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Approaching the summit of Nanga Parbat (8125m), Pakistan, Himalaya, the world’s ninth tallest peak. Dodo Kopold, Piotr Morawski and Peter Hamor climbed the standard Kinshofer route, left of the Diamir Face, on July 15 as preparation for a first ascent on K2’s (8611m) west face. [Photo] Dodo Kopold collection

After waiting out a storm in Camp 4 with little food, Slovakians Dodo Kopold and Peter Hamor, along with Piotr Marawski of Poland, summited Nanga Parbat (8125m) on Sunday, July 15. They ascended the standard Kinshofer route, which climbs left of hanging glaciers on the Diamir Face. The trio made the trip in preparation and acclimatization for their main target: the unclimbed west face of K2 (8611m).

The team’s first attempt on Nanga Parbat ended on Sunday, July 8, at 7500 meters. After a day of rest at Base Camp (4100m) they made an exhaustive push through the day and night of July 10 to reach Camp 3 (6700m). There a tent, established during their earlier attempt, waited for them. On the following day they traveled to Camp 4 (7100m) and planned to make a summit bid in the morning. Frustration with the weather, Kopold described, kept them in their tents for three hungry days: “The weather changed; it began to snow and blow; it turned cold. It was no longer possible to descend to the lower camp because of the menace of avalanches. That’s why we decided to wait out the days at 7100 meters, nearly without food.” Although cold temperatures and heavy winds greeted them at 1 a.m. on July 15, the team motivated to break trail up the “incredibly long and weary” climb from Camp 4, Kopold said. They summited at 1:38 p.m., descended to Camp 4 and returned to basecamp the following day. They will leave basecamp on July 19 for a new line on K2’s west face.

Kopold working his way up Nanga Parbat’s Kinshofer route. Although Kopold’s team was planning to climb the route in alpine style, on occasion they took advantage of fixed ropes established by a Chilean team. [Photo] Dodo Kopold collection

Nanga Parbat is Kopold’s third ascent of an 8000-meter peak; he made all three climbs this season. Cho Oyu (8201m) he summited on March 31 and Shishapangma (8013m), where his Slovakian partner, Marek Hudak, went missing, he summited on April 24.

Kopold, who planned for his teams to make all four 8000-meter ascents in alpine style without the aid of Sherpas or supplementary oxygen, said he was thankful for the fixed lines they found on-route. “During our ascent the Chilean expedition helped us a lot,” Kopold said. “They had fixed a part of the route, and their fixed ropes came in handy mostly on the descent from Camp 3, when the visibility was bad.”

Kopold also reported that he is glad no one got frostbite, and that two Slovakian countrymen–Suchy and Gablik–summited today, July 18, along with Chileans Luis Alvarez and Ernesto Olivares, as well as Kinga Baranowska from Poland and partner Roberto ‘Gorri’ Rojo from Spain.

Sources: Dodo Kopold, Katarina Kopoldova and

Dodo Kopold, Piotr Morawski and Peter Hamor. The trio will leave basecamp tomorrow, July 19, to prepare for their main objective: a first ascent on the west face of K2 (8611m). [Photo] Dodo Kopold collection