The high altitude drama at Nanga Parbat continues as the snow battered team plans to attempt for the second summit push in a matter of coming two days and conquer the 8,126 metre Savage Mountain for the first time in the dead of winters. Spaniard Alex Txikon, Italian Daniele Nardi along with Pakistani climbers Muhammad Khan and Ali Sadpara have now ideally crossed the threshold of safe zone and have reportedly reached Camp 2 on Kinshofer Route on the Diamir Face.
The team is hoping to engage a weather window in the coming two days and pitch their final attempt for the summit before the official deadline for the season expires.
Nardi, a relatively less experienced climber in terms of winter climbing is accompanied by Alex who is well versed with winter climbing but the team lacks the wisdom of the likes of Simone Moro or the muscle of the likes of Adam Bielecki. The weather window in the treacherous Pakistani Himalayas is uncertain for the moment and the team is likely to get into deep trouble once they climb beyond Camp 3. Needless to say, Nanga Parbat and K2 are the only two 8000ers which have not been climbed in winters, which makes the trophy all the more special.
Reporting from The Camp 2, Alex wrote, “They were quite slow at first because snow is still too deep in the traverse that goes to the west up to the first corner (5.150m) and also along the first pitches inside the corridor. So deep that they couldn’t find the first fixed rope and needed to climb without it up to 5.600 metres altitude: “Last 20 metres were very steep and we were quite scary”.
Base Camp, meanwhile, is suffering from low rations and severe dearth of supplies. Back up supplies have been delayed due to constant bad weather hindering the movement of porters in the rugged Diamir side of the mountain. Nanga Parbat has faced no fewer than 25 winter expeditions from the times of the legendary Jerzy Kukuczka and Krzysztof Wielicki but none of them bore fruits.
If all goes well, a possible bivouac is expected at camp 4 before the team will undertake the unimaginable and summit the peak for the first time in winter.