Winter Mountaineering in Pakistan swings back in action with 2012-2013 Hungarian-American Nanga Parbat Winter Expedition
Season is warming up for another brilliant rally as the Winter Mountaineering is about to kick off in the rugged and treacherous Karakorum this year.
Out of the 14 eight-thousanders in the world, there are only four peaks left which have not been climbed in the winters as yet, all four of them standing tall in the Pakistani territory including the second highest K-2, Gahserbrum-1, Broad Peak and the ninth highest and one of the deadliest, the Nanga Parbat.
Expedition teams from all over the world are shaping in order to conquer the mighty peaks which have denied summit to some of the renowned climbers in the world. Gasherbrum-2 was the first 8000er successfully summited last year by Italian Simone Moro along with his expedition members Cory Richards and Denis Urubko, marking the first successful winter ascent of any 8000er in the Karakorums.
This year, a consortium of world-class climbers and mountaineers from USA and Hungary will be attempting to scale Nanga Parbat in the traditional style. 2012-2013 Hungarian-American Nanga Parbat Winter Expedition will kick off somewhere in December and will be led by Dávid Klein while Zoltan Ács will be filming the expedition.
The Expedition declared their intent via email, “to summit the world's ninth tallest peak Nanga Parbat (8125m) this winter. Furthermore, we intend to accomplish this by fair means, eschewing the use of bottled oxygen, high altitude Sherpas and other such support."
Nanga Parbat is pitched on the southern side of the River Indus and is the western-most offshoot of the mighty Himalayas in the region. One of a near-successful winter attempt of the peak was made in the year 2010 when legendary Polish climber Krzysztof Wielicki had to abandon the mission after severe frostbite on his face at an altitude of 7200metres on the Raikot Face. They were nick-named “The Ice Warriors” by the National Geographic Magazine.
Moro along with Urubko returned to tame the mighty Nanga Parbat last year but also had to suffer a painful retreat after waiting endlessly for the weather to improve.
The weather-window they hoped for never came along.
Considered as one of the finest landscape artist in the country, Razzaq Vance’s Photographic exhibition opened in the coveted Alhambra Art Gallery in Lahore Pakistan, portraying some of the phenomenal work of the Photographic-artist under the title ‘The Living Land’.
This is one of the first solo exhibitions of Vance depicting the rural life and culture of the country along with his renowned works in landscape photography. A Teacher by profession, Vance is an Associate Professor in Samundri, Faisalabad and has been teaching Zoology for a considerable period of time. An MPhil in Zoology, Vance has done research on Spiders for his final year thesis.
Vance has ventured in the far corners of the country to shoot some of the splendid places never witnessed before. A National Geographic stock photographer, Vance has won several accolades including two Gold medals in “International Photographic Salon of Japan” and has been published in “Digital Photographer” magazine-Ukrainian edition, as expert on photography in the East.
“The basic aim of my exhibition is to highlight the landscape and village culture of Pakistan, I want to express my resolve through my exhibition that despite all odds we are going through we are an alive nation and we have a rich and vibrant culture,” Vance said.
The 70 photographs on display were reflective of not only geographical and cultural variety the country is blessed with but they remind one of faraway lands, the mystery and adventure of those places as well. The passions and feelings of people and the moments of dancing light were beautifully captured.
The first day of the exhibition witnessed encouraging turn out of the spectators which included both students and lovers of photography.
The exhibition will be last till the September 15th from 9.00am to 6.00pm.
Mountaineering season in the rigid Karakorum may have finally come to an end but hard climbers from Bulgaria are still bagging some virgin peaks in the region, many of whom-never been climbed before.
Khane Valley, almost adjacent to the famous Hushe Valley, boosts of some breathtakingly beautiful spires, never been climbed before.
Bulgarian hard climbers Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov and Mihail Mihaylov first surveyed the area in September last year and were bamboozled with all the splendid rocky spires which were never climbed before. They returned this year to bag consecutive 5000ers in the fag end of the year, climbing and naming the spires one after the other.
Khane Valley lies immediately south of the Nangma Valley and has some of the steep Big Wall ascents, still awaiting aspiring climbers. Absence of record keeping of the ascents in the valley, the only reliable source of information is available from the locals, according to whom a Korean team visited the area in 2001 but left after some unsuccessful attempts at the southwest face of Agil (ca 5,680m).
Also an American climber reached the Base Camp of Shingu Charpu (Great Tower, 5,850m).
As per the reports coming in from the climbers, On August 13-14, Nikolay Petkov, Doychin Boyanov and Mihail Mihaylov realized the unclimbed Vasil Levski peak (5733 m).Later the climbers moved in to bag the Grey Tower.
On Aug 19-20, Petkov and Boyanov ascended the big wall route on the east face of the unclimbed Grey Tower (5434 m).
"We made a tent under the wall, at 5050 m, in the icy circus between peak Sofia, Singu Chatpa (Great Tower), Levski and Rila. Then in two days (one bivouac at 5648 m), climbing 14 pitches with 50 m double rope. Used only nuts for protection. At about 10 am on August 14 we reached the summit – an ideal rocky pyramid. Then 10 big rappels to the icy/snowy couloir." says Petkov.
Elaborating on their attempt at the Grey Tower towards the end of August, Petkov said, “We made a tent on the col between Meligo Peak and Grey Tower. It is difficult and dangerous to reach the col from Khane valley because the last 300 meters are icy, snowy and hit by early morning rock falls."
"From here to the summit are 13 pitches in total, mainly easy and moderate climbing, with one/two sections 6a+/6b. The summit itself is an ideal needle, rocky, with a 2x3 m flat place on the top. Fantastic views in all directions. Then 11 rappels to the col plus 80 m down climbing at one place."
The Bulgarians named the towers over the existing local names, then those given by the Korean teams, and finally applied their own nomenclature while naming the peaks.