Harsh weather at Nanga Parbat forces 2 climbers to call it quits

Published February 6, 2019
Pakistani climbing partners Ramatullah Baig, Karim Hayat abandoned their expedition to the 8,126 meters high mountain. — File
Pakistani climbing partners Ramatullah Baig, Karim Hayat abandoned their expedition to the 8,126 meters high mountain. — File

ISLAMABAD: Harsh weather conditions forced two Pakistani climbing partners Ramatullah Baig and Karim Hayat to abandon their expedition to 8, 126 meters high Nanga Parbat on Tuesday.

Besides, Italian Daniele Nardi and British Tom Ballard had been at the base camp assessing their next moves as harsh taking its toll on one of the climbers who was not in his good health.

Secretary Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) Karrar Haidri said roughly three days ago, the expedition of the four climbers lost their gear, tents, down gear, sleeping bags, food, fuel and technical equipment to an avalanche.

Karrar Haidri said the expeditions had been working hard in fixing ropes and establishing routes but to no avail.

ACP said Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard proceeded up to camp three, only to find nothing. Their camp was buried somewhere in the snow, he said.

The climbers had been digging more making progress ascending the ninth highest mountain in the world. Nonetheless, the climbers were able to recover the second tent after digging through several metres of snow, to find gear intact.

Similarly, progress on the second highest peak K-2 was also put on hold, as climbers wait for the weather to clear.

The ACP quoting one of the Russian climbers on K-2 said the expedition had not rushed to fix ropes beyond camp two and clear route. Karrar Haidri said the team planned to ascend up to camp four when the mountain allowed.

Fresh snow, extreme cold, stormy winds, fatigue and frustration besides a few climbers suffering health concerns including injuries are some of the challenges they faced on the 8, 611 meters K-2.

ACP said that some of the international teams made up of veteran climbers from around the world had been attempting the first winter summit on K-2 since last five to six years. K-2 is the only mountain above 8, 000 meters that has never been climbed in the winter season.

In February 27, 2016, the team of Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara, Simone Moro, and Tamara Lunger safely returned to base camp after the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat, successfully completing one of the most sought-after challenges in alpinism. Nanga Parbat was the most recent winter summit.

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2019

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