The chase is finally in place as the team not only managed to reach Camp 4 but have now started their final summit push on the Nanga Parbat for the first winter ascent. Spaniard Alex Txikon confirmed his position in the wee hours of Friday morning, reassuring that the battle is still very much on.
On the way! Alex Txikon by walkie: “Didn’t slept but at least had rest, we are leaving in half an hour. It’s incredibly cold. We’re not going to fix rope, not now: this is only about 30º steep and snow is hard but helds very good”.
The team of four Alex, Daniele Nardi, Muhammad Khan and Ali Sadpara were able to reach Camp 4 yesterday although their schedule was completely overthrown. It almost took ten hours to complete what they initially thought to be a six hour climb. Battered and exhausted, the team had hardly enough sleep to replenish their energy levels and is now heading towards the summit of the 8,126m Savage Mountain which has never been climbed in winters.
As per plan, Alex, Daniele and Ali will attempt the final summit push at 2 in the morning of Friday, March the 13th. The weather window is likely to last for another day, giving enough room to the exhausted climbers to summit the peak successfully. The return, however, may turn out to be a little off the schedule as the weather forecast is brimming with bad news.
The descent will test the mettle of the team which is already under severe stress and fatigue.
Nanga Parbat first successful winter climb has never been so close as it is today.