ISLAMABAD: A four-member international mountaineering team is all set to embark on a journey to climb 8,126 metres Nanga Parbat, popularly known as Killwer Mountain, in the extremes of winter.
“The team, comprising two Pakistani climbers Rehmat Ullah and Karim Hayat and as many foreigners Thomas Ballard (British) and Danile Nardi (Italian), has reached the Chilas town of Gilgit-Baltistan and from there it will leave for the expedition on Tuesday,” said Ali Muhammad Saltoro, owner of Alpine Adventures Guides.
Ballard is the son of renowned British mountaineer woman Alison Hargreaves, who died on August 13, 1995 while descending from the summit of K2.
Scion of a daring mother, Ballard will be challenging the Killer Mountain during winter fury.
Nardi is a seasoned mountaineer, who has visited Pakistan more than 12 times in the past and has already scaled several giant world peaks, including Mount Everest, K2 and Nanga Parbat.
Rehmat Ullah has climbed Gasherbrum-I and Gasherbrum-II, while Karim has scaled Broad Peak. “This time the team will be trying to open a new route on Nanga Parbat, which it has named as Mummery,” said Ali.
He said the mountaineers would need at least two months to complete their voyage. “Two Italian trekkers, Appella Daniele and Carati Alessandra, will also accompany the mountaineers till the base camp,” Ali added.
Until 2016, Nanga Parbat had never been climbed in winters. But Spanish and Italian mountaineers along with Pakistan’s Ali Sadpara became the world’s first athletes to scale the 8,126 metres high mountain.
Located in the Diamer District of Gilgit Baltistan, Nanga Parbat is also known as the “Killer Mountain”.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2018.