ISLAMABAD: After more than two months on the mountain and three attempts, one of the world’s finest climbers has also abandoned his winter summit attempt on the Nanga Parbat.
The Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) said the route was not in bad condition but stormy winds and extreme cold forced Simone Moro and his team member David Goettler to return home.
Besides being famous for climbing all the 14 eight thousand metres plus mountains in the world, the Italian climber Simone Moro is best known the first ever winter ascent on Gasherbrum II in the Karakuram Range in 2011.
He is also the only climber to summit three 8,000 metres plus peaks in the winter season - Makalu on the border of Nepal/China in 2009 and Shisha Pangma in Tibet in 2005.
However, according to the ACP, David Goettler in a message on his webpage wrote:
“Hard to put all my emotions into words after these days on Nanga Parbat; from being sad that we had to turn around, to being happy that I could take a look at the Diamer side, being above 7,200 metres, being now safe back in BC and being home soon.”
Member executive council ACP Karrar Haidri explained that because of several reasons such as unpromising weather predicted for the coming days and the historical pattern of heavy snowfall in March, the team decided not to wait further at the Base Camp and return home.
The team left the Base Camp on Monday, said Mr Haidri, explaining how despite a clear weather window over the past weekend Goettler and Mackiewicz had gone up from Camp IV at 7,000 metres high to 7,200 metres and were able to view the route on the Diamer side, one of the three faces of the ninth highest mountain in the world.
Simone Moro’s health condition was another factor, forcing him to abandon the climb.
Another Italian climber, Daniele Nardi, also quit at the same time. During his briefing at the ACP, the athlete told Dawn how he was climbing solo and alpine style (with minimum gear and fast).
Mr Haidri explained how an avalanche missed Nardi last week and given the deteriorating coming weather and extreme climbing conditions, the solo climber also decided to return home. This was his second winter attempt.
Nardi climbed as high as 6,500 metres on Nanga Parbat. This winter season he went as high as 6,000 metres.
In the summer of 2007, Nardi had climbed back to back both Nanga Parbat and Broad Peak.
However, the ACP said the Poles had decided to stay on till almost the end of March against anticipations in the mountaineering community that they too would quit after their third attempt. Tomek Kackiewicz is heading the Polish expedition called ‘Justice for All.’
“The expedition leader, Tomek Mackiewicz, says his team will keep pushing,” said Mr Haidri, adding the Poles were well acclimatised, resting for now, and would be going up again.
He said the teams while returning home had equipped the Poles with sleeping bags, ropes and food to help them with their summit attempts.
The Poles climbed past 7,000 metres (Camp IV) to 7,200 metres until winds grew as strong as 70 kilometres per hour.