(By Raheel Adnan) The Diamir Base Camp of Nanga Parbat has been an active discussion topic for past six months, majorly because of all the negative reason, but it’s the time to emphasis on climbing, again. In third week of November, it was reported that apart from Polish team and Simone Moro, veteran mountaineer Ralf Dujmovits has also applied for a permit to climb Nanga Parbat in winter. Although, Ralf didn’t say much about the forthcoming expedition until now, the words was that he will be on Diamir Face. Now, just a day before flying for Pakistan, he shared the full details in an interview with Stefan Nestler.
“Nanga Parbat is for me - and has also been for Gerlinde, for a long time - the most beautiful 8000er. After having finished the fourteen 8000ers, whenever we were asked which of them we might try again, we independently answered: Nanga Parbat.” said the German mountaineer, who has already climbed Nanga Parbat in summer 2001.
Ralf Dujmovits’ expedition to Nanga Parbat has some unique features. He will be solo climbing in light and fast mode, without fixing the route or camps. Interestingly, if weather permits, he will be ready to launch the summit push, as soon as he reaches BC. “I’ve spent four nights in high camp at 6000m and two nights on the summit of Aconcagua, with almost 7000m (altitude). I think I’m perfectly acclimatized.” says Ralf, who has just returned from South America. The climbing route will be selected based on assessment of conditions on the mountain.
When asked about security situation at Diamir Base Camp, he replied, “Not (worried) about my personal safety. Certainly, it will be easier to go to the Rupal side; other winter expeditions will also be there. But I do not think that such a terrible incident will happen again, that the Taliban will turn up there. But it’s a different story to deal with the fact that I am the first expedition in this Base Camp after the murder attack. I have thought about this intensively. The people living in this area need mountain tourism and expeditions. The whole Diamir valley lives to a large extent from the work as porters. If no more expeditions come, it would be a total loss of income for the villages. I just want to make it further clear that you can go there (Diamir valley) for climbing.”
Darek Zaluski will also be at Base Camp with Ralf and may accompany him on lower sections of the glacier, but will not be climbing the wall because of lack of acclimatization. Both Ralf and Darek have reached Chilas, and are expected to start the trek to Base Camp in a couple of days.
Of the two expeditions on Rupal Face, Justice for All Team is already in Rupal valley. They have set up BC and ABC, but the actual climb will start after calendar winter (Dec 21), “if the weather allows, we want to move up on the first day of (calendar) winter.”
The North Face Team of Simone Moro, David Goettler and Emilio Previtali is expected to reach Pakistan in last week of December.
Born in 1961, Ralf Dujmovits’ Himalayan adventures started back in 1985, when he successfully climbed Shivling (6543m). After an unsuccessful attempt on Makalu in spring, he managed to reach Nuptse northwest summit (7742m) via northwest ridge in autumn 1989. Following year, he was successful on Dhaulagiri - his first 8000er. The quest of climbing all 8000m peaks concluded on May 20th, 2009 when he reached the top of Lhotse, becoming the first German to do so. However, this is his first winter expedition to Himalayas, “I gained a lot of experience during my total of 32 expeditions to 8000ers. I dare to do this winter climb.”
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.
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