The cloud cover has broken on Nanga Parbat. Snowfall had stopped overnight as predicted by Austrain meteoroligist Charly Gabl, writes Ralf Dujmovits in an email from basecamp. 40 centimeters of fresh snow have fallen. The climbers had two hours of sunshine. For the first time in days Darek Zaluski and Ralf could see the whole Diamir-Face: “Observing it our fear of being in quite a high risk when climbing up the Messner-Route was very obvious. On the huge serac-barrier are two big ice towers which are isolated from the rest. And they don’t look very stable.”
In the line of slope
The depot, which Ralf and Darek have made at about 5500 meters and which they thought could be a possible camp site, is in the line of slope of a potential ice avalanche which would result in case that one of the two ice towers collapses. “From my planning I knew that for the Messner-Route I shall have to climb underneath this ice-barrier. But I didn’t expect to have to search for the route in such difficult ice and glacial conditions and to spend much more time underneath this barrier.” After the heavy snowfall of the last 36 hours the lower part of the Messner-Route looked much more closed as it was actually.
One and a half days full risk
Weatherman Charly Gabl is expecting quite low wind conditions on 8th and 9th January. That sounds like a good opportunity for a summit attempt. But first, Ralf has to overcome the tricky passage at the bottom. “Now I’m heavily thinking of what to do?”, writes Ralf. “My two nights for acclimatizing on the summit of Aconcagua were on 12th and 13th December. I feel strong but I’m not as quick as I should be under these conditions.” Ralf expects that he will need one and a half days for climbing from the camp at 4900 meters to above the ice barrier. “It’s a big risk to spend so much time underneath these two unstable ice-towers. I shall have to find out my decision within the next 24 hours.”
Date1. January 2014 | 21:28