by Kuba Bogdanski 13/04/2016
Nanga Parbat: The 8000ers / eight-thousanders are the only mountains with a death zone, where the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere is insufficient to sustain human life, therefore called the death zone. About 30% of the oxygen you find at sea level. They are all are located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in China, India, Nepal and Pakistan and are the only mountains in the world over 8000 meters.
Nanga Parbat is located in the Northern Areas of Pakistan and is the Western range of the Himalayas. It is the 9th highest mountain in the world and the 2nd highest in Pakistan after the mighty K2. It is not part of the Karakoram Range as it is in the western extremity of Himalaya. It is separated from the Karakoram by the Indus River.
Each week we will present each 8000ers, and the reason behind this is our fascination climbing all the mountains on this list, something that has only been accomplished by 34 legendary mountaineers to date. 3 Polish and 0 Norwegians have completed this achievement. Mtxplore will climb this mountain, but we have not set a date. It’s considered as a very difficult mountain to climb.
Nanga Parbat – 9th highest mountain in the world
Elevation: 8,126 meters (26,660ft)
First summer ascent: July 3, 1953, by Austrian Hermann Buhl
First winter ascent: February 26, 2016, by Simone Moro, Alex Txikon and Ali Sadpara
Duration: 50 days
Nanga Parbat, is in Sanskrit named “Naked Mountain” because some of its slopes are very steep that they do not have any vegetation or snow. According to the old local legend, Nanga Parbat is also called Diamir. It is believed that the Queen of fairies lives there in a castle made of solid ice crystals and guarded by gigantic snow serpents and frogs. The earlier disasters in climbing this mountain are attributed to the displeasure of fairies. Nanga Parbat is not a single peak but consists of a 20 km long series of peaks and ridges. Its South Face known as the Rupal Face is 5000 meters high, while the North or Raikot Face is over 7000 meters from the summit to the river and forms one of the world’s deepest valleys.
Nanga Parbat is known to be a notoriously difficult mountain to climb. A huge number of mountaineering deaths in the mid and early 20th century gave it the nickname “killer mountain”.
Nanga Parbat is clearly the most easily accessible of all 8000 meter mountains with the base camp reachable in two days. The north face is visible from the Karakoram highway which is the main road between Islamabad and Rawalpindi to the south and the Chinese border to the north.
You can find a list of Ascents, deaths and other statistics of the 8000ers here.
1953: First Ascent
First ascent by Austrian Hermann Buhl via the East Ridge from the Rakhiot side.
1978: First Solo
Reinhold Messner solos the right side of the Diamir Face. This was the first completely solo climb on the mountain and also the first in a modern Alpine style.
1984: First Woman
French mountaineer Lilliane Barrard becomes the first woman to climb Nanga Parbat.
1990: First ski descent
2012: Mazeno Ridge Ascent
Scottish mountaineers Sandy Allan and Rick Allen made the first ascent of Nanga Parbat via the 10 km-long Mazeno Ridge.
2016: First Winter Ascent
Nanga Parbat has 3 faces with 3 long ridges dividing these. The Diamir face is by easily the most popular face attempted by teams and the least popular is the huge Rupal (south face). The Rakhiot (north) face has received occasional attempts over the decades with only 2 routes completed. Between the vast faces there are 3 extensive ridges. The Mazeno Ridge divides the Diamir and Rupal Faces. Between the Rupal and Rakhiot faces there is a long ridge that descends to Siberzacken and then to Rakhiot Peak, and the Chongra Peaks. Dividing the Diamir and Rakhiot Faces is a ridge that descends into a short distance from the main summit to Nanga Parbat North then continues to descend into Ganalo Peak.
Nanga Parbat Camps:
This is how the camps are normally placed up on the mountain.
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Normal Route Typical Itinerary:
This is an example of an itinerary would be on Nanga Parbat. Acclimatization, health and the performance of the expedition team may impact the actual schedule. High altitude mountaineering can change from day to day during an expedition.
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This list is a guide only. There is a huge number of brands, options and version of all the gear. This is the recommendations and suggestions from mtxplore from our own experience on the mountains. We would love to hear your feedback, so please do contact us if you have any feedback. We love to talk about gear hour after hour.
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To be a climber one has to accept that gratification is rarely immediate