Nanga winter climb abandoned: K-2 and Nanga in the rugged North of Pakistan survive yet another winter
As the news pours in from the top of the ninth highest mountain in the world, the ambitious team has now abandoned its plan of conquering the Savage Mountain in wake of the deteriorating conditions and is now retreating to the Base Camp set up at Kinshofer Route on the Diamir Side.
The decision came in after the final summit push in the wee hours of Friday went berserk and Alex, Daniele and Ali missed the planned route of ascent and traversed over. Upon realization, it was decided best to halt any more attempts as the team members were exhausted beyond limits.
Alex tweeted, “At night, in the dark, we passed away the corridor that should had climbed. We made a too long traverse and from the point we reached it was not possible to go up".
It is now more than obvious from the last pictures received that the team missed the point where they had to make the final climb by a mere few feet arguably due to fatigue and exhaustion.
The team hadn’t had more than four hours of sleep in two days following gruesome climbing of more than ten hours a day to make it to Camp 4. The rightful decision of giving up came when the radio contact wore out and Muhammad Khan in the BC started to get impatient with no news of the team from 7950 meters.
“After spending the afternoon discussing, they've finally agreed that the most responsible decision is TO GIVE UP and come down to BC tomorrow”. Alex further added, “Communication by radio was very difficult, tomorrow we'll know more about the reasons.”
The team is gradually descending to the Base Camp from where they will pack their gear and bid adieu to the mighty giant which stays unbeaten for over 27 times and decades of attempts.
Nanga Parbat has once again defied the charms of modern technology, truck loads of human perseverance and mammoth determination.
K-2 and Nanga in the rugged North of Pakistan have survived yet another winter.
The chase is finally in place as the team not only managed to reach Camp 4 but have now started their final summit push on the Nanga Parbat for the first winter ascent. Spaniard Alex Txikon confirmed his position in the wee hours of Friday morning, reassuring that the battle is still very much on.
On the way! Alex Txikon by walkie: “Didn’t slept but at least had rest, we are leaving in half an hour. It’s incredibly cold. We’re not going to fix rope, not now: this is only about 30º steep and snow is hard but helds very good”.
The team of four Alex, Daniele Nardi, Muhammad Khan and Ali Sadpara were able to reach Camp 4 yesterday although their schedule was completely overthrown. It almost took ten hours to complete what they initially thought to be a six hour climb. Battered and exhausted, the team had hardly enough sleep to replenish their energy levels and is now heading towards the summit of the 8,126m Savage Mountain which has never been climbed in winters.
As per plan, Alex, Daniele and Ali will attempt the final summit push at 2 in the morning of Friday, March the 13th. The weather window is likely to last for another day, giving enough room to the exhausted climbers to summit the peak successfully. The return, however, may turn out to be a little off the schedule as the weather forecast is brimming with bad news.
The descent will test the mettle of the team which is already under severe stress and fatigue.
Nanga Parbat first successful winter climb has never been so close as it is today.
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.