In Pictures: the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbet

It’s taken 83 days, but finally the notorious ‘Killer Mountain’, Nanga Parbat (8126m), has been summited during winter


Nanga Parbat is notorious in the climbing world. Looming high above Pakistan, it towers over its neighbouring peaks and, at 8126m, is the eighth tallest mountain in the world. Until now, it had never been summited during winter.


The mountain was first summited by Austrian climber Hermann Buhl back in 1953, but the extreme temperatures have kept it from being summited during the winter season. Temperatures on Nanga Parbat can drop to 40 degrees Celsius during the day, and winds can pick up to 50km/hour or more.


Back in 2014, Simone Moro, Emilio Previtali (both from Italy) and Germany’s David Goettler came close, reaching 7200m, but had to turn back at the Mazeno Ridge due to bad weather, extreme cold and exhaustion.


Late in 2015, Simone Moro, along with fellow Italian Tamara Lunger, set out to conquer Nanga Parbat — also known as Killer Mountain because of the 30 lives it took — once and for all.


83 days after setting out from Europe, they finally made their summit push, following the Kinshofer route, after teaming up with fellow climbers Alex Txikon (Spain) and Ali Sadpara (Pakistan). Climbing without oxygen, they faced 45km gust and wind chill of -50°c along the way.


It took over eight hours for the group to cover the final two kilometres, then another four and a half to come down to the camp, with Tamara Lunger turning back before the summit due to illness.



 For Simone Moro, it marks his fourth winter ascent of a 8000m peak (the other three are Shisha Pangma (8027m), Makalu (8463m), and Gasherbrum II (8035m)). An amazing achievement.