Mazeno Ridge, updates directly from Pakistan
South African alpinist Cathy O'Dowd and Sherpa Nuru, Rangduk and Zarok are said to be safely at Base Camp of Nanga Parbat (Diamir Face) while the British mountaineers Sandy Allan and Rick Allen are said to be at 7100m. The information comes directly from Muhammad Ali of Adventure Pakistan, the Pakistani expedition tour operator.
The situation on the Mazeno Ridge has been suspended since last Friday, ever since the expedition split into two with a first group comprised of Cathy O'Dowd and Sherpa Nuru, Rangduk and Zarok who were about to start the difficult descent, and a second group comprised of British alpinists Sandy Allan and Rick Allen who wanted to attempt the summit of Nanga Parbat once again after having got circa 200m shy of the summit the day beforehand. All of this took place after 11 days spent on the long and exposed Mazeno Ridge on which the team had achieved the historic first traverse.
Well, since last Friday there had been no more updates and given the difficult and delicate situation - with two groups engaged in two different directions on the mountain, today (at 13.40 CET) we managed to contact the expedition tour operator, Muhammad Ali of Adventure Pakistan who provided the following information: "All the climbers are well, Cathy and the Sherpa are already at Base Camp, while the two British mountaineers are currently at 7100m. I heard them and they seemed on fine form". It is worth noting that Ali confirmed he had spoken to the two British alpinists directly via satellite telephone. And that this is their 14th day on the mountain.
As always in the Himalaya, where both communication and the general situation are, by definition, difficult and uncertain, allow us to report this news using the conditional. We hope to confirm all of this directly via the alpinists themselves in the next few hours. At this point all that remains is to hope for a speedy return to Base Camp for the two British mountaineers Sandy Allan and Rick Allen.