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At the end of 2015, The North Face® alpinists Simone Moro (ITALY) and Tamara Lunger (ITALY) set out from Europe to attempt the first winter ascent of the notorious ‘Killer Mountain’, Nanga Parbat (8126m). After more than 80 days on the 9th highest mountain in the world, Simone, along with Alex Txikon (SPAIN) and Ali Sadpara (PAKISTAN), has successfully summited the mountain on 26th of February 2016 via the Kinshofer Route. Tamara Lunger reportedly stopped just short of the summit, this is still to be confirmed.
This marks a ground breaking first winter (Dec 21, 2015- Mar 21, 2016) ascent of the mountain and also Simone’s 4th first winter ascent of 8000m peaks (the other three are: Shisha Pangma (8027m), Makalu (8463m), and Gasherbrum II (8035m). During winter, temperatures on Nanga Parbat can easily drop to -40 degrees Celsius during the day, and winds can pick up to 50km/hour or more. Nanga Parbat was first climbed by way of the Rakhiot Flank in 1953 by Austrian climber Hermann Buhl, but has since then claimed many lives of accomplished and experienced alpinists since then. While there had been a handful of successful summits of the mountain, no one has made an ascent of Nanga Parbat in winter until now.
The last attempt Simone made on a winter ascent of Nanga Parbat was in 2014, with fellow The North Face alpinist David Goettler (GERMANY) and Emilio Previtali (ITALY) (for more details, please see: www.thenorthfacejournal.com/mountaineering/nanga-parbat). The team took the Schell Route on the Rupal Face back then, but was forced to turn back at 7200m, the Mazeno Ridge due to bad weather and various ailments associated with extreme cold and exhaustion.
The full story documenting their landmark success will be available on www.thenorthfacejournal.com in March.
Tamara and Simone’s expedition is also proudly sponsored by GORE-TEX®.