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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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The fast Mingma

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa

He deserves more and more the nickname “The early starter”. While most of the others are still busy setting up their base camps in the Karakoram, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, head of the Nepalese expedition operator, Dreamers Destination, already last Sunday led a team to the 8125-meter-high summit of Nanga Parbat. The success on the ninth highest mountain on earth was the first of this summer season on the eight-thousanders in Pakistan. Also in the past spring season in Nepal and Tibet, Mingma had achieved the first 8000er summit success: On 30 April, the 31-year-old reached along with his team the summit of the 8167-meter-high Dhaulagiri. Not even two weeks later he stood with Tashi Sherpa and a client from China on the 8485-meter-high main summit of Makalu – also on this peak, Mingma was the first this spring.

Date

17. June 2017 | 21:22

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Alex Txikon on Everest: “I think we can do it”

Alex Txikon

Alex Txikon

It is a long and hard way up to the 8850-meter-high summit of Mount Everest – all the more in winter and if you want to do it without bottled oxygen. And Alex Txikon and his teammates are just at the beginning. The Basque, his Spanish companion Carlos Rubio and nine Sherpas have begun to find and fix a route through the Khumbu Icefall. “Honestly, it’s what I’m afraid of climbing Everest, I do not want us to get stuck and we’re equipping it for a month”, Alex writes in his blog: “We are working hard, we have to climb a lot of stairs. In short, we have to equip a labyrinth of ice blocks. The terrain “is technical, difficult and demanding,” says Alex. I sent three questions to Everest Base Camp.

Alex, after your winter success on Nanga Parbat in February 2016 you now tackle Mount Everest. Which challenges do you expect on the highest mountain on earth and how high do you estimate your chance of success?

Date

9. January 2017 | 12:20

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Winter low tide on highest mountains

Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat falls back into hibernation. After the 8125-meter-high mountain in Pakistan was bustling over the past years with expeditions who tried to climb it for the first time in winter, it now looks as if the “naked mountain” remains a lonely one in the coming months. This winter even the Polish climber Tomasz Mackiewicz will not change his living room – as he did in the last six years – with a cold tent on Nanga Parbat.

Date

7. December 2016 | 17:02

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Summit successes in the Karakoram

Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat

The Karakoram remains unpredictable. The climbing season in Pakistan is slowly but surely coming to an end – and the number of summit successes is manageable. On Nanga Parbat the Spaniard Ferran Latorre, the Frenchman Hélias Millerioux and the Bulgarian Bojan Petrov reached the highest point at 8,125 meters. “Seven intense days, but it was worth it,” tweeted Latorre (see also the video below). It was the 13th eight-thousander for him, he climbed all of them without bottled oxygen. Now only Mount Everest is still missing in the collection of the 45-year-old. Ferran wants to tackle it in spring 2017. Bojan Petrov has scaled so far eight of the 14 highest mountains in the world. Nanga Parbat was after Annapurna and Makalu his third eight-thousander this year.

Date

27. July 2016 | 23:26

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Pakistan refuses climbers entry – arbitrariness or system?

Broad Peak (with shades of K 2)

Broad Peak (with shades of K 2)

You have a visa for Pakistan, a climbing permit for an eight-thousander, you have organized everything. You travel to Islamabad and at the airport you learn that you are a persona non grata and have to leave the country. That’s exactly what happened to the Australian-New Zealand climber Chris Jensen Burke (she has both citizenships) and the Nepalese Sherpa Lakpa Sherpa. “The reasons why are stranger than fiction and I won’t put the detail here,” Chris wrote in her blog. Obviously she fears to risk alienating the Pakistani authorities if she is quite clear.

Date

29. June 2016 | 8:59

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Tamara Lunger: “It was a dream”

Tamara Lunger

Tamara Lunger

It was close in two respects. Tamara Lunger only narrowly missed the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat, then the 29-year-old South Tyrolean just escaped with her life. Just below the 8,125-meter-high summit, Tamara exhaustedly informed her Italian teammate Simone Moro that she would be able to climb up to the highest point but would not come down without help. Shortly afterwards, she turned around. Simone, the Spaniard Alex Txikon and the Pakistani Muhammad Ali (also known as “Ali Sadpara” – called after his home village) reached the summit without her. On the descent, Lunger lost her balance after jumping across a crevasse near the highest camp. She slid around 200 meters towards the abyss until she came to hold in loose snow with good luck. Meanwhile, the climber is back home in South Tyrol.

Tamara, first of all congratulations on your performance! Have you meanwhile recovered from the strains?

Thanks, Stefan. I must say that I have overcome the strains of the “near-summit” but not yet the consequences of my fall. My ankle is still swollen. I will get it checked up on Monday, but there is certainly something torn. 🙁

Date

7. March 2016 | 14:34

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