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Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

Wait and see

Ready packed, for nothing

Ready packed, for nothing

It is in the nature of plans that they sometimes have to be knocked on the head. Actually Ralf Dujmovits and Darek Zaluski wanted to climb up the Diamir face of Nanga Parbat today to bivouac at an altitude of 4850 meters and to look from there for a first camp on the Messner route. But this did not happen. When the two climbers met in the morning at the appointed hour, Darek told Ralf that it would be better if he stayed in basecamp. The climber from Poland has been infected by a gastrointestinal virus, a diet with rice and tea was necessary. “Meanwhile he’s already much better”, says Ralf in the (Pakistan) evening via satellite phone. “If the weather is fine, we could move up tomorrow.”

Snowfall all day

Minus 18 degrees Celsius

Minus 18 degrees Celsius

The temperature is still minus 18 degrees Celsius in the tent, outside of course a few degrees colder. His body has apparently got a bit accustomed to the permanent cold, says Ralf: “It’s crazy. On the first day at basecamp I was really cold when I made a satellite phone call outside. Now I’m sitting here without gloves.” Throughout the day it has been snowing, “not much, but constantly, about 15 centimeter of fresh snow.” Also because of the poor visibility an ascent to the planned bivouac site would have made little sense today. Finally, the 52-year-old climber wants to see exactly “how to come through the large ice barrier” before starting into the labyrinth of crevasses.

Storm at the summit

Cook Essan and kitchen helper Karim

Cook Essan (l.) and kitchen helper Karim

The wind at basecamp is hardly worth mentioning, says Ralf. “But above it is blowing very strongly.” This is in line with the prediction of the Austrian meteorologist Charly Gabl who is supplying the climbers on Nanga Parbat with weather data. According to Gabl the wind at the 8125-meter-high summit will become a major storm within the next few days, with wind speeds up to 120 kilometers per hour. On the top of the mountain temperature is currently minus 43 degrees Celsius, says Gabl. Ralf realizes that he probably has to wait for a while until his first summit attempt: “The only solution is wait and see.”

P.S. Members of the Polish winter expedition on the Rupal side of Nanga Parbat have meanwhile climbed up to a height of 5500 meters.


28. December 2013 | 18:23