Monday, February 08, 2016

Winter Climbs 2016: Soap Opera Continues on Nanga Parbat as International Team Breaks Down Again

There still isn't a lot of news to report from Nanga Parbat. The weather remains awful, and as a result the remaining teams are stuck in Base Camp, waiting for an opportunity to go up. Over the weekend, 15 cm (6 inches) of new snow fell on the mountain, which only adds to the recent accumulations that will make breaking trail challenging once again.

But the ongoing saga of the dispute between Alex Txikon and Daniele Nardi seems to have taken another turn. First, we heard that a rift had come between the two men, and that they would no longer be working together on the attempt to complete the first winter ascent of the mountain. Then, a few days later, we were told that the entire story was blown out of proportion, and that they were continuing to work together. Now comes word once again that Alex and Daniele have gone their separate ways, and it seems that there is bad blood indeed.

Stefan Nestler has been watching the events on Nanga Parbat play out all season long, and posting updates to his Adventure Sports Blog. Over the weekend he shared yet more news from the mountain, not the least of which was a quote from Alex that said “Although tried to give more than one chance to this cooperation, it was finally impossible," indicating that he and Daniele have indeed split.

We know that Txikon and his partner Ali Sadapara are continuing to work with Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger. What Nardi's plans are remain unclear at this time, but as far as I can tell at this point, he is still in BC and possibly planning to make a solo attempt on the summit. We'll just have to wait to see how that unfolds.

Meanwhile, in that same blog post, Nestler shared an interview with Lunger who talks about what the team is doing in Base Camp to stay fit and ready to make a summit push. She also touches on trying to stay patient, why her and Simone's plans have changed, and the conditions they expect to see along the route to the summit.

Lunger is also asked about the rift between Alex and Daniele and simply says "I am, or rather, those who are still here are suffering from these disagreements. A particular person has played a dirty game and now has to live with the consequences."

So, while there has been no progress made towards the summit of the mountain, it seems safe to say that there is plenty of drama taking place. Hopefully the four-some that remain working together will get a chance to summit yet this year. For now though, they continue to play the waiting game in BC.

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