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with Stefan Nestler

Fear for Zerain and Galvan

Alberto Zerain (r.) and Mariano Galvan (l.)

Since Saturday there is no trace of the two top climbers Alberto Zerain and Mariano Galvan on Nanga Parbat. The 55-year-old Spaniard and the 37-year-old Argentinian wanted to climb via the 10-kilometer-long Mazeno Ridge to the 8125-meter-high summit. Last Friday Alberto had spoken on phone with his team. They were doing well and made good progress, said Zerain then. The next day, the signals from the GPS tracker showed that the two were still moving for six hours. After this, the locate point remained on the same spot. Later, the GPS signal ran out.

Experienced eight-thousander climbers

The Mazeno Ridge (© Doug Scott)

Zerain’ team organized a rescue helicopter. On Thursday, a first flight had to be aborted after three hours due to bad weather. The spot on the ridge, which the GPS tracker had shown last, was stuck in clouds. Also for the next days rather bad weather is expected. In May, Alberto had scaled Annapurna in Nepal, his tenth eight-thousander. Mariano Galvan has so far been on the summits of seven eight-thousanders. Last spring, he had guided the Australian Allie Pepper on Lhotse. Pepper had not reached the summit because of health problems.

Only one success so far

The Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat is the longest ridge on the 14 eight-thousanders. In 2012, The British climbers Rick Allen and Sandy Allen made the first and so far only ascent of Nanga Parbat via the complete ridge. For their coup, the two Britons were awarded the Piolet d’Or, the “Oscar of the climbers”, in 2013.

Date

28. June 2017 | 23:00

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