South African Cathy O’Dowd and her team all set to climb the Mazeno Ridge enroute to Nanga Parbat summit
Cathy O’ Dawd and her team of sturdy climbers have failed to take down the formidable Mazeno Ridge on the Nanga Parbat and will be making yet another attempt to scale the Ridge and climb down via the Diamir Face.
Considered one of the longest Ridges on any of the 8000ers in the world, Mazeno Ridge consists of some eight 7000ers on it and has never been climbed all the way to the summit before.
Cathy reported the weather is not ideal, the probable summit days are in a period of high wind.
"If all goes to plan - a big if - we will descend down the Diamir face, on the other side of the Mazeno ridge," she wrote.
An inspirational speaker, Author and climber, Cathy was the first woman to climb the Everest from both North and the South end. She comes in with tons of climbing experience on her belt and has always dreamed of traversing the Mazeno Ridge, never been attempted before.
Cathy further explained, “If all goes to plan - a big if - we will descend down the Diamir face, on the other side of the Mazeno ridge. This is the safest of the various ways down, and is the route Rick and Sandy climbed in 2009. We'll then walk out to the nearest road. Our base camp will be dismantled in our absence, once they receive word of our final plan. So we've spent today packing up all our personal things”.
If encountering problems on the first half of the ridge, before Mazeno Peak, the climbers will retrace their steps. For there on going backwards is very difficult and the plan then is to push on to the shoulder and descend via a traverse onto the Diamir face. The ridge is not fixed, there are no fixed camps and the climbers use no supplementary oxygen.
The plains in Punjab and the mountainous regions in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are sweltering in the extreme hot weather and there is seemingly no respite to the current heat wave in the country and the
Met Office has predicted another week of hot and humid conditions for the moment.
Temperatures soared to an alarming 47.2 degree Celsius in the Bhawalnagar and another whooping 48 in Bannu up in the north. The conditions further deteriorated when the humid westerly winds of the Monsoon from the Arabian Sea reached the plains making the heat wave unbearable for the populace.
Monsoon in Pakistan normally starts in the first week of July and stretches till the mid of August or early September.
The current situation, however, has called in for an early relief to the misery of the people and temperatures have remained above 40 degree Celsius for a continuous two weeks now.
Absence of pre-monsoon system in the mid of June and late May has further aggravated the weather and the increased humidity is rendering severe health problems for the common man who spends most of the day exposed to the heat wave.
Hospitals in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and various district health care units have indicated increased number of patients suffering from heat stroke, sun burn and acute dehydration problems.
It expected that significant rainfall in central and upper parts of the country might occur during the last couple of days in the second week of July 2012.
However, light to moderate intermittent rainfall at scattered places of Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Lahore divisions, upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kashmir will start from Friday evening. The local Met office said a trough of westerly wave over north of Iran on Wednesday lay over northern parts of Afghanistan. Moist current from the Arabian Sea was reaching Punjab up to 3,000 feet.
season warms up at Nanga Parbat and G-1 as Louis Rousseau sets out to find the truth about the Gerfried Goschl and gang
The climbing season in the Karakorums and on the Nanga Parbat is not yet in full swing and the mountaineers are stacking up their efforts to climb the Pakistani 8000ers in th current season.
Louis Roussea who is atempting the Gasherbrum-1 from the same route followed by the fateless winter expedition of Gerfried Goschl and his two other team mates. Goschl and his team never made it back to the base camp and despite of hectic search by Pakistani athorities, their bodies were never recovered.
Rousseau hopes to find out as to exactly what happened to the three team members namely Swiss Goschl, Pakistani Nasir Hussain and American Cory Richards. Rousseau will be scaling the peak from the south end and will trespass the mountain climbing down via the normal route on the north. The expedition members include Jacob, Louis, Rob and Annalisa.
Gasherbrums are reputedly easy climbs; not so says Rob:
"The trip up to Camp 1 was an ordeal!" he reports. "We left at 2 am or so but ran into terrible conditions once again in the icefall."
"It has been unusually warm, which does not allow for the snow to properly harden over night. We were postholing about every other step--this decreased our speed dramatically and also multiplied the effort 2-4x. We made it through the major portion of the icefall in 6-7 hours--it should normally take half that time."
Meanwhile, the two expeditions on Nanga Parbat are still underway and the Mazeno team is finally edging up towards the peak after a week long climbing sessions. They have descended from Camp-3 and are hoping to touch the peak sometime soon.
Romanian Zsolt Torok who was scaling the 8,125m peak via the Diamir Face, has decided to buy time afer he was hit by a 300m avalanche on the deadly peak and barely survived the mayhem.