ISLAMABAD: As rainfall caused flooding and landslides in several parts of the country, and temperatures dropped about 15 degrees on the longest days of the year, expeditions are waiting to see if that could affect climbing conditions in the mountains, the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP ) On Sunday.
“Although climbers are no strangers to unusual weather in Pakistan’s Karakuram Mountains, they must incorporate patience into their tactics,” said AKP Secretary Karrar Haidri, adding that some wondered if the unpredictable Karakorum weather this summer season was just as unusual could.
Mr Haidri told Dawn that climbers attempting to scale the 8,126-metre Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas admitted snow that had accumulated over the past few days would make rope attachment difficult.
“Yesterday, climbers reported snowing for the fourth consecutive day at Nanga Parbat base camp and estimated that 80cm of fresh, wet snow had fallen in the last 24 hours alone,” he said.
Snowfall in recent days would complicate the rope attachment at Nanga Parbat, an official says
Snowfall had also delayed alpine-style teams, including the French climbers on Pumari Chhish East and the Americans on K7, according to the ACP.
However, meteorologists collaborated with several mountaineering and paragliding expeditions that are currently in the Karakorum.
The difficult conditions had thwarted Carlos Garranzo’s K2 attempt in advance. The Spanish climber and blogger slipped on an icy rock and broke his leg. He was now back in Islamabad, ready to leave for home.
“All in all, waiting is just part of the adventure for the adventurers in the Karakorum. The weather is testing the patience of many record-breaking climbers eyeing multiple peaks ahead of August,” Haidri said.
This season could break records for the number of climbing permits. The biggest crowds flocked to the second highest peak in the world – K2 – and to Broad Peak, which at 8,051 meters is the 12th highest mountain in the world. So far, more than 350 permits have been issued, he added.
Mountaineer Naila Kiani is also making headlines this summer for the 8,611 meter high K2.
Kiani is a Dubai-based Pakistani banker and amateur boxer whose love for the mountainous regions inspired her to conduct her 2018 wedding ceremony right at K2 Base Camp. In 2021 she climbed the 13th highest mountain in the world, Gasherbrum II 8,035 meters, right after the birth of her child.
At a meeting, Kiani said she has a mission to promote Pakistani tourism and empower Pakistani women.
Mr Haidri said this year Kiani and Samina Baig had their eyes set on reaching the top of K2.
Baig and Kiani became the first Pakistani women to climb Everest in 2013 and Gasherbrum II in 2021.
Published in Dawn, June 27, 2022