ISLAMABAD: Nanga Parbat is testing the patience of climbers who have been unable to step out of their tents and make progress in the last two weeks because of bad weather.
“There may be some clear days next week which the climbers on Nanga Parbat will try to avail to reach the top of the mountain. But lack of visibility, extreme cold and snowfall are predicted,” said Alpine Club of Pakistan Executive Council Member Karrar Haidri.
According to him, the snowstorm has created difficulties for climbers as snow has been dumped at camp sites and covered previous tracks. The wind has also uprooted some camps set up earlier.
Karrar Haidri said the mountaineers attempting to climb to the top of the mountain through the Kinshofer route have been waiting for an opportunity to reach the summit for the two weeks. They have endured continuous snowfall and extreme cold. Mr Haidri quoted a climber, Igone Mariezkurrena, as saying, “conditions have become really hard since the last three days.
The storm has dumped a five feet high layer of snow. We needed to use shovels to get out of our tents.” Spanish mountaineer Alex Txikon left the base camp with Muhammad Khan, Iraj Maani and Ali Sadpara to make their way to Camp I. They told the club, there was less snow on the route.
Snowstorms over the last few days have made life difficult for climbers
However, it took them eight hours to reach the camp and three hours to shovel through the snow to find tents at the camp. In some areas, the snow was up to their waists.
Mr Haidri said all climbers - Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara, Muhamamd Khan, Daniele Nardi, Reza Bahadorani, Iraj Maani and Mahmood Hashemi - were expected to leave the base camp together.
However, at a later stage because of different levels of acclimatisation and provisioning of high camps, they may split into smaller groups.
He said Alex Txikon and Muhamamd Khan were likely to climb to Camp III. Muhammad Khan has not been above Camp II yet and is not acclimatised for a summit push.
Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara and Daniele Nardi had spent a night at 6,700 metres and were likely to form the first summit push group.
Reza Bahadorani, Iraj Maani and Mahmood Hashemi are also expected to make a summit, depending on the weather conditions on the mountain and the health of the climbers.
Published in Dawn March 1st , 2015