Let’s go up! It’s as if someone had opened the gate of a pasture where a herd of bulls had been penned for almost two weeks. As soon as the weather improved on K2 and Nanga Parbat, the climbers of the winter expeditions made their way up. On the 8,125-meter-high Nanga Parbat, the Italian Daniele Nardi and the Brit Tom Ballard, according to their home team, today pitched up their tent at about 6,000 meters – after entering the “Mummery Rib”. They want to climb the striking rock spur completely for the first time and then make their way to the summit. “We are a bit tired because we had to carry heavy backpacks up to pitch up Camp 3,” Daniele let us know.
Teams of Pivtsov and Txikon in Camp 1
On K2, the second highest mountain in the world (8,611 meters), the Kazakh expedition leader Vassilij Pivtsov and his comrades climbed to Camp 1 today at an altitude of about 6,100 meters. The team of the Spaniard Alex Txikon will also spend the night on Sunday in Camp 1. It remains to be seen whether the good weather windows on the two eight-thousanders in Pakistan will really be sufficient for the first summit attempts. According to the weather forecast, the wind is expected to pick up significantly by Thursday at the latest.
Interim goal: Camp 3
Before he made his way to Camp 1, Alex Txikon was rather pessimistic. We’ll climb up to see what’s possible, said the 37-year-old Spaniard, “we probably won’t spend many days at altitude”. The main objective in mind was to equip the route up to Camp 3 at around 7,300 meters, Alex announced. The team from Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan wants to pitch up Camp 3 at least. If the weather should allow it, they will possibly ascend further up. Pivtsov and Co. had already reached an altitude of 7,150 meters before the bad weather front had struck and thwarted any further attempt. Txikon and Co. had once climbed to Camp 2 at 6,700 meters.
Update 24 February: On K2, members of the Pivtsov team ascended to Camp 2 (6,700 m) to find out that the equipment deposited there was blown away by the storm. Afterwards descent to Camp 1. Alex Txikon and Chhepal Sherpa spend the night at 6,550 meters, below House’s Chimney. On Nanga Parbat, Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard climbed the Mummery Rib to an altitude of about 6,300 meters today.
Update 25 February: Vassilij Pivtsov and three climbers of his K2 winter team are in Camp 2 (6700m), Alex Txikon and six companions below House’s Chimney (6550m). On Nanga Parbat there was no communication with Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard today. Maybe they are in a dead spot.