Nanga Parbat, Himalayas – In June 2017, Alberto Zerain of Spain and Mariano Galvan from Argentina went missing while attempting the 2nd ascent of the Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat (8126 meters) in the Himalayas. Authorities believe the two experienced mountaineers died in an avalanche on Nanga Parbat at approximately 6000 meters (Alpinist.com).
Zerain and Galvan left base camp on June 18 and then were stuck in their tent around 5600 meters until the 23rd. According to TheBMC.co.uk, on the 24th Zerain was wearing a GPS tracker that “showed the pair moving for around six hours to an altitude of 6,270m. Yet about an hour later the tracker’s position was 180m distant from this point and almost the same number of metres lower, at 6,112m.” The tracker sent a signal from that spot for 15 hours before it turned off. No emergency distress signal was sent.
Due to weather, helicopters were unable to search the area until June 28. During that search, clouds obscured the ridge and location of the tracker signal. Resucers searched again on July 1. Those rescuers searched in clear visibility up to 7400 meters with no trace of the mountaineers. They noted that “the location of the tracker was in an area of avalanche debris, the trigger point further up slope towards the crest of the ridge” (TheBMC.co.uk). On July 3 search and rescue operations were called off as the climbers were presumed dead.
The Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat was first climbed in 2012. According to Alpinist.com, It has roughly 6500 meters of gain with a 10 to 13 kilometers ridge route and “involves committing climbing around eight sub-peaks.”
Nanga Parbat is commonly referred to as the “Killer Mountain” as 30 climbers died trying for the first ascent prior to 1953. It is the ninth highest mountain in the world at 8,126 meters. This Himalaya peak was first climbed on July 3, 1953 by Hermann Buhl. Learn more about Nanga Parbat on Wikipedia.
Update 7/9: An 8-member private search group will continue after “Mariano’s family detected some unusual signals from Zerain’s GPS device” (SnowBrains.com). Below is Facebook post from Mirza Ali who is conducting the rescue:
Read more about the climbers killed in an avalanche on Nanga Parbat from the following sources:
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