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With Kalashnikov in firing position

Police escort for mountaineers

Police escort for mountaineers

Safety first on Nanga Parbat. “All the time we were driving on Karakoram Highway, we had a police escort,” says Ralf Dujmovits. “In front and behind of us there was a pickup each with two policemen sitting on a bench on the loading area. They held their Kalashnikovs in firing position.” Ralf calls me from Chilas, a small town on the Indus, about 50 km as the crow flies from 8000er Nanga Parbat. Because the baggage of his Polish companion Darek Zaluski did not arrive in time they had to stay in Islamabad one day longer than initially planned. On Saturday Ralf and Darek want to distribute the loads to their porters, who then shall set out to Diamir basecamp. “I think I will stay in Chilas tomorrow, because I still have to complete some formalities”, says Ralf. “If everything goes as scheduled, we will arrive at basecamp in three days.”

Policemen will stay in basecamp

At this place terrorists had shot eleven climbers at the end of June. The Diamir side had kept closed for expeditions all summer long. Dujmovits and Zaluski will be the first climbers who set up their tents at Diamir basecamp after the assassination. “Two to three policemen will accompany us”, Ralf reports. “And they will probably stay in basecamp throughout the expedition.” Ralf wants to use the first weather window to start a summit attempt. As reported the 52-year-old German has acclimatized on Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America, for three weeks. Darek Zaluski will accompany him only in the first flatter glacier sections which are heavily crevassed. Above 5000 meters Ralf wants to climb solo. There have already been 17 winter expeditions to 8125-meter-high Nanga Parbat, all failed.


20. December 2013 | 18:28