HiMountain Nanga Parbat Winter
Two New Updates
It’s time of Young Wolves
Finally, the leader decided: “Tomorrow Robert and Przemek will go up” and so
it happened, we formed a team – a swift two-person team from Tricity. We
prepared in a modern style for the climbing action which was probable to last
for a few days. Instead of tea in a vacuum flask we took isotonic drinks in
two bottles, traditional Polish sweets and chocolate bars were replaced by
energising jellies and power bars, on our wrists we had computerised watches
counting time, altitude, heart rate, burnt calories. Everybody knows that “in
the mountains it is not a power bar but the man that counts” (quote from the
leader), but just in case... The only traditional element of our nutrition was
We left the Base on 2nd
December and after five boring hours of continuous effort (we had already done
this part of the route three times) in full sun shine, we reached Camp 1. In
Camp 1, we spent 2 days waiting for nice weather.
Radio news from our mates in
Camp 2 (Artur Hajzer, Darek Załuski, Jacek Jawień) were not very promising –
strong wind made any action above Camp 2 impossible, stable temperature in the
ice cave of Camp 2 was minus 25°C, fingers without feeling were not good for
On 4th December, we set off in the direction of Camp 2. The plan was simple:
the boys will leave Camp 2, set up Camp 3 and spend the night there and we
will take the vacant place in Camp 2. Unfortunately, the plan failed. Somehow,
wind was not familiar with the weather forecast and eventually it was the wind
which was active above Camp 2, not the boys.
Our combat task was to collect all ropes and snow stakes left on the section
between Camp 1 and Camp 2. We carried out this task with a smile on our lips
and froth at our mouth.
On the traverse bypassing the
already historic Wielicki Spur, we met Jacek, Darek and Artur who were
returning to the Base Camp after spending three nights in C2. They were
exhausted and unsatisfied with the bad weather which made their progress on
Nanga impossible. After seven hours we reached Camp 2. We did not fancy a
night inside the cave which was likely to collapse so we dug out a platform at
the entrance to the cave and put up our tent on it. We spent the rest of the
evening cooking, drinking and tasting delectable tripe.
The situation seemed to be a deadlock – there was no Camp 3, we were stuck in
C2 waiting for a radio message from the leader, who on the same day reached
Camp 1 together with Jacek Berbeka and Krzysztof Tarasiewicz. Being aware that
we were not yet Himalayan Tigers, we were wondering what tasks could we
perform. The leader decided that we were to carry ropes to the depot above
Camp 2, then fix ropes on two pitches and return to Camp 1 or the Base Camp.
On 5th December, we came out of our tent, no feeling in our fingers indicated
low temperature of air but sun rays were encouraging us to start climbing up,
moreover the wind was co-operative this time. After two hours we had already
passed the depot and we were busy fixing ropes. Finally, we could struggle on
a section of the mountain which had not been climbed before by our friends.
The new 200-meter-long section of the route done by our Tricity team is just a
tiny episode in the whole Nanga Parbat battle but nevertheless it is a reason
for our satisfaction and pride.
At 1 pm we started descending
from the altitude of 6300m to the Base Camp – a height difference of 3000m.
Unfortunately, we could not stay in Camp 2 for another night because the
Wielicki-Berbera-Tarasewicz team took all the tent/sleeping bag places. Today
(6th December), they are fighting to establish Camp 3. Our descend to the
Base, after dusk, with strong wind obliterating all traces became a real epic,
a story worth a novel. It is enough to mention that it was goat and sheep dung
left on snow which saved our lives.
Summarising: during these 4 days of effort we burnt 5150 kcal, ascended 3093m,
descended 3093m. We wish we had done more but the leader’s plans combined with
bad weather decided our fate. There is still about 1500m of Nanga left to
climb. The time of Young Tricity Wolves has only begun!!!
01/08/2007: Today a two-person
team of Robert Szymczak i Przemysław Łoziński went up the mountain. They are
assisted by a three-person team of porters: professional Ghulam Rasool and local
“fast-trained” specialists Rahim and Kalb Ali.
Robert and Przemek were assigned numerous tasks for the next three days:
- to collect 300m ropes from the old variant on the “Wielicki Spur” (the bypass
is already functioning)
- to transport the collected ropes to Camp 2,
- to help porters reach Camp 2,
- to move above Camp 2 and collect the bivy left at 6300m (tent, sleeping bags,
- to set up Camp 3 at the end of fixed ropes at the altitude of 6800m (in the
middle of the rocky ridge),
- to make a reconnaissance of the terrain above.
We keep our fingers crossed for Robert and Przemek. If they succeed to carry out
at least 50% of the given tasks that will be great work and a big input into the
efforts of the expedition.
Porters’ task is to reach Camp 2 for the first time. They are carrying light
loads (11kg) – mainly ropes.
It was a difficult night for the
participants of the expedition in the Base Camp. Temperature fell down to
minus 30°C. Despite lit gas lamps inside tents, it was difficult to keep warm
in sleeping bags. Tents were covered with ice on the inside, “pillows” got
frozen under heads.
At the same time, Krzysztof
Wielicki - Jan Szulc and Krzysztof Tarasewicz - Jacek Berbeka were in Camp 2
at 6150m. Today, Krzysztof wanted to reach the location of the future Camp 3
at c. 7000m. Krzysztof began climbing at 8 am and at 10 am reached the end of
fixed ropes at 6400m. Here 400m of ropes (including about 100m of uncoiled
ropes) were waiting for Krzysztof. The leader started fixing ropes, Jacek
Berbeka was following him with new ropes. Krzysztof Tarasiewicz concentrated
on unwinding and recoiling the knotted 100m of ropes. Jan Szulc started
descending to the Base. During the day, the climbers managed to fix all the
ropes except the knotted one. They reached an outstanding rocky ridge after
climbing through difficult and steep snow-ice terrain. From there they
descended to Camp 2 and on the 7th December they are planning their return to
the Base Camp.
According to radio report from
Krzysztof Wielicki, the rocky ridge is not steep and on the nearest section it
will not require fixing ropes. The weather and conditions on the 6th December
were very good as for the winter – and what was most important there was no
wind. Krzysztof expressed an opinion that he was not entirely satisfied with
the effects of the day and the progress achieved. He still believes that it
will be a very long way before we reach Camp 3. Probably he will reveal more
details after he returns to the Base.
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