below is a video of Allan's account.)

Frenchman Louis Audoubert dreamed up the traverse in the 1970s, and reached the first summit of the ridge in 1979. More attempts were made through the years, but it wasn't until 1995 that the team of Rick Allen, Voytek Kurtyka, and Andrew Lock crested the third summit. In 2004, Doug Chabot and Steve Swenson made the first Alpine-style traverse of all eight peaks, ending at the Mazeno Col (6,940 meters). However, they were unable to continue to the main summit.

Dates of ascents: July 2–12, 2012


Sandy Allan's Harrowing 2012 Mazeno Ridge Expedition Debrief - Full Interview from EpicTVAdventure on Vimeo.