Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Winter Climbs 2016: Nanga Parbat Team Reaches Camp 3

If you've been following the unfolding climbing season on Nanga Parbat you already know that the lone remaining team on that mountain has launched a summit bid. A weather window is expected to open over the next couple of days, and the four climbers are now moving up with the hopes of taking advantage of an opportunity to reach the summit at long last.

On Monday of this week, Alex Tkikon, Ali Sadpara, Simone Moro, and Tamura Lunger set off from Base Camp for Camp 2, located at 6100 meters (20,013 ft). They had no trouble reaching that point later in the day, but as ExWeb reports, they were unable to go higher yesterday. High winds hit the mountain yesterday, keeping the team pinned down in C2. At times, it looked like they might have to scrub their summit bid altogether, but thankfully the winds quieted down later in the day, allowing them to continue upwards today.

With a quieter day today, the four teammates were able to climb up to Camp 3 without incident and are now firmly encamped there at 6700 meters (21,981 ft). The latest forecast says conditions are calm and beautiful at the moment, with favorable conditions expected to last into the weekend.

When Alex and Ali climbed to C3 a few weeks back they had determined that fixed ropes were not needed above that point. That means they could conceivably move faster on the higher flanks of the mountain, as not much snow has fallen at those altitudes in recent days.

If all goes according to plan, the team should move up to Camp 4 at 7100 meters (23,293 ft) tomorrow. Once there, they'll evaluate the current weather window, their physical condition, and other variables before deciding what will happen next. If everything is going as expected, they'll then proceed towards the summit.

We'll continue to watch this story develop over the next few days and keep our fingers crossed that everyone gets up and down safely, summit or not.

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