South African alpinist Cathy O’Dowd and Sherpa Nuru, Rangduk and Zarok are said to be safely at Base Camp of Nanga Parbat (Diamir Face) while the British mountaineers Sandy Allan and Rick Allen are said to be at 7100m. The information comes directly from Muhammad Ali of Adventure Pakistan, the Pakistani expedition tour operator.
The situation on the Mazeno Ridge has been suspended since last Friday, ever since the expedition split into two with a first group comprised of Cathy O’Dowd and Sherpa Nuru, Rangduk and Zarok who were about to start the difficult descent, and a second group comprised of British alpinists Sandy Allan and Rick Allen who wanted to attempt the summit of Nanga Parbat once again after having got circa 200m shy of the summit the day beforehand. All of this took place after 11 days spent on the long and exposed Mazeno Ridge on which the team had achieved the historic first traverse.
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The ridge is more than 10 km (6 miles) long with eight 7000 meter (23000 ft) peaks to pass along the route. Steep walls on each side make pulling out hard. The ridge is not fixed, there are no fixed camps and the climbers use no supplementary oxygen.
The expedition commenced the climb on July 4th with 7 days of supplies, that could be stretched to 10. Cathy reported Friday that they have almost run out of food and gas.
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Expedition Website: mazenoridge.com