The North Face Nanga Parbat Winter Expeditionby Duncan Campbell - UKC Dec/2013
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The North Face have just launched an expedition to Nanga Parbat, 8126m, Pakistan, to attempt the first winter ascent of the mountain. Alpinists Simone Moro and David Goettler hope to become the first people to stand on the summit of Nanga Parbat in winter, though have stated that they have just a 20% chance of reaching the summit.
Known as the "Killer Mountain", Nanga Parbat is the 9th highest mountain in the world and has claimed the lives of many climbers in the past. It is one of two 8000m peaks not to have been climbed in winter, alongside K2. To date, there have been 16 attempts at climbing Nanga Parbat in winter since 1988, all resulting in failure. Climbing Nanga Parbat in winter will be a massive mental and physical challenge, with short weather windows, temperatures consistently at and below -40ºC, and a base camp located 5000m below the summit.
Simone Moro, from Bergamo, Italy is highly experienced at winter Himalayan mountaineering, with three winter 8000m summits to his name already. In February 2009, Moro made the first winter ascent of Makalu, 8463m, alpine style, without oxygen or high-altitude sherpa, with Denis Urubko. In 2011 with Urubko again and Corey Richards, he made the first winter ascent of Gasherbum II again in an alpine style (UKC News Report). In 2006, Simone made the first solo traverse of Everest, South to North. Despite having climbed 8b+ sport routes and M11 mixed routes, Simone's passion is Himalayan mountaineering:
“I will go in winter. Again. Yes in winter. Just because it’s my dream. Just because exploration never ends.”
David Goettler, from Munich, Germany is also an experienced Himalayan mountaineer, though this will be his first visit to the Greater Ranges in winter. Career highlights include; climbing Supercanaleta on Fitzroy, Patagonia in 2003 and summiting five 8000m peaks; Gasherbrum II, Broad Peak, Dhaulagiri, Lhotse and Makalu.
The North Face athlete, Emilio Previtali will be accompanying the pair, posting updates via photos, videos and messages from the team.
Keep a look out for updates on the team's progress on The North Face Expedition Journal
Here is a teaser for the expedition: