12/29/13 - Four separate expeditions hope to complete the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat, one of only two 8,000-meter peaks that has not yet been climbed in the coldest season. Sixteen teams have previously attempted 8,125-meter (26,660-foot) Nanga Parbat in winter, including several of the climbers trying again this season.
Simone Moro, the Italian who is the most successful winter 8,000-meter climber of the modern era, will attempt Nanga Parbat via the Schell Route on the Rupal side of the mountain. Moro, who tried a winter ascent of Nanga Parbat in 2012, will be climbing with German partner David Göttler and Italian Emilio Previtali.
With various partners, Moro did the first winter ascents of Shishapangma (2005), Makalu (2009), and Gasherbrum II (2011), the first 8,000-meter peak in Pakistan's Karakoram mountains to be climbed in winter. In the last two years, winter ascents of both Gasherbrum I and Broad Peak also have been completed, leaving only K2 and Nanga Parbat.
Also on the Rupal side will be a four-man Polish team, including Marek Klonowski and Tomek Mackiewicz, who have already attempted Nanga Parbat in winter three times, twice by the Kinshofer Route on the Diamir face, and then last season on the Schell Route, where Mackiewicz reached 7,400 meters (24,278 feet). This time, Pawel Dunaj and Jacek Teler are joining the team.
Meanwhile, German climber Ralf Dujmovits is planning a bold solo ascent on the Diamir side of the peak. (The Diamir base camp is where 11 people were murdered by a Taliban-affiliated group of terrorists last spring.) Dujmovits acclimatized on Aconcagua, the Western Hemisphere's highest peak, spending six nights above 19,500 feet, including two nights on the 22,841-foot summit, and then flew immediately to Pakistan to begin his attempt on Nanga Parbat. The German climber aims to make a fast, lightweight ascent, without fixed ropes or stocked camps. Dujmovits climbed Nanga Parbat during the normal summer season in 2001.
The Italian climber Daniele Nardi is the latest to join the fray. Nardi, who attempted the Mummery Rib on Nanga Parbat's Diamir face last winter with Frenchwoman Elizabeth Revol, will return to the Diamir side for a solo attempt.
The Polish team has already begun climbing on the Rupal side of the mountain, and Dujmovits has arrived at base camp on the Diamir side. Moro and partners have just arrived in Pakistan. And Nardi is scheduled to go to Pakistan on January 20.