Coming down Nanga Parbat as hard as going up
ISLAMABAD, July 19: British climbers Sandy Allan and Rick Allen returned safe to the base camp on Thursday after scaling the 8,126-metre high Nanga Parbat peak, but not without giving anxious moments to their team mates waiting there.
They made history by humbling the ‘killer mountain’ from the treacherous Mazeno Ridge side, which saw their descent was no less strenuous than their ascent.
Already exhausted by 11 days of climbing, that involved crossing eight 7,000-metre plus peaks to reach the summit, strain and bad weather forced the two triumphant climbers to break their descent at Camp 4 they had established at the altitude of 7,000 metres for their final push for the summit which they reached on July 15.
Their partner, Cathy O’Dowd, who had scaled Mount Everest twice, however found the final assault too daunting and abandoned her ascent at 7,100 metres and returned to the Base Camp, leaving Sandy and Rick to become the first to reach Nanga Parbat summit by traversing the treacherous 10km-long Mazeno Ridge, according to the officials of the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP).
Stuck at Camp 4, her colleagues meanwhile were running low on supplies, if not spirit.
On reaching the Base Camp, she got busy arranging the supplies, and engaged two Pakistani high-altitude porters, Sadiq and Shabbir, of the Czech mountaineers attempting Nanga Parbat, to deliver them to her team mates at Camp 4.
“These are some of the toughest porters in world who are fast climbers, reaching heights in shortest possible time,” said a member of the executive council of ACP, Karrar Haidri. On the Nanga Parbat, he said, descent sometimes could be harder than
the ascent. —Jamal Shahid