Nanga Parbat belongs to.... Power of Universe

from Rahel

On February 11th, 1997, Polish climbers, Krzysztof Pankiewicz and Zbigniew Trzmiel, left C4 on Kinshofer route. The weather was favorable and summit was within reach, but severe frostbite forced them to retreat 250m below the top. The attempt is, till now, the most successful one in the history of winter Nanga Parbat.

Sixteen years later, another Polish climber Tomek Mackiewicz was bivouacking at 7150m, just above Mazeno Col. It was only the second occasion that someone had reached above 7000m on Nanga Parbat in winter. Despite spending two weeks above 6000m, Tomek was strong and motivated. However, the bad weather approached, forcing him to turn back from 7400m on Feb 8th, 2013.

Tonight, yet again Tomek Mackiewicz and German David Gottler are sleeping at 7000m. Although, the weather has been a bit rough lately, the two climbed in bright and windless conditions today to reach there. David and Tomek are approximately 3500 vertical meters above BC, however, the summit is still a long distance away.

On Feb 27th
February 27th was a challenging day. The combination of strong wind, extreme cold and fresh snow didn’t let the mountaineers climb as per plan. At the end of the day, Jacek Teler, Simone Moro and Pawel Dunaj were in C2 (6100m), David Gottler was in advanced C2 (6300m), whereas Tomek Mackiewicz spent the whole day in C3 (6700m).

David Gottler

February 28th
Unlike previous day, the conditions on Feb 28th were perfect. It was sunny, windless, not too cold and sparsely cloudy. The day started with David Gottler leaving C-2A at 7:20AM local time. His plan was to reach C3, dismantle one of the tents and, along with Tomek, climb to C4.

David reached C3 at 09:30AM. After hydration and resting, he and Tomek resumed the climb to C4. By the afternoon there was light wind and little fog. David Gottler set up C4 at 7000m. Tomek reached there at around 3:00PM.


Simone Moro had a rough night in C2. Because of stomach disease and vomiting at night, Simone wasn’t feeling perfect in the morning. He left C2 at 8:20AM. His plan was to catch up Tomek and David in C3 or C4. By 11:00AM, he was 150m below C3, but felt tired. After due consideration and assessing his health, Simone descended to C2 and eventually to BC. He is better now.

Pawel Dunaj left C2 at 8:35AM. By the noon, he was in C2-A resting and eating; tired but motivated to go up to C3. It’s expected that Pawel have reached C3, now. He will remain there to support Tomek and David in descent, if required.

Jacek Teler didn’t go up from C2, today. He will be available to assist the summit-push party.

Everything is dependent on weather. No one has ever climbed Schell route from 7000m to the summit, in a single day (obviously, in summer). Read more about Schell route ascent times here. The climbers will be conscious about entering Diamir face without adequate weather window. They know the descent will be as long and as treacherous as ascent.

The decision, whether to go forward or turn back will be made tomorrow.

The image taken by 2012 Mazeno Ridge Expedition Team, showing the mountain above Mazeno Col (below the red line starts); The line-2 shows a commonly attempted version of Schell route, where climbers traverse to Diamir Face above 7400m. After traverse, the line joins Kinshofer route to the summit.

Another version of Schell route. Here climbers traverse to Diamir side at around 7000m, right above Mazeno Col. David and Tomek are apparently sleeping a little higher than C3 mark (which is probably at 6900m). They are still on the Mazeno ridge. Image Source

Some Schell route variants as seen from Diamir side. Photo from Polish winter 2006/07 expedition.


Some fresh news from Lattaboo!
JFA team going up!
Today Tomek and Pawel went up again - they are in C1 at present. The weather seems to be favorable until Saturday - lets keep our fingers crossed.

Information below is a translation from Emilio Previtali's status with some small additions.

Simone and David are safe in C1 (so are Tomek and Pawel). I could see them as they reached the camp. We spoke on the radio and they said that it took them only 2,5 hours to reach C1 from BC (it was taking me 9 hours to do the same distance at the beginning [Dziku]. ). Winter mountaineering is not a timed sport, it should not be at least but at the same time it could be a clear indication of your overall state - acclimatisation, wellbeing, etc.
Simone also said that the 2,5 hours they needed to reach C1 is half the time they needed at the beginning of the expedition just few weeks ago.
The morale and spirits are very high - they laugh when we talk. It is understandable and I know exactly how they feel - it is a pure pleasure when you are climbing and your body is like a machine - well maintained and in perfect working condition machine.
Tomek and Pawel are in C1 too - everything is in perfect order even though the summit of Nanga Parbat is still covered with clouds. Both east and west sky is clear and quiet - I hope that the wind will ease down too.


Fresh info from the heights.

Current status.
Tomek in C2 at 6100m - on his own. The rest of the team slightly behind. It was very windy today - that is the reason why Pawel backed off - his plans are to catch up tomorrow. Same with Jacek and Michal.
Tomorrow's wind is to be 30km/h at 6500m."

I will be updating you guys whenever I get some fresh information from the team. Right now they are all fast asleep as it is 3:30 am there.