If there were an “Oscar” for persistence, the Polish climbers on Nanga Parbat would deserve it. For more than 80 days now Tomasz, called “Tomek” Mackiewicz and his friends are already staying on the eight-thousander in Pakistan, still focussed on their great goal: the first winter ascent of the 8125-meter-high mountain. This weekend, they are climbing up again. On this Saturday Pawel Dunaj and Michal Obrycki should start – “to make a new track and to dig out the camp for Tomek, who will start with Jacek on Sunday,” we read on the Facebook page of the expedition “Justice for all”. So, obviously, Tomek Mackiewicz and Jacek Teler are to form the summit team at the fourth attempt.
Date8. March 2014 | 18:58
When, finally, will a piggy bank be placed in the editorial offices, into which everyone has to pay five Euros, who calls Mount Everest the “highest garbage dump in the world”? The money could then be donated to environmental projects in Nepal. These days, the phrase again was often used in the German press. And hardly anyone made the effort to look at this more closely. What has happened? There is a new rule to remove garbage from Everest, no more and no less.
Date6. March 2014 | 12:22
TagsBurlakoti, climate change, Dawa Steven Sherpa, garbage, Mount Everest, Nepalese Tourism Ministry, new rules
David Goettler is not only a fast climber, but also a speed responder. After I had written the report about the failed summit attempt on Nanga Parbat, I sent an email with some questions to the 35-year-old climber in Pakistan. I really didn’t expect a rapid response, because David had just arrived back at base camp and should actually need time to recover. However, an hour later I got the acoustic signal for a new message. His answers are rather brief, writes Goettler, “I’m still half on the mountain ;-).” Read it for yourself!
David, once again it was not to be. What a pity! A lack of your determination was not the reason.
No, I felt fit. But we also knew or noticed that the terrain up there was really challenging. This means that you must have still a lot of strength and concentration for the descent. In combination with only one reserve day concerning the weather we decided that it was too close.
Date1. March 2014 | 22:23
Over and out! Once again, climbers find Nanga Parbat in winter a hard nut to crack. David Goettler and Tomek Mackiewicz have aborted their summit attempt. “Too windy, too cold, too dangerous,” twittered the Italian Emilio Previtali, who was keeping contact with the German and Polish climber by radio. “We went up, we did our best and we pushed hard”, said David. Both climbers descended. Lower on the mountain, Pawel Dunaj and Jacek Teler also decided to turn back. “They are collecting all the gears and ropes. Everyone is fine”, writes Emilio. This sounds like the definite end of both expeditions. Earlier it was said that the third summit attempt would be probably the last for this winter. Already on Friday, the Italian Simone Moro had returned to base camp due to stomach trouble. “Hard to put all my emotions into words after these days”, David Goettler wrote on Facebook, “from being sad that we had to turn around to being happy that I could take a look at the Diamir side, being above 7200 m, being now safe back in BC and being home soon!”
Date1. March 2014 | 15:49
The excitement is increasing. Will there be the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat this weekend or even another failed summit attempt in the long list of unsuccessful winter climbs on this eight-thousander. A new rope team of two climbers has been formed that wants to go up to the highest point at 8125 meters on Saturday. Tomacz called “Tomek” Mackiewicz from Poland and David Goettler from Germany are spending the night in their new Camp 4 at 7000 meters. It was cold with a bit of wind, reported the Italian Emilio Previtali, who is keeping contact with the climbers by radio from basecamp. He is no longer alone there. His compatriot Simone Moro, who has climbed three eight-thousanders firstly in winter, has returned. “He feels okay, but has some stomach trouble,” Emilio writes on Twitter. “Not the right conditions to go up the mountain and be exposed to altitude for days.”
Date28. February 2014 | 18:15
Endurance, strength, good conditions on the mountain, luck with the weather. These are the essential ingredients for a successful summit menu on Nanga Parbat. Everything has to fit together. If only one ingredient is poor or even lacking, you can forget the menu. The third summit attempt of the two expedition teams on the Rupal side of Nanga Parbat is on. Five climbers are trying their luck: the three Poles Tomasz Mackiewicz , Pawel Dunaj and Jacek Teler, the Italian Simone Moro and the German David Goettler. Tomasz is already staying in Camp 3 on about 6700 meters. David has reached the lower Camp 2.5. “The wind is dropping, and he is out the clouds”, reports Emilio Previtali, who is holding contact with David and the other summit aspirants from basecamp by radio. The five climbers want to set up Camp 4 above 7000 meters. From there – if everything fits – they will try to reach the 8125-meter-high summit on Saturday.
Date27. February 2014 | 14:18
TagsDaniele Nardi, David Goettler, Emilio Previtali, Nanga Parbat, Simone Moro, summit push, Tomasz Mackiewicz, winter climb
Do the winter climbers find Nanga Parbat a hard nut to crack? A Polish expedition is on the 8000er in Pakistan for eight weeks now, an Italian-German Team for over six weeks. In the past week the second summit attempts of both teams failed. Simone Moro and David Goettler reached Camp 3, but returned because of the bad weather. I sent some questions to David in basecamp. The 35-year-old climber from the town of Munich replied promptly:
David, the second summit attempt was also unsuccessful, you stopped at 6800 meters. How difficult was it for you to turn back again?
This time it was a little harder. Because the weather was not so bad when we decided to turn around. But we knew that it wouldn’t work, and thus it was definitely the right decision. Also because it was really very cold! When we were still descending, clouds came in and it began to snow. Up on the mountain we would have had problems to orient ourselves. And on the following day the strong wind would have thwarted any summit attempt. All in all we have saved valuable power and avoided frostbite.
Date18. February 2014 | 21:14
Nepal sees his mountain luck run out. “The government must frame policies to gain a competitive edge”, a report by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said which was quoted in the “Himalayan Times”. The neighbouring countries had started aggressive campaigns to attract more climbers. India had offered a discount of 50 per cent on climbing fees, Pakistan had waived off royalties for all peaks below 6500 meters, the report said. Nepal is charging fees for mountains which are much lower, e.g. for 5500-meter-high Chhukung Ri, a popular trekking peak in the Khumbu region.
Date30. January 2014 | 17:17
TagsAng Tshering Sherpa, climbing fees, Expeditionen, Mount Everest, Nepal, Permits, tourism ministry, Visa
For David Goettler, it is the first winter expedition to an eight-thousander. And then actually to Nanga Parbat! The 8125-meter-high mountain and K 2 are the only two remaining 8000ers which are unclimbed in the cold season. The 35-year-old German has teamed up with the Italians Simone Moro and Emilio Previtali. They are trying to reach the summit via the Schell route, starting on the Rupal side of Nanga Parbat. Moro did three first winter ascents of 8000ers (Shishapangma in 2005, Makalu in 2009, Gasherbrum II in 2011). I get David at basecamp where the team is recovering after a few days on the mountain.
David, how do you spend your time?
Reading, writing emails, giving interviews. In addition we are enjoying good food three times a day. Days are passing by amazingly fast. In my tent I am also doing some yoga exercises in order not to degenerate completely.
It is your first winter expedition to an eight-thousander. You have been now on Nanga Parbat for three weeks. How does it feel, everything as expected?
Date22. January 2014 | 16:51
Two weeks have passed since Ralf Dujmovits has decided to abandon his winter expedition on Nanga Parbat due to the strong risk of icefall. Two weeks to reflect on his experiences in Pakistan and also to look ahead. I call the 52-year-old German climber at home, in the town of Buehl at the foot of the Black Forest.
Ralf, what does German winter feel like, compared with winter in Pakistan, in particular on Nanga Parbat?
I stood at Frankfurt airport and then at the stations in Mannheim and Karlsruhe wearing a short-sleeved shirt, all around me people wrapped up in winter clothes. I had to get used again to the warm temperatures. We have a very warm winter in Germany, a real contrast to what we had in Pakistan. Whatever, I feel that I`m arriving also mentally and I am enjoying the warmth again.
Date16. January 2014 | 18:25
Ralf Dujmovits’ concerns were not deceptive. The day after he and his Polish companion Darek Zaluski had decided to cancel their winter expedition on the Diamir side of Nanga Parbat, they narrowly escaped an ice avalanche. The two climbers had just build down their Camp 1 at 4900 meters below the Kinshofer route and were on their descent when the avalanche went down. “We were very lucky!”, Ralf writes to me. The 52-year-old and Darek arrived in basecamp safe and sound. As reported Dujmovits had abandoned his plan to climb Nanga Parbat via the Messner route because of the high risk of ice avalanches.
Date6. January 2014 | 18:33
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.
Date2. January 2014 | 19:05
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.”
Date1. January 2014 | 21:28
Trail-breaking for nothing. “It has been snowing all day”, says Ralf Dujmovits in the basecamp on the Diamir side of Nanga Parbat. “We certainly have between 35 and 40 centimeter of fresh snow.” On his way to the toilet tent he slipped into a snowdrift and had trouble to get out of it. Ralf and his Polish companion Darek Zaluski know that they will have to break trail again when they climb up to the depot at 5500 meters which they had made yesterday. The fresh snow is also increasing the risk of avalanches. “If the wind doesn’t blow the snow out of the slopes, it will be impossible.”
Date31. December 2013 | 17:56
That was not for the faint-hearted. “We have set off two big snow slabs”, says Ralf Dujmovits via satellite phone after returning to basecamp. In addition a large avalanche went down. “That has finished Darek off.” His Polish friend Dariusz Zaluski was pretty much in the bag, he had retreated into the tent immediately. After the night in the tent at 4900 meters Ralf and Darek had climbed up through the icefall on the Messner route. “We have made good progress”, says Ralf. “At 5500 meters we have made a depot. The location is also good for a camp.”
Date30. December 2013 | 18:48