Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: new route on Nanga Parbat.

Although most explored on the mountain; the Diamir Flank on Nanga Parbat had merely two previous lines: the Kinshofer Route (with several variations) set in 1962; and Messner Direct Route, set in 1978.

More than 30 years later, this season another route was drawn on the slopes. The summit was reached on 11th July, by Austrians Gerfried Göschl, Sepp Bachmair, Hans Goger, and Canadian Louis Rousseau.

The victory was double-edged. A team mate vanished on the upper slopes of the normal route and another climber fell further down, sparking controversy as the fixed rope had been removed. The planned K2 double-header was scrubbed due to bad conditions (no one summited the peak this year).

But the ascent was one of only three new lines drawn on the 8000ers this year, and the pictures said it all: a frightening couloir, a vertical ice wall – the small group of friends survived and triumphed a partial new line on Nanga Parbat in a season when even summits on the normal routes were scarce.

The success arrived after long and tenacious planning. “We did our best in the last year and a half to try and optimize all items which are planable. We don’t want to leave anything to chance” Ger told ExWeb prior to the attempt. “I compared around 2000 pictures to find the possibility of this new line.”

And afterwards, “we did it nearly like we had planned it and the difficulties were exactly the same as we thought they would be,” Göschl concluded.

The route went through a hidden couloir between the Czech route on the right side and the (unsuccessfully attempted) Diamir glacier route on the left side. It was a secret way to join the untouched North West buttress.

The rest was just logical, said Gerfried: “Follow the ridge and overcome the two giant pinnacles that cross to the right above big seracs to reach a second ridge leading to the Basin at 7400 meters. More than 2000m of complete new ground”.

The name of the new route is the Nanga Parbat Austro-Canadian North-West buttress.

Special mentions:
– Good guys leaving too early: Tomaz, Piotr, Serguey, Martin, Oscar, Roby…
– GIII/GIV attempt and rescue.
– Nives Meroi, fame for love.
– North Pole-Greenland crossing and polar records.

Related story: StatCrunch: 8000er mountaineers with 6 summits or more, updated.

Related story: K2 & Karakoram 2009 Season´s end Chronicle.

* Previous story :

–   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: the 14×8000ers.

–   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: Altitude Junkies and FTA – corporate compassion.

–   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards – Special mention.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Farewell to friends.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Polar adventures.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Significant climbs.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: The Oceans.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Mount Everest.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Controversies.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Technology and Space.

–   Tragedy in the Himalaya, 2009 climbing season.

Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.

e-mail or call +1 212 966 1928

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Winter Nanga Parbat timeline: The Killer Mountain’s 8-0 score.

ExWeb special – Winter Nanga Parbat timeline:
The Killer Mountain’s 8-0 score

( Up to now, eight expeditions have attempted Nanga Parbat in winter (or near   1-winds-punishing-nanga-parbat-newwinter) – and failed. The latest real winter attempt was made by a strong team of Polish winter wolves including Wielicki and Hajzer.

In a few weeks time another set of Polish climbers will try their luck.

Here goes ExWeb’s third entry about previous winter attempts on the upcoming 2008/09 winter climbs: today Rodrigo Granzotto’s report on Nanga Parbat; a.k.a the “Killer Mountain.”

Nanga Parbat Winter History
By Rodrigo Granzotto Peron

The first winter attempt on Nanga Parbat was done in 1988/89 by a Polish team under the leadership of Maciej Berbeka. Bad conditions forced a re-route from the primary target SE Buttress to the Messner Route on the Rupal Flank. The summit bid was halted at 6800 meters.

Frostbite and rescue for record climbers

Berbeka was back for another round in 1990/91. After failing again on the Messner Route (6800 meters), he decided to try the long Schell Route. But it was too late in the season and the team gave up at 6600 meters.

In 1995/96 another Polish expedition, now under leadership of Maciej Pawlowski, made a serious attempt to 7850m on Diamir Flank (Kinshofer Route). The two climbers that reached the highest point – Zbigniew Trzmiel and Krzysztof Pankiewicz – suffered frostbites and were rescued by helicopter from 3900m.

In 1996/97 UK Victor Saunders showed up with Danish/Swedish Rafael Jensen and Pakistan Ghulam Hassan to attempt the Kinshofer Route. The trio gave up already in early December.

In 1997/98 Andrzej Zawada, 69 years old at the time, commanded a team of Polish stars that included Ryszard Pawlowski, Jerzy Natkanski and Dariusz Zaluski. The chosen route was Kinshofer on Diamir Flank. After an initially fast progress problems began to accumulate. Camp I was destroyed; BC was wrecked two days later and two weeks after Pawlowski broke his leg. The expedition was canceled at last.

The Austrian attempt and the veteran winter wolves

In 2004/2005 the Kinshofer Route on Diamir Flank was attempted again – this time by Austrian brothers Gerfried Goschl and Rainer Wolfgang Goschl, along with Pakistan Hasil Shah and Mehrban Shah. A number of problems, deep snow and high winds forced a premature cancellation also of their expedition.

In 2006/2007 Krzysztof Wielicki arrived with a strong and experienced team (Jan Szulc, Artur Hajzer,  Krzysztof   c2-during-the-winter-2006_07-attempt_wielicki-newTarasewicz, Dariusz Zaluski and others) to climb the Schell Route on the Rupal Flank. They were defeated at 6800 meters by knee-deep snow and hurricane winds.

In 2007 Italian dark horse Simone La Terra challenged the Kinshofer Route accompanied by Pakistan Mehrban Karim. It was over already at 6000 meters when high winds flattened the kitchen-tent, damaging all gear and blowing away provisions.

Polish ruling the real winter

While there were 8 cold expeditions on Nanga Parbat; only three took place in real winter – the 1st, the 3rd and the 5th – all Polish. The others were “partial winter” or “late autumn” attempts. The highest point reached to this day was 7850m, by the 3rd expedition led by Maciej Pawlowski.

* see :

Polish Winter Nanga Parbat Expeditin 2008/09. Zimowa Wyprawa na Nanga Parbat 2008/09. /Version english and polish/

Ice Warriors not give up – HiMountain winter expedition to Broad Peak – 2008/09. HiMountain wyprawa zimowa Broad Peak – 2008/09. /Version english and polish/

Don Bowie’s website

Polish winter expedition to K2, 2002/3 /Version polish and english/

Polish-Italian winter expedition to Shisha Pangma (8027m), 2005 /Version polish and english/

Winter Manifesto of Krzysztof Wielicki – Manifest zimowy Krzysztofa Wielickiego /Version polish and english/

– 2007 Winter Nanga Parbat: It’s over –

Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.
e-mail or call +1 212 966 1928

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