logo

Inveniam viam aut faciam

- Hannibal Barca

image

Himalaya

Mar 03, 2019

Rescue efforts on Nanga Parbat: Will History Repeat Itself in Search for Nardi and Ballard?

It’s been more than a week since Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard were last in touch with the outside world, from 6,300 metres on Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world.

WRITTEN BY

Billi Bierling

Since The Outdoor Journal published this story, news has since broken that confirmed the deaths of both Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard.

Daniele Nardi from Italy and Tom Ballard from the UK have now been missing for over a week. Hopes are slowly fading in the search to find the two climbers alive. With stormy winter weather incoming, plus the escalation of the conflict between India and Pakistan, it does not look promising.

“I see very little chance for the two climbers to be found alive. Heavy snowfall has significantly increased the avalanche risk, especially on the exposed Mummery Rib,” says German mountaineering journalist and blogger, Stefan Nestler. “All signs point to the fact that Daniele Nardi and Tom Ballard were caught in an avalanche, and it’s rather unlikely that the pair survived given the current conditions on the mountain.”

Nanga Parbat Peak, photo by Moiz Ismaili

The Mummery Rib, which sits on the Diamir Face of the mountain, is named after the British climber Albert F. Mummery, who had launched one of the very first attempts of Nanga Parbat in 1895. However, he and two of his climbing mates disappeared after they had reached the rib, and it is believed that the three became victims of an avalanche. To this very date, the rib has never been fully climbed.

Rescue efforts led by Pakistani mountaineer Muhammad Ali Sadpara, who together with Spaniard Alex Txikon and Italian Simone Moro succeeded in the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat, are currently on hold due to the low visibility, bad weather and lack of access. This is exacerbated by the fact that the helicopters, which are exclusively administered and flown by the Pakistani army, are being deployed at the border with India due to the recent hostilities between the two nuclear powers.

According to Sadpara’s Facebook page, a helicopter is waiting for the weather to clear to collect four climbers from K2 base camp to assist Sadpara in his rescue efforts. The K2 team is led by Alex Txikon who plans to use drones to search the area around the Mummery rib and Kinshofer route.

The situation is similar to last year’s rescue of the French mountaineer Elizabeth Revol and her Polish climbing mate, Tomek Mackiewicz, who got into trouble on their descent from the summit. This heroic rescue effort that involved the entire climbing community showed a great deal of solidarity and led to the rescue of Revol. However, Mackiewicz remained on the mountain.

Whether or not Ballard and Nardi will be as fortunate as Revol remains to be seen. Nardi is a well-known character in the Nepal Himalaya with an Everest ascent and attempts on Makalu and Cho Oyu under his belt. In 2011, he took part in scientific research to measure humidity, temperature, wind direction and solar radiation on the highest peak on earth. Tom Ballard also started climbing and mountaineering at an early age, stepping into the footsteps of his mother who was considered one of the female high altitude pioneers in the 1990s. Sadly, Alison Hargreaves never returned from her successful climb of K2 in 1995, when she got literally blown off the second highest peak in the world.

“Mountaineers, who are climbing in the North of the country, have to be aware that rescue operations are very limited in Pakistan. They may hope for help from outside, however, they must never rely on it, especially not in winter,” says Nestler. “Professional mountaineers have to accept that in an emergency they will have to rescue themselves. Successful operations, such as the rescue of Elizabeth Revol last winter, will sadly remain an exception,” Nestler concludes.

Cover photo: Nanga Parbat (Naked Mountain) is the world’s 9th highest mountain and the 2nd highest in Pakistan (after K2). Shot from Fairy Meadows, the Raikot (Rakhiot) Face on the northern side is quite imposing. Photo by Ahmed Sajjad Zaidi

Continue Reading

image

Expeditions

May 08, 2019

The Dream of Everest: Four Arab Women Challenge Social Expectations

Pushing back against social norms, some with family resistance, some with support, these women from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Oman are proving that social expectations do not count for anything.

image

WRITTEN BY

Sean Verity

Most recent update: May 1st 2019 | The Khumbu Icefall

This article will update with every video dispatch that we receive from the expedition. All of the despatches are courtesy of award-winning filmmaker Elia Saikaly, and are a build up to a feature-length documentary due to be released towards the end of 2019.

Why can’t a little girl from the Arab world, who’s always wanted to go to the moon, have that dream and believe that she can actually pursue it? We want Arab women to toss all those excuses out the window; I can’t, I don’t want to, nobody is going to support me. We’re here, we’re standing on the roof of the world, one hand, one heart. If we can do it, you can do it.

Nadhirah al Harthy from Oman, Mona Sharab from Saudi Arabia, Joyce Azzam and Nelly Attar from Lebanon have set themselves the ultimate challenge.  During the Spring of 2019, these four Arab women will attempt to climb to the summit of Everest, something that has never been achieved before.

With the prominence of the #MeToo, and wider female independence movement, there has never been a better time to tell the story of these four women who intend to break down barriers that some expect to confine them. For some, they will be the first to summit Everest, for others, they’re climbing for cause, but they all share the same goal of empowering Arab women. “If we can do it, you can do it.”

NADHIRAH ALHARTY – OMAN

The Outdoor Journal had the opportunity to speak with Nadhirah Al Harthy before she left her native Oman. Read the full story here.

Nadhirah will become the first woman from Oman to climb Everest, however, that’s just the beginning of her story. Oman is a country where mountaineering falls outside the traditional gender purview of women, and much of Nadhirah’s training had to be carried out in secret. It was only a few weeks before she left for the Himalaya, that Nadhirah broke the news to her family from fear of their disappointment. Fortunately, their fears lay solely in the risks associated with the ascent, not the gender-defying pursuit.

“Growing up in a conservative environment made me want to break the mould and box Arab women are put into. After a difficult divorce and almost losing myself to the cultural pressures, I found strength amongst the world’s tallest peaks. It seems crazy to others who wear the Hijab like myself, but I learned to believe in my capabilities and to show others that their dreams are possible too.”

MONA SHAHAB – SAUDI ARABIA

Mona co-founded ‘The Empowerment Hub,’ a grassroots initiative that focuses on fitness and health for youth and women in the Kingdom back in 2014. Each event/campaign was for a cause related to well being, be it physical or mental. Driven by change, ‘The Hub’ was the unheard voice that echoed a basic right. Physical Education for females in the public system has come a long way. The Hub’s mission was to revolutionize what females and youth feed their minds, bodies and souls.

“If not for my generation, then for the generations to come. Together we will shift perceptions and shatter stereotypes. Here’s to becoming more accepting and tolerant. To quenching thirsty minds who have been forced to flee for safety. Let’s move some mountains and make some waves.”

JOYCE AZZAM – LEBANON

Joyce Azaam

Joyce begins her pursuit of summiting the world’s tallest mountain with plenty of experience behind her. This 34-year old woman has climbed over 26 mountains around the world on six continents. Everest is the last of her Seven Summits challenge. However, Joyce also has a story that has so much to it. There was pain, doubt, and both cultural and social pressure to battle against along the way. Joyce recently summited the highest peak in Antarctica which garnered her the attention and support of the Lebanese Prime Minister and the President himself.

“Arab women and girls are not given permission to dream. I had a dream that should not be mine: my PhD & my ‘7 Summits’ . I am climbing Everest to complete my dream for all of those women out there who are told they shouldn’t have one.”

NELLY ATTAR – LEBANON

Nelly Attar

Fitness shouldn’t be a problem for Nelly, having recently made a shift from a full-time psychology and life coaching profession, to pursue her passion for fitness and sports. This is supplemented with twelve climbing expeditions, three global marathons, one ultra-trail marathon, and two half Ironman races (triathlons). Nelly is now a recognized fitness ambassador, trainer and healthy living advocate, contributing significantly to the transformation of the sporting landscape across the Middle East.

“Sports was my gateway to create a positive impact for people in Saudi Arabia, and beyond. I’ve switched careers, taken my own athletic activities to another level, and regularly work on numerous initiatives to promote and enable more and more people to get active across the Middle East. Movement is essential for life, and regular physical activity does wonders for our physical and mental health. Let’s MOVE the world!

Dispatch #1: Ready
Date: April 16th 2019

The team of Arab women climbing Everest depart Kathmandu to Lukla where their journey to Mt. Everest and their climb to the top of the world begins.

Dispatch #2: The Memorial Site – Chukpa Lare
Date: April 18th 2019

Before reaching Everest basecamp, the team of Arab women stop through the area known as Chukpa Lare. It is a memorial ground built in honour of both Sherpa and Foreign climbers who lost their lives on Everest.

Dispatch #3: The Puja
Date: April 19th 2019

The team had their Puja ceremony at Everest Basecamp, the spiritual blessing performed by a Lama, a ritual that all who attempt Everest partake in before stepping foot into the Khumbu Icefall.

Dispatch #4: Icefall
Date: April 29th 2019

The team of Arab women sharpen their skills on the ice around Everest basecamp, in preparation for their first rotation through the Khumbu Icefall.

Dispatch #5: The Khumbu Icefall
Date: May 1st 2019

Experience the journey into the Khumbu Icefall with the team of Arab women. We explore their reasons for climbing Everest and their aspirations to inspire change in their societies.

 

Dispatch #6: The Lhotse Face
Date: May 11th 2019

The final video dispatch before the summit rotation. The team of Arab women climbers depart basecamp at 2 am and attempt to reach camp two in a single push. A cyclone is on the way, the Lhotse Face awaits and the stakes are high to acclimatize and touch camp 3. Will they make it?

Edited from 3450m in Namche Bazaar while on an oxygen vacation.

Introducing The Outdoor Voyage

The Outdoor Voyage booking platform and online marketplace only lists good operators, who care for sustainability, the environment and immersive, authentic experiences. All listed prices are agreed directly with the operator, and we promise that 86% of any money spent ends up supporting the local community that you’re visiting. Click the image below to find out more.

Recent Articles



Part 2: The Skateistan Difference – Skate Schools to Build a Better Future

Jessica Faulkner explains how Skateistan designs gender-inclusive programs in their skate schools and classrooms to empower underprivileged children around the globe.

Skateistan: How Skateboarding is Changing the Story for Kids in Need

Skateistan’s creative blend of skateboarding instruction and classroom programs empowers underprivileged youth, especially young girls, to build a better future.

Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019 – Final Call for Entries!

The world´s greatest adventure and action sports imagery contest is underway with entries now being accepted.

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Advertising

Analytics

Other