Dujmovits abandons Nanga Parbat winter expedition
The decision was not taken lightly. “After a careful weighing up of the risks – we had climbed up the glacier in deep snow for two hours again – I have decided to abandon the expedition“, Ralf Dujmovits writes in his final report of his winter expedition to Nanga Parbat. His Polish companion Darek Zaluski is supporting the decision, says Ralf: “I had expected a certain level of risks climbing up the Diamir side in winter, especially on the Messner Route. But not these incalculable risks that I ‘m not willing to take. The serious accident on K 2 in 2008, when a part of the large serac above the bottleneck broke, was one of many examples of accidents by ice avalanches that could have been prevented.” In 2008 eleven climbers had lost their lives on the second highest mountain of the world.
Like a sword of Damocles
Ralf and Darek are thinking that it is too risky to climb underneath two mighty seracs which are hanging over the lower part of the Messner route like a sword of Damocles. “Both are torn towards the edge of the ice barrier and overhanging”, writes Ralf. “Exploring the route further up and of course also during a summit attempt and the descent it would be necessary to spend a lot of time in the direct line of slope.” Both climbers want to break down their camp at 4900 meters tomorrow and then leave the base camp in a few days. Their cook Essan has invited them to visit his family in Aliabad in the Hunza valley.
“Hard, wild and beautiful adventure”
Even if he could not realize his dream of climbing Nanga Parbat in winter, Ralf gives a positive review of the expedition: “We had a good, very cold and adventurous time here on Nanga Parbat in northern Pakistan”, writes Ralf. He and Darek “got on very well, in a really friendly atmosphere” with Essan, kitchen helper Karim and the three police officers at basecamp. The policemen were detailed to protect the expedition after terrorists had shot eleven climbers at Diamir basecamp last summer. With his expedition Ralf had also wanted to send the message not to turn our backs to the region after the terrible murder attack. “I’m leaving with nostalgia. It was a hard but also wild and beautiful adventure. My best wishes for 2014, the most important is health and to have people who love you. Hush raho! (In Urdu: Be happy!)“
Good luck and success!
When I talk to Ralf via satellite phone he adds that he is still convinced that his idea of a very fast winter expedition on the Diamir side with prior acclimatization on another high mountain could work. “But you need a lot of luck, and the conditions on the mountain have to fit,” says Ralf. “The idea is feasible, but I have to reflect in peace whether really I shall be the one to do it someday.” Ralf wishes the two winter expeditions on the Rupal side of Nanga Parbat “good luck and success”.
Date2. January 2014 | 19:05