Only two of the fourteen 8000 meter mountains have not seen climbers top out in the winter: K2 and Nanga Parbat in Northern Pakistan. But this winter of 2015/2016 will see five attempts on Nanga Parbat. However before predicting a summit, there has been 27 previous winter attempts on the “Naked Mountain” without success thus preparing the teams for most any outcome.
K2 will see no attempts this winter after seeing no summits in the summer. K2 remains a formidable challenge in any season.
8000ers playing tough in 2015
As I previously reported, 2015 has been a difficult year on the world’s highest mountains.
This season, four teams will climb from the Diamir side and one from the Rupal side. Nanga is the world’s ninth highest at 8,125 meters or 26,6565 feet. In addition to a long history of mountaineering, Nanga became infamous in the summer of 2013 with the murder of 11 people at base camp by alleged Taliban terrorists.
Nanga Parbat is notorious for having difficult winter conditions: high winds, deep snow, and unpredictable weather that creates few, if any, narrow weather windows for summit pushes. Many teams try to climb in alpine style after acclimatizing on other peaks in order to take advantage of these short windows with fast climbs to the summit.
This season, many of the teams have a unique and sometimes unusual name. Let’s look at each one.
Nanga Revolution – Kinshofer Route/Diamer Face/Alpine Style
Climbing in alpine style, Adam Bielecki, who has the first winter ascent of Broad Peak and G1 with Jacek Czech. They will first acclimatize on Ojos del Salado, 6893m, in the Andes before heading to NB.
International Team – Kinshofer Route/Diamer Face/Seige Style
Janusz Golab, Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara and Daniel Nardi will climb in traditional seige style using fixed ropes but not using supplemental oxygen.
The North Face team – Messner Route/Diamer Face/Alpine Style
No stranger to winter summits, Italian Simone Moro has 15 winter expeditions. His teammate is Tamara Lunger. They will first acclimatize on Spantik, 7027m, in Pakistan before heading to NB around December 21, 2015. Moro has said he will not post any updates during his expedition so as to keep his plans and location from the other teams as there is global publicity for the first person, and their sponsor, to claim the first winter ascent.
Rubber Duck Team – Messner Route/Diamer Face/Alpine Style
After reaching 7800 meters in 2014/15, climbing in alpine style, Elisabeth Revol (France), Tomek Mackiewicz (Poland) and Arslan Ahmed Ansari (Pakistan) will try to reach the summit this year.
Justice for All Team – Schell Route/Rupal Slide/Seige Style
The largest team on the mountain this season, with nine members (seven from Poland, two Pakistani) in a traditional style with fixed ropes and camps. The Schell Route is one of the longest on Nanga and climbers usually plan on at least one bivy during their summit push. They are acclimatizing on Rakaposhi, 7788m, in Pakistan.
Best of luck to all,
Memories are Everything