Nanga Parbat is the 9th highest mountain on Earth. Nanga Parbat means “Naked Mountain” in Urdu, Parbat deriving from the Sanskrit word Parvata, meaning “mountain”. Nanga Parbat was one of the deadliest of the eight-thousanders for climbers in the first half of the twentieth century; since that time it has been less so, though still an extremely serious climb. It is also an immense, dramatic peak that rises far above its surrounding terrain.
Nanga Parbat is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region and is the Western bastion of the Himalayas. It is the ninth highest mountain in the world and the second highest in Pakistan after K2.
From Hermann Buhl’s solo first ascent in 1953 via the Upper North ridge to Gunther and Reinhold Messner’s first ascent of the Rupal Face in 1970 via the South South East Spur, Messner’s solo climb of the Diamir Face in 1978, and more recently Vince Anderson and Steve House’s alpine-style ascent of the Central Pillar of the Rupal Face. These epic climbs continue to inspire climbers to attempt yearly what is considered to be the second hardest 8000m mountain after K2.
Climbers before the Second World War were convinced that the only way to climb the mountain was from the north via a long arc extending over Rakhiot Peak (7010m), between the two summits of Silberzacken and finally to the summit of Nanga Parbat thereby avoiding a more direct ascent of the north face. The route was dangerously prone to avalanche and exposed to bad weather. 31 people died attempting to climb the mountain leading to it acquiring the infamous name of the “Killer Mountain”.