(By Raheel Adnan) With climbing permit of K2 winter expedition denied, focus shifts to Nanga Parbat where three teams are aiming for first winter ascent of the mountain. The climbers have started reaching Basecamp and setting up higher camps.
K2 Permit Denied
Hopes of winter climbing K2 shattered when Denis Urubko received the final verdict from Chinese authorities on Dec 25th. Fragile security situation and terrorist attacks in Xinxiang province have been quoted as reason for permission denial. Denis proposed that the team would not stay in cities and would travel directly to K2 Basecamp. However, authorities didn’t agree. Email from travel agency read, “I officially inform you that we have to cancel the program and [we] hope to be in cooperation with you some other time. Please inform all your members and inform your cargo company to send back your equipment immediately!”
Nanga Parbat: Russians on Rupal Side
After last year’s unsuccessful attempt on Schell Route, both Simone Moro and Tomek Mackiewicz concluded that the route length makes it less feasible for winter climbing, where prolonged weather windows are nonexistent. However, four Russians Nickolay Totmjanin, Valery Shamalo, Serguey Kondrashkin and Victor Koval are all set for a light and fast go on the route. Their provisions include three camps (highest one at 7000m), a small tent for bivouacking during summit push and merely 500m ropes.
The team established C1 at around 5250m a couple of days ago before returning to BC for rest. Having reached Pakistan on Dec 24th, the team quickly set off towards Rupal valley. By 27th, they had reached Lattabo and accommodated inside their Base Camp at 3600m.
Diamir side Teams
There are two expeditions (or virtually three teams) on Diamir side, this winter. First expedition is a group of winter Nanga Parbat veterans; Tomek Mackiewicz (fifth attempt), Daniele Nardi (third attempt) and Elisabeth Revol (second attempt). Whereas Iranian climbers Reza Bahadorani, Iraj Maani and Mahmoud Hashemi will be fresh faces in Nanga Parbat’s winter climbing history.
Tomek and Elisabeth
After reaching over 7200m on Schell route twice, Tomek Mackiewicz opted to climb from Diamir side, this year. Daniele Nardi and Elisabeth Revol made it to 6400m on Mummery Rib in winter 2012-13, whereas Elisabeth didn’t come to Pakistan last year due to security concerns. The three climbers will be sharing BC, this season.
Tomek and Elisabeth started the Base Camp journey from Chilas on Dec 26th. After setting up BC and observing mountain conditions, the two have decided to climb the unfinished Messner-Hanspeter 2000 line. In his message from BC, Tomek says that the mountain is “bone dry” and they would want to avoid the main Diamir wall. The conditions are, as expected, extremely cold where the power equipment like batteries and generator often fail.
Daniele appreciated Elisabeth’s team spirit during their attempt on Mummery Rib. Now, Tomek also speaks of good companionship with her, "With Elisa, we get along well. Good player. Power. Together cool. Very nice person."
The Italian climber, together with Roberto Delle Monache and Federico Santini, flew to Pakistan on Dec 28th. After spending a day in Islamabad, they flew to Gilgit on 30th and then drove to Chilas. The group shall be reaching Diamir BC, soon.
Daniele Nardi’s plan is to climb Mummery Rib. Roberto will accompany him on the route as a photographer. Federico’s tasks include videography and BC management.
The team hasn’t shared details about the expedition, yet. However, they are expected to arrive in Pakistan by mid-January and climb on Diamir side of Nanga Parbat.
Based in Pakistan, mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for Explorersweb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at Altitude Pakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.
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