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Winter on Nanga Parbat, the Race for the Summit

Nanga Parbat, 8,126 m, is the ninth highest mountain in the world. Two teams have announced they will be attempting to climb the “Killer Mountain” this winter via the Schell Route. Nanga Parbat is one of two 8,000 m peaks that has not been climbed in winter, the other being K2 which will not be attempted this winter.

Nanga Parbat
Nanga Parbat

The North Face announced they have launched an expedition consisting of Italian Simone Moro and German David Goettler. Moro is considered to be one of the finest winter climbers of our time. In winter of 2005, he climbed Shishapangma, in winter of 2009 he climbed Makalu, with Denis Urubko alpine style, and in winter of 2011 he climbed Gasherbrum II with Urubko and Cory Richards. In 2006, he made the first solo traverse of Everest and last year he attempted to climb Broad Peak and Nanga Parbat. Goettler is an accomplished 8,000 m climber, but has never visited the range in winter. They plan to arrive in Pakistan on the first day of winter, Decmeber 21st, but they will not be alone on Nanga Parbat.

Simone Moro  Photo The North Face
Simone Moro Photo The North Face

Sharing the route will be Polish climbers Tomek Mackiewicz and Marek Klonowski, who have attempted the mountain three times. They have dubbed their expedition Justice For All. This year they will be accompanied by Jacek Teler and Pawel Dunaj. They will be starting their attempt on December 21st. Can they finish what fellow country man Maciej Berbeka started 25 years ago with the first attempt on the peak in winter?

Tomek Mackiewicz and Marek Klonowski  Photo Waldasso
Tomek Mackiewicz and Marek Klonowski Photo Waldasso

The first attempt to climb the mountain in winter was in 1988/89 by Polish climbers. It has had 17-attempts since. The base camp is over 5,000 m below the summit, the temperatures drop to -40ºC. Each team is vying for the summit, but the race will not be with each other as much as against time as weather windows will be short. Objective hazards, temperature and conditions will likely be the deciding factors.

Gripped Magazine story by a Canadian who climbed Nanga Parbat

Source: UK Climbing, The North Face, Wikipedia

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