Climber’s fate hangs in limbo as the security agencies delay clearance of climbing permits for Nanga Parbat
No fewer than three expeditions have already reached Islamabad in a bid to climb the Killer Mountain Nanga Parbat for the first winter ascent while another two expeditions are scheduled to arrive in the mid of December. These renowned mountaineers, some of them attempting Nanga Parbat in winters for the sixth time are main stream mountaineers and arguably some of the best in the business. Having tight sponsorships and limited resources, the teams are now waiting in Islamabad for clearance from the security agencies of Pakistan and are unsure whether their ambitious plans will ever see the light of the day.
Italian ace Simone Moro along with his climbing partner Tamara Lunger arrived in Islamabad on December 9th and is currently weighing his options to climb the 7027 meter Spantik for acclimatization before they begin their incredible ascent of the 8,125m Nanga Parbat which has never been climbed in winters.
Winter Alpinism is currently the most exciting form of mountaineering around the world and out of the 14 eight thousand meters peaks in the world, Pakistan offers the two remaining peaks which have never been climbed in winters. K2 and Nanga Parbat have until now stood their ground despite several consecutive attempts in the past decades.
Polish climber Tomek Mackiewicz also arrived on December 9th and has already made it to Chilas waiting on his partner French climber Elisabeth Revol who landed in Islamabad on 11th. The respective tour operators filed for the permits almost three months ago although the GB Council requires a tour operator to file for the permit about four to six weeks prior to the arrival of the expedition.
Pakistan has already been facing dearth of international tourists who are reluctant to step into Pakistan in wake of the prevalent security conditions. Mountaineering expeditions comprise mostly of orthodox climbers and mountaineers who are otherwise ready to risk it all for their intended goals. Delaying permits and making things financially difficult for such expeditions portrays a sorry story of the bureaucratic parleys which can only bring bad name to the country and further down slide our status as a tourist friendly country.