File image: Sher village (8858 feet/2700 meters). The climbers stayed in a mud hut on route to Base Camp but got a clear view of Nanga Parbat in the setting sun. Image by David Klein, Zoltan Robert, Ian Overton courtesy David Klein, Zoltan Robert, Ian Overton
Winter Nanga Parbat: Complex route finding to Camp 1
Posted: Jan 09, 2013 09:51 pm EST (Newsdesk) Complex terrain awaited the Hungarian/American trio: a labyrinth made of troughs, couloirs, ice slopes, and ice covering nasty snow was thin and loose. David Klein, Zoltan Robert and Ian Overton, who has started their winter climb on Nanga Parbat, has shot over updates of their climb to ExplorersWeb while enjoying their tent-made wine. Here go:
2013-01-07 by Dávid
"Exciting day today…
As we mentioned earlier our original plan was to, if possible, search for a more direct route variant to the basin of Camp 1-2. One that doesn’t go too near the slightly avalanche suspicious Kinshofer route.
Yesterday we committed ourselves more-or-less to one of the couloirs. The end of the couloir narrowed down at the end, and we could only proceed to the left. We left our equipment in this split, hoping that we will find a snowslope, trough, or couloir on the left that will lead us to our future Camp 1.
We were lumbering upwards with the excitement of explorers on the trodden, single path to our depot. Is there an appropriate slope? Shouldn’t we have followed the original route? Where on earth are we on the map?
We achieved previous days’ endpoint in one continuous push in two hours. Once we cut through the little rib on the left side, a very complex terrain awaited us: a labyrinth made of troughs, couloirs, and ice slopes. We decided to first recon the terrain without our load. We decided on a very sharp, steep and icy slope. Unfortunately the ice was rotten. The ice that was covering nasty snow was thin and loose, so we could proceed very slowly.
We under-rated our equipment as well. We only had four ice screws and I only had very lightweight aluminum crampon on me. So until 4PM we could climb up to 4900 meters, where at the top of a steep icy height, we attached to an ice screw, the equipment for Camp 1, and began to descend back.
It was dark by the time we returned to base camp. Zoli was waiting us with some hot soup."
2013-01-08 – Team
"The day started lazily. Our toilet-tent, which wasn’t stable in the first place because the significant part of the poles were missing, finally surrendered. It is important to have a positive perspective. We now have an outdoor toilet with a view of the Nangat Parbat.
Zoltan decided to take a walk and see how his blistered feet will respond. He left around noon.
Ian and David were working around base camp: repairing the solar charger system, drying the equipments, and setting up a tarpaulin on the icy community tent and waiting for the sun. Unfortunately the day was a cloudy one.
Zoli came back around 3PM, and we thawed out one bottle of Bodri Optimis QV and, we admit it Bodri Winery, with two handfuls of figs we made a very delicious mulled wine from it. It saves the sacrilege that the temperature of our community tent is stably under 14 degrees F (-10 C).
Supposedly the Italians will arrive tomorrow. And, if Allah is willing, in two or three days’ time we will have a normal community tent and generator."