(By Raheel Adnan) Base Camp with luxurious food and comforts (not to mention the pool table, if it’s Everest’s North side BC) or healthy amount of cash from sponsors - this may be the story of many 8000er expeditions these days, but certainly isn't the case of ‘Justice for All’ climbs. Joined by 10 policemen, local guide and four Polish fellows, Marek Klonowski and Tomek Mackiewicz are back to Nanga Parbat, for their fourth winter attempt on the mountain. They reached Latobo a week ago and waited till the start of calendar winter to kick off the climb. As per last update, they were in C1 (5050m) on Sunday, Dec 22nd.
Apart from formidable challenges of winter Nanga Parbat, the Polish guys are slightly concerned about extra cost incurred during initial stage of expedition. Their climb can be supported by clicking the ‘donate’ button at Nanga Dream Blog.
While waiting for the start of calendar winter in Latobo, Marek Klonowski spared some time for a chit chat with Exweb about 4th ‘Justice for All’ expedition.
Exweb: Hi, tell us a little about yourself?
Marek: I have been living in Ireland for past 7 years, that's where I met Tomek (who is living back in Poland now). We went together to Mount Logan in 2007 (videos here and here). Now we are together on Nanga for fourth time. Currently both of us are unemployed. :)
Exweb: ‘Winter Nanga Parbat’ - is it a passion or something, because you guys are never seen elsewhere?
Marek: Something (else)! This project is living its own life now. Can you imagine that 80% funds for the expedition, we collected from crowd-funding? Polish winter himalaizm is our national thing; we are proud of it. And how this started? Do not ask me... (it) just happened, and if we going to Nanga Parbat, we will climb.
Exweb: Two more members are part of team, this year. Is it a change of strategy or they already had a plan to attempt Nanga Parbat?
Marek: I know only Pawel Dunaj whom I meet during motorbike trip to Tien Shan. Michal is his friend from Białystok. There is also Jacek Teler and Michal Dzikowski so lots of people. We hope it will be easier not more difficult, with few extra guys and everyone should know himself why he is here. I hope it will work if we all look in same direction.
(Note: Marek Klonowski, Tomek Mackiewicz, Jacek Teler and Paweł Dunaj will be climbing the mountain, whereas Michał Dzikowski and Michał Obrycki will stay at Base Camp.)
Exweb: After significant progress last year, you must be very optimistic this year. How do you sum up, your thoughts after three attempts?
Marek: This mountain is unpredictable. We are already in Lattabo ... big hopes ... every year (they get) bigger.
Exweb: Nanga Parbat is a bit ‘different’ this year; more notorious. You were the first climbers to announce return to the mountain, when no one was sure about future expeditions after Diamir BC massacre. What do you think about climbing around Nanga Parbat?
Marek: I do not believe that (some) XXX will plan same mission, again. Someone paid them to do that, that’s what I believe.
Exweb: Any possibility that you and Simone Moro’s team make a collaborative effort this year?
Marek: Power of universe will decide here not our personal minds…
Exweb: Out of 17 winter attempts on Nanga Parbat, 7000m barrier has been crossed only twice. What are major hurdles that stop anyone from going higher on Nanga Parbat?
Marek: Cold, wind, short days!
Exweb: How things are different on Diamir and Rupal sides? Which one is less challenging and dangerous?
Marek: Diamir is colder at BC and above, Lattabo is a great Base Camp but there is much longer way to summit... Lattabo has water but is at 3500m, Diamir BC is at 4200m.
Exweb: How and where did you prepare for winter Nanga Parbat?
Marek: I did swimming ... a lot of swimming! 1200m front stroke no brakes at least once a week, running and MTB … And mental preparation is another thing.
Exweb: Any plan of venturing elsewhere in Himalayas/Karakoram, if Nanga Parbat is done, this winter? How about K2?
Marek: I do not look that much ahead.
Exweb: Are your climbs self-supported or do you have sponsors?
Marek: This year is really good. We have 6 people, cook and kitchen. Beside crowd-funding we got support from Rab - who gave 4 sets of full gear including suits, sleeping bags, tents, shell, down and other... "Portal Gorski" also supported us and they’re first one getting info from us - that what’s happening here. Also PGE EO sponsored our solar system (high-efficient monocrystalic solar 120W, and other electrical things like my design 10W heaters for toes with Li-Po batteries).
But the truth is that we (are) still struggling for money. We didn't plan for a kitchen this year … but there are 10 policemen here in Lattabo; it’s official (responsibility) and (also) guide must be here - so kitchen (has to be set up). If you feel you want to support us you can do by using donate button on our blog www.nangadream.blogspot.com.
Nanga Dream 2013/14
Nanga Parbat 2012/13 Winter - A
Nanga Parbat 2012/13 Winter - B
Justice for All Winter 2011-A
Justice for All Winter 2011-B
Based in Lahore, Pakistan, telecom engineer and mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for ExplorersWeb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at AltitudePakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.
Winter 2014: Ralf Dujmovits Solo on Diamir Face
Janusz Majer Succeeds Artur Hajzer as Polish Winter Mountaineering Head
History of Winter Climbing Nanga Parbat: Part-1
Winter 2013-14: Cold Race to Nanga Parbat Summit
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