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Decision on Nanga Parbat postponed, Urubko in Camp 2 on K2

Tomek Mackiewicz on Nanga Parbat

Do you already have aching muscles from keeping fingers crossed? Your pain could become even stronger. Because the summit bid of the Pole Tomek Mackiewicz and the Frenchwoman Elisabeth Revol that was expected already for Sunday is delayed. “We are in Camp 3, (it’s) windy (with speeds of)  about 100 km/h,” Tomek is quoted today on his Facebook page. “Tomorrow Camp 4, summit push (on) 25 January. Good weather (is expected for) that day.” In fact, the weather forecast for the summit at 8,125 meters predicts for Thursday the lowest wind speeds this week: between 15 and 25 km/h. Assuming this forecast is correct, it will be almost calm, however with minus 42 degrees Celsius quite cold, some clouds are expected. Mackiewicz and Revol climb without bottled oxygen.

Date

22. January 2018 | 14:53

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Summit bid on Nanga Parbat, Txikon on top of Pumori

Nanga Parbat

It’s time for the Pole Tomek Mackiewicz and the Frenchwoman Elisabeth Revol this Sunday. According to Polish media information, the two climbers wanted to start at 2 a.m. local time (Saturday 10 p.m. CET) from their last high camp at 7,200 meters towards the summit. It will be their first and last attempt, it said. For Sunday, clear weather with temperatures of minus 33 degrees Celsius and wind speeds of about 60 kilometers per hour is expected for the highest point of Nanga Parbat at 8,125 meters. Mackiewicz and Revol are climbing without bottled oxygen.

Date

20. January 2018 | 22:16

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Summit attempt on Nanga Parbat?

Elisabeth Revol (l.) and Tomek Mackiewicz on Nanga Parbat

“We are acclimatized. We’ll try to reach the summit.” Tomek Mackiewicz is quoted on his Facebook page with these words. After about two weeks of strong winds, the weather on Nanga Parbat had improved, the conditions were good, it said. Tomek and his climbing partner Elisabeth Revol probably set off today towards their material depot at 6,700 meters.

Date

18. January 2018 | 15:22

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Camp 2 reached on Everest, storm on K2 and Nanga Parbat

Alex Txikon in Everest high camp (in the background on the right Pumori)

Alex Txikon is pleased with the progress made so far on his winter expedition on Mount Everest. On Sunday, the Spaniard and five Sherpas ascended from the base camp on the previously prepared route through the Khumbu Icefall, slept in Camp 1 at 6,050 meters and reached Camp 2 on Monday. “I am very happy, I did not think for a moment that we were going to reach Camp 2 at 6,500 meters in just one day and with a small team of only six people,” says the 36-year-old.

Date

16. January 2018 | 13:03

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Winter expeditions: Just ahead, above and far above base camp

Polish K2 team at Concordia

Three winter expeditions to eight-thousanders, three different phases. In Pakistan, the Polish team led by Krzysztof Wielicki today reached Concordia after trekking over the Baltoro Glacier and is expected on Tuesday to pitch their tents in the base camp at the foot of K2, the last remaining unclimbed eight-thousander in winter. Already six days ago, the Spaniard Alex Txikon, the Pakistani Muhammad Ali “Sadpara” and their Nepalese Sherpa team had reached the base camp on the south side of Mount Everest. They are fixing a route through the Khumbu Icefall. Like last year, Alex participates in the work (as the video below shows).

Date

8. January 2018 | 17:13

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Lunger/Moro: A meeting with the Pope – and then?

Tamara Lunger (l.) and Simone Moro (r.) with Pope Francis

On Thursday, the (calendrical) winter begins – and thus the question rises again: Who will try to climb which mountain in the cold season? A top-class Polish expedition led by veteran Krzysztof Wielicki will attempt to climb K 2, the last remaining eight-thousander which has not been scaled in winter so far. The Pole Tomek Mackiewicz and the Frenchwoman Elisabeth Revol are said to have already arrived in Pakistan in order to return to Nanga Parbat.

And what’s about the South Tyrolean Tamara Lunger and the Italian Simone Moro? Both are considered as extremely “winterproof”. The 50-year-old Simone has four first winter ascents of eight-thousanders on his account (Shishapangma in 2005, Makalu in 2009, Gasherbrum II in 2011, Nanga Parbat in 2016). The 31-year-old Tamara and Moro tackled in vain Manaslu in winter 2015. A year later on Nanga Parbat, Lunger had to turn back only 70 meters below the summit, because she felt bad. In this Advent, Lunger and Moro already had a summit meeting: with the Pope. I contacted Tamara:

Tamara, two professional mountaineers (Simone and you) took a selfie with Pope Francis, how did that happen?

Date

20. December 2017 | 11:19

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Mackiewicz wants to return to Nanga Parbat

Tomasz Mackiewicz

Tomek’s love for Nanga Parbat almost verges on mania. Six winters in a row, from 2011 to 2016, the “Naked Mountain” in Pakistan dismissed Tomasz Mackiewicz. But the 42-year-old climber from Poland just does not give up. He wants to make his way to Nanga Parbat for the seventh time this winter – if he is able to finance the expedition. Tomek has again launched a crowdfunding campaign on the internet. “Money is always a problem,” Mackiewicz writes to me. “I’am poor.”

Date

18. November 2017 | 17:40

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Simone Moro turns 50: “I’m still alive”

Simone Moro

It does not hurt more than usual. I can say that from my own experience. It is rather a mental challenge to realize that the first 50 years are over and the second half of life has definitely begun. Time to take stock. This Friday, Simone Moro celebrates his 50th birthday. The Italian can already be more than satisfied with his career as a high-altitude climber. No one else besides Simone has four winter first ascents of eight-thousanders on his account.

In 2005, Moro summited along with the Polish climber Piotr Morawski the 8027-meter-high Shishapangma for the first time in the cold season. Three other first winter ascents followed: In 2009 with the native Kazakh Denis Urubko on Makalu (8,485 m), in 2011 with Urubko and the American Cory Richards on Gasherbrum II (8,034 m) and in 2016 with the Spaniard Alex Txikon and the Pakistani Muhammad Ali “Sadpara” on Nanga Parbat (8,125 m). Simone did all these eight-thousander climbs without bottled oxygen. Last spring, Moro and the South Tyrolean Tamara Lunger had planned to traverse the four summits of the Kangchenjunga massif, but had to turn back without having reached a single summit. Two attempts ended at 7,200 meters, because Simone suffered from stomach ache. Moro is married to the South Tyrolean climber Barbara Zwerger and has a 19-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son. Simone has also earned his merits as a rescue helicopter pilot in the Himalayas.

Simone, half a century in your legs, how does that feel?

Date

26. October 2017 | 11:25

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Summit success reported from Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat

It did not let him rest. “This time I have no doubt,” says Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, when he rings me out of bed after midnight our time. “We were at the summit of Nanga Parbat.” The 31-year-old calls me by satellite telephone from Camp 4. The connection is bad, I have to ask several times. Eight climbers were at the highest point, the Nepalese reports. “The weather was very good and the view too.”

Date

3. October 2017 | 1:17

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Summit success reported from Gasherbrum II

Gasherbrum II

According to the Pakistani expedition operator Alpine Adventure Guides, there was this summer’s first summit success on Gasherbrum II. The two Frenchmen Mathieu Maynadier and Jeremy Rumebe had reached the 8,034-meter-high summit in the Karakoram, the agency said on Twitter. Further information is not yet available. The two mountain guides from France had planned to climb G II on the normal route and to ski down afterwards. The goal of his first eight-thousander expedition was to gather experience at high altitude for an attempt on a technical route on an eight-thousander over the next few years, Maynadier had said ahead of the trip.

Date

17. July 2017 | 14:40

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Risky search on Nanga Parbat

The accident site (© Alex Gavan)

Looked at soberly, actually there can not be any doubt: The Spaniard Alberto Zerain and the Argentinean Mariano Galvan have been killed two weeks ago in an avalanche accident on the Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat. Photos taken by the Romanian climber Alex Gavan from a rescue helicopter show the track of the two climbers ending exactly at the fracture line of an avalanche. The last position indicated by the climbers’ GPS tracker is a spot far below, in the supposed fall line. (Look also at the video below) Nonetheless a Pakistani team of eight is currently again searching for the missing climbers at the place where the avalanche swept down. “We moved to the south side of the ridge. We closely looked at the face,” the leader of the search team said today. “We can see the traverse Mariano made. We can also see the ridge from which a chunk of ice fell that potentially caused the accident by sweeping the climbers off the (ridge) into the highly broken glacier. Three of us will try (to ascend) from South West Ridge and three from south east.”

Date

12. July 2017 | 15:03

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Summit successes on Broad Peak and Nanga Parbat

Broad Peak

From Pakistan, this summer season’s first ascents on the 8051-meter-high Broad Peak are reported. Seven members of the team of the Austrian expedition operator Furtenbach Adventures and four climbers of the team of the Swiss operator Kobler@Partner reached the summit of the twelfth highest mountain on earth, it said. According to Furtenbach Adventures, expedition Rupert Hauer succeeded, along with three Sherpas and three clients, the first summit success on Broad Peak this season – even though there was a meter of fresh snow above the last high camp: “The sherpas made an unbelievable job and worked really really hard.”

Date

11. July 2017 | 14:41

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No more hope for Zerain and Galvan

R.I.P.

The two climbers Alberto Zerain and Mariano Galvan were most likely killed in an avalanche accident on Nanga Parbat. A rescue helicopter from the Pakistani army has now discovered an avalanche cone at the place from where the last signal from the GPS tracker was sent last Saturday. During two flights today the helicopter crew found no trace of the  55-year-old Spaniard Zerain and the 37-year-old Argentinian Galvan. “This situation unfortunately excludes the possibility of finding survivors,” said Alberto Zerain’s team.

Experienced eight-thousander climbers

Date

1. July 2017 | 11:01

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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.

Date

28. June 2017 | 23:00

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Really on top of Nanga Parbat?

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa on Nanga Parbat

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa is not sure. He can not say with 100 percent certainty that he and his team really reached the 8,125-meter-high summit of Nanga Parbat on 11 June, the 31-year-old Nepalese today writes on Facebook, thus qualifying previous reports on the first summit success of the summer season on the eight-thousanders in Pakistan. He had relied on the local knowledge of a Pakistani climber who had summited the ninth highest mountain on earth in 2005 and with whom he had been on Gasherbrum I and II in 2016, writes Mingma. But the Pakistani had first led the team into a different gully than originally planned. This made the ascent harder and longer, says the Sherpa. When they finally reached the top of a ridge, the Pakistani told them this was the summit. “But that place didn’t look like the summit which I had figured out to be snow and two snow bar(rier)s,“ Mingma writes.

Date

18. June 2017 | 20:50

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