The great mountains of Nepal and Tibet shutting down, time has come for their twin peaks in Pakistan.
Connecting the ranges we kick off with a well known Everest profile. Cathy O’Dowd (who many of you will remember from the South African Everest 96 – Expedition) is about to take on Nanga Parbat, the hard way.
ExplorersWeb: You were the first woman to summit Everest from both South (1996) and North (1999) and in 2003 tried one of the great unclimbed routes of the Himalaya, the Fantasy Ridge on Everest Kangshung Face. It has been quiet from you when it comes to the big climbs/adventures until now that you are off to try another unclimbed legendary route – the Mazeno Ridge of Nanga Parbat. What made you choose such as big challenge again?
Cathy: A couple of things came together. I was burnt out on high altitude expeditions for a number of years, and I’ve never wanted to go ticking 8000ers by their standard routes. I spent a number of years just enjoying myself on long rock routes and ski peaks.
But a change of circumstances meant I had time free this year and when this project was proposed, I was immediately interested. I love the idea of trying new routes. I love lines that have a natural logic and beauty to them. I’ve always wanted to visit Pakistan. Somehow this came up at just the right time.