Nanga Parbat (8125m) is the night highest summit in the world. Nanga Parbat means “Naked Mountain” and its long summit outline been likened to the profile of a sleeping woman. Being the most westerly EIGHT THOUSAND METER PEAK it bears the brunt of westerly storms and is notorious for avalanches and fierce storms that dump deep snow. The Indus River binds it on the north and west. Three great glaciated faces flow from its summit: the Raikot on the north, the Diamir on the west and the Rupal on the south.
Many famous climbers have tackled Nanga Parbat. In 1895 Alfred Mummery and his team made the first attempt on Nanga Parbat. While crossing a pass between Raikot and Diamir, Mummery with two porters disappeared. In 1932 came the first of many German expeditions. The first German attempt reached at the height of 7000 meter, 1934 a strong German team came again and they managed to climb over Raikot Peak, but they all died with six porter stuck in terrible storm. In 1937 on the same Raikot face 16 porters and Germans died in an avalanche. The 1938 attempt claimed no lives. Till 1938 there were only four attempts on Nanga Parbat, which claimed 30 human lives, most of them were Germans. Because of this reputation it is also known as the “Killer Mountain”.
Finally in 1953 under the leadership of Dr. Herrligkoffer, Hermann Buhl made a final solo climb to the summit of Nanga Parbat from Raikot face.
In 1970 world-renowned mountaineer Reinhold Messner and his brother Gunther submitted via the difficult Rupal Face, but on the descent Gunther disappeared. Messner later returned to solo a new route on the Diamir face in 1978. These days most of the expeditions attempt Nanga Parbat from Diamir Face and few try their luck from the southwest ridge, called as the “Kinshofer wall” or the “Rupal face”. The Rupal face of the mountain is the highest precipice in the world.
Reinhold Messner, the living legend in the mountaineering fraternity, says “everyone who has ever stood at the foot of this face (4500 meters) up above the ‘Tap Alpe’, studied it or flown over it, could not help but have been amazed by its sheer size, it has become known as the highest rock and ice wall in the world!”