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Climbers brace harsh weather in bid to scale K2, Nanga Parbat

Updated January 13, 2019

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A Nanga Parbat expedition team at the base camp.
A Nanga Parbat expedition team at the base camp.

GILGIT: Despite continuous snowfall and harsh temperatures, three foreign expeditions have entered decisive stages in the quest to scale the most challenging peaks of K2 and Nanga Parbat.

A foreign expedition team, comprising Daniele Nardi from Italy with Britain’s Thomas Ballard and two Pakistanis Rehmatullah Baig and Karim Hayat, are currently attempting to develop a new route on Mummery Spur to scale Nanga Parbat. They reached camp 3 at 5,714 metres through a new route on Saturday. The team had started the expedition on Dec 24, 2018.

Daniel Nardi, the team leader, through a satellite phone informed Dawn that the deteriorating weather conditions at Nanga Parbat had caused hurdles to progress.

He said that the team had scaled to camp 3 but heavy snowfall and speedy winds had forced it to descend back to the base camp. The team would continue its expedition as soon as the weather conditions improved, he added.

Meanwhile, two other foreign expedition teams are en route to the K2 base camp. Climbers of these teams are from Russia, Kazak­hstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland and Spain and Nepali Sherpas.

One team is led by Vassiliy Pivtsov from Kazakhstan and Artem Brown from Rus­sia is their project organiser.

Elena Laletina, official secretary of the other team — Russian K2 expedition 2019 — said that the climbers were on their way to the K2 base camp. She said that they had left Urdukas on Saturday morning and the team would be at the base camp by next week. The team has planned to attempt K2 through the Abruzzi Spur route.

Famous mountaineer Karim Shah Nizari told Dawn that it was very challenging to climb K2 and Nanga Parbat in winter through the Mummery Spur route. He said that the success of the expedition teams seemed difficult.

Both teams, he said, had already lost important days of the season and the weather conditions did not seem to be suitable for completion of the expeditions on time.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2019