“You can see the light rack on the picture, the glacier may spit it out in many years :-)” last message of the missing Joel Wischnewski for the solo Nanga Parbat attempt

PictureWischnewski fixing his Kerosene stove

It is now more than evident that French solo climber Joel Wischnewski was more on a suicide mission than a solo attempt of the deadly Nanga Parbat in the middle of the dreaded winters in the Pakistani Himalayas. 

The rescue team organised and executed by his agency has been scouring the probable route of the missing climber who last updated his blog on the 22nd of January and went for the final solo attempt of the 8,125m Nanga Parbat.

PictureHeading for the mindless attempt

Apparently, broken-hearted Joel wanted to summit the peak for the first winter ascent of the same but being an accomplished climber himself, he was well aware of the fact that such a feat was a far-flunged idea given the absence of a backup Base Camp and a team which is an essential element for a successful winter ascent.

“When I look to the mountain, I don’t look to the summit and the way to get there,” said Joel on January 22nd, “I just try to find a safe but brutal and technical way so that this experience will bring me peace.” 


Mohammad Ali, the head of the search operation explained their inability to continue the search operation in wake of the bad weather and is still waiting for the weather to improve so that they may continue their search.

“The last two days (21st & 22nd) the HAP’s unfortunately haven’t been able to go up because of the bad weather conditions. We can only wait and hope for the conditions to improve very soon.” said Ali.

PictureThe legendary Mazeno ridge

But what has been the true reason behind Joel’s mindless attempt is still a mystery. Continuing with his last update over his expedition Joel had written,

“I just climb to try to heal my spirit’s wounds, and for nothing else. When I look to the mountain, I don’t look to the summit and the way to get there. I just try to find a safe but brutal and technical way so that this experience will bring me peace. 

PictureWischnewski (without shirt) and his friends from the agency

“And I can only find this a few steps from death. Too many painful moments; love can be very destructive. The person that did not respected me, but more important did not respected the French law, should be facing up to 5 years prison and 75.000 Euros sanction taxes to the country. “I was too destroyed to defend myself on court and choose instead to transform all this pain and violent darkness into something positive and beautiful.”

PictureDiamir Face and Diamir Glacier

“I’m glad to lay here, on Nanga Parbat, and still be alive to try to make something difficult and magical. My mind is totally ready, like if I closed my eyes and let me fall in complete trust and faith. Whatever I will find, this will be nice and positive to my soul. I never reached this level of engagement before.” 

Nanga Parbat entertained almost half a dozen climbing teams this year who wanted to make it to the top of the ninth highest and the second deadliest peaks in the world for the first winter ascent of the same. Nanga stands as one of the only three highest mountains in the world which have never been climbed in winters.

Categories: News

4 replies »

  1. I never heard of Joel before he went missing.
    I feel terrible anguish at the thought that he had to find peace (if ever) all on his own.
    Somehow his story is everyone else’s, but a lot more pure and a lot more tragic.

  2. Maybe Joel’s story is a mystery and at its heart there is only silence. I hope he has found his peace.

  3. Maybe you should think a little bit to his family before writing shut article! Joël was someone very special, always searching a full commitment and pushing himself higher and higher. He has prepared himself. Of course he had a lot in his mind but he was focus on his dream. And if you were in a good journalistic optic, you should make some research and validate your proof and information. You wrote a lot of misinformations! Joel’s sister

    • Dear Miss Wischnewski,
      As much as we share your grief in this troubled moment and as much as we honor and respect Joel’s brave attempt, we just tried to assume a certain things, which were more evident in his own statements than anything else. As journalists, we often tend to barge in unfriendly territories trying to fret out the truth and motive behind an incident and we admit that those assumption can very well be wrong. We apologize if the write up has been a source of grief and anguish in this terrible moment. Joel was a brave man. He will always live as one in the annals of history.