At express speed, six Italian mountain guides from the Aosta Valley at the foot of Mont Blanc have scaled the 8,125-meter-high Nanga Parbat in Pakistan – without bottled oxygen! Marco Camandona, Francois Cazzanelli, Emrik Favre, Jerome Perruquet, Roger Bovard and Pietro Picco climbed via the Kinshofer route, according to Italian press reports, and reached the summit in less than two days on Monday morning local time.
They had decided to rest only at Camp 3 at around 6,700 meters. Cazzanelli set off from base camp at 4,300 meters only after the others and reached the highest point in just 20 hours and 20 minutes. Cazzanelli and Picco had – as reported before – opened a challenging variant to the Kinshofer route in the lower area of the Diamir Face last week and called it “Aosta Valley Express”.
Camandona’s eleventh eight-thousander without breathing mask
For Camandona, Nanga Parbat was the eleventh eight-thousander he summited without bottled oxygen. The 51-year-old veteran, who has been on expeditions in the Himalayas and Karakoram for over 25 years, now only has Broad Peak and Gasherbrum I and II left in his collection.
Marco celebrated his first eight-thousander summit successes without breathing mask in 1998, when he scaled Shishapangma and Cho Oyu in Tibet within nine days. This was followed by K2 (in 2000), Mount Everest (in 2004), Annapurna (in 2006), Kangchenjunga (in 2014), Makalu (in 2016), Lhotse (in 2018), Manaslu (in 2019) and Dhaulagiri (in 2021). Broad Peak could become Camandona’s number 12 this summer. The team from the Aosta Valley is now pitching its tents in the north of the Karakoram after their success on Nanga Parbat, in order to also climb Broad Peak and K2 (in changing rope teams).
In thoughts with the victims of the Marmolada
“Our thoughts are with all the families of the victims of the accident on the Marmolada”, let the mountain guides from Aosta Valley communicate. On the highest mountain in the Dolomites (3,343 meters), a part of the glacier had broken off on Saturday at an altitude of about 3,000 meters, burying climbers in a large ice, snow and debris avalanche.
Seven dead have since been recovered. At least five people are still missing, for them, realistically, there is no hope. At the time of the accident, a record temperature of plus ten degrees Celsius was measured at the summit of the Marmolada. Scientists blame climate change for the unusually high temperature.
Pakistani duo also at the summit
Back to Nanga Parbat: the Italian group had also been joined by the Peruvian Cesar Rosale, who reached the summit with Cazanelli and Perruquet. Whether he, like the climbers from the Aosta Valley, climbed without bottled oxygen initially remained unclear. There were reports of other summit successes with breathing masks.
Among those who reached the highest point according to these reports were the Pakistanis Fazal Ali and Sheroze Kashif. Ali is the only person so far to have summited K2 three times without bottled oxygen. For Kashif, who is only 20 years old, Nanga Parbat was his eighth eight-thousander – with breathing mask.
Contradictory information from Broad Peak
After Lukas Furtenbach, head of the commercial Austrian operator Furtenbach Adventures had initially announced a summit success of his team on Broad Peak, the company later rowed back. It was still waiting for information about the first attempt at a summit advance, it said.
Fatal crevasse fall
Unfortunately, the first fatality of the season on the high mountains of Pakistan has also occurred. According to consistent reports, the experienced Pakistani mountain guide Iman Karim Shimshali, who was working for an expedition on Gasherbrum II, fell into a crevasse.