The Mazeno Ridge stretches along the right side of Nanga Parbat in the photo above. Photo via Mazenoridge.com.
The team of climbers on Nanga Parbat reached the summit via the Mazeno Ridge today, 10 days after leaving basecamp.
This marks the first time someone has taken Mazeno Ridge, the longest ridgeline above 8,000 meters, to the summit of Nanga Parbat, the ninth-highest mountain in the world.
Cathy O’Dowd, one of the three-person team who’s been keeping a blog about the historic summit attempt, posted an audio dispatch on July 8, saying the conditions were frustrating and difficult, with high winds. There was some doubt whether they would make it.
Even today, O’Dowd’s Twitter stream gave the impression that the team was tired–they’d bivouacked at about 7,000 meters for at least seven days!–and that the peak was being scoured by dangerously high winds.
“V tired & high winds coming so summit not inevitable,” she tweeted, following it with, “Maybe leave for summit 1am, depends on wind.”
But just a few hours later, conditions cleared, and they felt safe enough to make the push for the peak. Six hours ago, she tweeted that they had made it to the top: “Summit! NP climbed via Mazeno ridge for 1st time. We did it!!” she wrote.
The Mazeno Ridge route includes eight peaks above 7,000 meters. The slog has been described as “the ultimate endurance challenge.”
For this accomplishment, we give the team a hearty congratulations, and hope they’ll have just enough endurance to get safely back down!