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Simone Moro and Denis Urubko on Nanga Parbat, February 2012
Photo by Matteo Zanga
Simone Moro and Denis Urubko on Nanga Parbat, February 2012
Photo by Matteo Zanga

Nanga Parbat winter expedition: Moro and Urubko abandon attempt


Simone Moro and Denis Urubko have announced their decision today to abandon their attempt of the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat (Pakistan) via the Diamir Face due to the prohibitive weather conditions.

Nature has been stronger once again. Simone Moro and Denis Urubko's expedition to Nanga Parbat expedition has now come to an end and the first winter ascent of the Naked Mountain will have to wait for another day, as Moro and Urubko state clearly in their latest video dispatch. It's been snowing for days on end and the weather forecast provided by Karl Gabl from Innsbruck proved bleak: after a short 36 hour break the snowfall and wind will continued all of next week. Which means that over 1.5 metres of snow are expected to fall in the short future.

It's clear therefore that in these conditions any attempt would simply be too dangerous, with gusts of wind at altitude reaching 130 km/h. According to Moro, the wind sounds like "the roar of 10 aeroplanes taking off." In these prohibitive conditions turning back is evidently a wise decision, and the Polish expedition which shared Base Camp with them has opted to do just the same.

Talking about wind: "last night" Moro said "the gusts of wind reached 100 km/h at Base Camp. Some sheets used to protect our mess tent were destroyed, but on the whole it's not too bad. The kitchen tent and the larder are protected by a stone wall which I got made (thank God)."

Moro, Urubko and expedition photographer and cameraman Matteo Zanga departed from Italy 51 days ago and established Base Camp beneath Nanga Parbat's Diamir Face at 4200m on 3 January. During the last month Moro and Urubko set up three camps to reach 6600m, but ever since 27 January it has been snowing and storming.

As many will remember, the two alpinists had decided while on the mountain itself to try a new route via the line attempted by Messner and Eisendle in 2000. This ascends the left-hand side of the great Diamir Face and in order to climb this they were forced to navigate through the tormented glacier and above all traverse below the dangerous Kinshofer serac. The two alpinists had even discovered a way to bypass this route and obligatory danger... but now, with all the fresh snow and next week's forecast, the mission would simply be impossible and too dangerous. Nature has won therefore, as the two state in the video. This too is a "beautiful" aspect of alpinism and Moro and Urubko have guaranteed that "the experience was fantastic!"

The North Face Nanga Parbat Winter Expedition - Farewell to Nanga Parbat





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