As per the reports coming from the Base Camp, the Killer Giant has been taken down by three of the resilient mountaineers, all of whom have at least tried twice in the past to conquer the mighty 8,126m peak in the rugged Western Himalayas of Pakistan. The news arrived in the evening of February 26, that the three of the four mountaineers Ali Sadpara (Pakistan), Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger (Italy) and Alex Txikon (Spain) have successfully reached the summit of the Killer Mountain thoroughly supported by ideal weather conditions during the ascent.
This also concludes the three decade long struggle of numerous mountaineers who tried to scale Nanga for the first winter ascent.
Kicked off by ambitious Polish climbers led by the legendary Andre Zawada, it also marks the sad reality that this ascent did not have any Polish climber in it. There has been at least one Polish climber in most of the 8000ers scaled in winters.
No fewer than four international teams launched their bid from the Diamir side simultaneously to scale the peak which has never been climbed in winters. Leading Polish climber Adam Bielecki met an accident while fixing ropes and had to disengage. Tomek and Elizabeth followed later after waiting in Camp 3 for three days hoping to barge into a weather window which would allow them to launch a summit push. They called it a night after bracing high winds and extreme low temperatures. Italian Daniele Nardi-part of Alex Txikon team, also gave in after disagreements with team mates.
Simone and Tamara with relatively strong financial backings stayed back waiting to launch their summit bid at their own convenience. The base camp received heavy snowfall and blizzards at the start of February, forcing the only two teams to join hands, giving rise to one of the most experienced and resilient climbing teams for the summit bid.
Simone and Tamara after long discussions gave up the Messner-2000 route and decided to join Alex on the much explored Kinshofer route taking up the now outdated Classic style of climbing. The only hiccup that will have researchers thoroughly examine the credibility of the summit claim is the fact that Alex’s GPS tracker that was reportedly held by Ali Sadpara stopped giving real time location just a few meters short of the main summit.
As per the tracker, the climbers returned to Camp 4 from a point which is almost 100 m on the south east of the summit. The photographs and other evidences will eventually prove the authenticity of the summit claim although both teams have officially declared the bid to be a success.
Stage is set for the biggest showdown of the mountaineering history of contemporary times as four of the resilient climbers are now in Camp 4 at 7200m on Nanga Parbat Diamir Face with excellent weather window for the coming two days. Spaniard Alex Txikon, Italian Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger and Pakistani Ali Sadpara reached Camp 4 today and are now resting and hydrating themselves for the summit Push.
Alex teamed up with Simone just a few weeks ago after the departure of Tomek and Elizabeth and Adam Bielecki and the more disheartened Daniele Nardi. So far the results have been astonishing as both teams braced extreme snow fall and heavy blizzards both at the Base Camp and up on the mountain demonstrating their commitment to the first winter ascent of the mighty Nanga. They are now poised to achieve the impossible with historical span of no fewer than 30 years of failed expeditions.
“Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara, Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger are already resting and hydrating inside their sleeping bags in C4 (7.200m)”. Alex updated his status on the Facebook at 2000 Hours PST on 25th Feb. “Excellent job! Avoiding exposure to extremely low temperatures will set out for the summit at 5:30–6:00am (in Pakistan). Optimum wind conditions are expected for 26th night and will remain throughout 27th, but waiting until then would supposed to spend one 'extra' night in above 7.000m, and have discarded this idea”.
Simone and Alex teamed up only after the departure of Daniele Nardi from the Alex’s camp and reportedly it has been one precondition put forward by Simone for the merger of two teams. Daniele experienced a 50m fall along the Kinshofer and has been dejected and demoralized stating that none of the team members including Alex and Ali came to help him out. Reportedly he also sent SOS signal at the time of his fall and it was observed at the Base Camp.
This is the first time in several years that such optimum weather conditions are prevalent for the summit push while the climbers have also successfully reached camp 4 setting up a strong chance of summit. Crossing the Bazhin Basin along the Kinshofer Route,the team will have to cover a long distance for the summit.
Alex, Daniele and Ali were the only ones who attempted a summit push on March 13th last year and lost their way traversing over the point from where they had to attack the summit. They abandoned the expedition after the realization and returned to Base Camp. This year, the team is less likely to repeat the same blunder and summit Nanga for the first winter ascent.