Nanga Parbat
Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat (Naked Mountain) is the ninth highest mountain in the world. It is the western anchor of the Himalayas around which the Indus river skirts before it debouches into the plains of Pakistan. It is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, and is locally known as Deo Mir.

Nanga Parbat is one of the eight-thousanders, with a summit elevation of 8,126 metres (26,660 ft). An immense, dramatic peak rising far above its surrounding terrain, Nanga Parbat is also a notoriously difficult climb. Numerous mountaineering deaths in the mid and early 20th century lent it the nickname "killer mountain". Along with K2, it has never been climbed in winter.

Nanga Parbat forms the western anchor of the Himalayan Range and is the westernmost eight-thousander. It lies just south of the Indus River in the Diamer District of Gilgit–Baltistan in Pakistan. Not far to the north is the western end of the Karakoram range.

To the south, Nanga Parbat boasts what is often referred to as the highest mountain face in the world: the Rupal Face rises 4,600 m (15,090 ft) above its base. To the north, the complex, somewhat more gently sloped Rakhiot Flank rises 7,000 m (22,966 ft) from the Indus River valley to the summit in just 25 km (16 mi), one of the 10 greatest elevation gains in so short a distance on Earth.

Nanga Parbat is one of only two peaks on Earth that rank in the top twenty of both the highest mountains in the world, and the most prominent peaks in the world, ranking ninth and fourteenth respectively. The other is Mount Everest, which is first on both lists.

Nanga Parbat along with Namcha Barwa on the Tibetan Plateau are both considered to mark the west and east ends of the Himalayas.

Early attempts

Climbing attempts started very early on Nanga Parbat. In 1895 Albert F. Mummery led an expedition to the peak, and reached almost 7,000 m (23,000 ft) on the Diamir (West) Face, but Mummery and two Gurkha companions later died reconnoitering the Rakhiot Face.

In the 1930s, Nanga Parbat became the focus of German interest in the Himalayas. The German mountaineers were unable to attempt Mount Everest, as only the British had access to Tibet. Initially German efforts focused on Kanchenjunga, to which Paul Bauer led two expeditions in 1930 and 1931, but with its long ridges and steep faces Kanchenjunga was more difficult than Everest and neither expedition made much progress. K2 was known to be harder still, and its remoteness meant that even reaching its base would be a major undertaking. Nanga Parbat was therefore the highest mountain accessible to Germans which they seemed to have a chance of climbing.

Nanga Parbat is yet to be climbed in winter; 22 expeditions have tried this feat up till 2014. 11 expeditions conducted by Poles, famous for their winter climbing on eight-thousanders.

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