Nanga Parbat (8,126m), a lethal mountain, rising steeply above its surrounding terrain in western Himalayas and notoriously difficult to climb. Polish climber Tomasz Mackiewicz went missing on January 27, 2018, while descending from the summit of Nanga Parbat is one of the unfortunate events happened.
Pakistan Mountain News was lucky enough to meet and interview famous Italian Mountaineer Daniele Nardi and his colleague Thomas Ballard as they are again attempting to climb Nanga Parbat in extreme cold of 2018/2019.
The team comprising Italian climber Daniele Nardi and British Thomas Ballard with their two Pakistani team members Rehmatullah Baig and Karim Hayat. The international climbing team already reached Chillas city of Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. The team will leave for base camp on Tuesday. Daniele Nardi is a seasoned Italian mountaineer and has many 8000ers in his profile. Rehmatullah Baig has climbed K2 , G-I and G-II and Karim summited Braod Peak. British Thomas Billard is the son of British renowned female mountaineer Alison Hargreaves, who died on August 13, 1995 while descending from the summit of K2.
When Nardi was asked about his repeated attempts to Nanga Parbat, he said that “a lot of people ask me about Nanga Parbat in winter, I am not going exactly for Nanga Parbat but to complete new route in winter along Mummery Spur in alpine style, so our first objective is to complete this route up to 7000 meters and after this climb to reach the top. In the past I tried to complete this route but I couldn’t finish it, so this is the real enthusiasm to go there”.
Nardi further shared that specialty of their expedition is to find a new route for an 8000 meter summit in winter. In the history of climbing, the main objective of the climbers is to reach at the top of mountain and before this to find a new and hard route. Mostly the climbers perform in summer when the temperature and winds are not so strong.
Nardi described extreme cold at such a high altitude in winter : “Its always been between freezing and not freezing, once you are at -50C or -40C and you have to climb, this is not easy, if you are not experienced and don’t know how to manage your body. When I was near at the top of Nanga Parbat some years ago at 7800 meter in winters and it wasn’t really good. But you are always on borderline between freezing and not freezing, so you have to move continuously to manage your body”.
According to Daniele Nardi Good coordination and team work are the main success factors. We have a good strong team. Thomas Ballard is a renowned ice climber and we are accompanied by two Pakistani climbers as well, and I know them and I have the experience working with Pakistani climbers in K2 expedition of 2014. I know Rehmat, a man who can climb and also think and make the team. With four of us will make a good climbing team, Open a new route in winter is really hard, we don’t know that how much hard it would be. The last three hundred meters are very hard but if we make a good team.
When PMN asked about winter climbing dates as the conflict heated up in last K2 winter Expedition. According to Nardi winter ends on 28th of February, March is not winter its spring, but I am not hardliner to discard accents made in mid of march or earlier, yes for the future it’s good to consider some specific dates for winter.
Daniele loves mountains and mountaineering and he said that mountaineering bring out once true character.
Two Italian trekkers, Appella Daniele and Carati Alessandra, will also accompany the mountaineers till the base camp