Progress on Winter Nanga Parbat Attempts


The Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat, with the Schell Route marked up to Camp 3 at ca 6,750 meters. Above this camp, the route crosses onto the Diamir Face to climb the upper mountain. Photo by Emilio Previtali.

Climbers have reached 7,000 meters (nearly 23,000 feet) as they prepare to attempt the first winter ascent of 26,660-foot Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. Italian mountaineer Simone Moro, the leading winter Himalayan climber of recent years, and his German partner David Göttler established Camp 3 between 6,700 and 6,800 meters on the Schell Route on January 28, after climbing some very hard ice and fixing rope over the most difficult sections. After a frigid night in their tent, they moved up to about 7,000 meters the next day, before descending all the way to base camp, more than 11,000 feet below, in anticipation of poor weather moving in.

The Moro-Göttler expedition is one of four that hoped to climb Nanga Parbat this winter. The four-man Justice for All team from Poland, also attempting the Schell Route, has established camps as high as 6,200 meters. They had hoped to continue up to 7,000 meters to cross onto the Diamir side of the mountain and check conditions there. But now all the climbers are back in base camp, awaiting the forecast bad weather.

Italian Daniele Nardi has arrived in Diamir base camp and begun his acclimatization. Nardi, who attempted Nanga Parbat with Elizabeth Revol from France last winter, aims to solo the Diamir Face. He arrived in base camp, the site of last summer's massacre of climbers, with heavy police protection. Earlier this winter, the German climber Ralf Dujmovits briefly attempted the Diamir Face but abandoned his expedition, citing a very active serac band above a key camp on the route.

With poor weather expected to arrive by the end of the weekend, it is likely to be at least another week before any team attempts a summit push.