Nanga Parbat As seen from Fairy Meadows

fairy meadows

Most tourists who come to see Nanga Parbat stay at Fairy Meadows ( 3,300 m), so named because of local superstition that fairies inhabit this spectacularly forested alpine meadow. Fairy Meadows are idyllic Aline pastures surrounded by pine forests on the northern slopes of Nanga Parbat, with breathtaking views of the snow-clad North Face above. It is the best place to view the majestic beauty of Nanga Parbat. There are several short walks on this plateau, including the full day excursion up to the Base Camp, (3900m) of Nanga Parbat. The North or Raikot Face dives over 7000 meters from the summit to the Indus River, forming one of world’s deepest and finest gorges.

Nanga Parbat has always been associated with tragedies and tribulations. It is an angry mountain for climbers. A lot of mountaineers have perished on its treacherous slopes. It was one of the deadliest of the eight-thousandths in the first half of the twentieth century. Even in recent years it has claimed a heavy toll of human lives of mountaineers, in search of adventure and thrill.

The race to conquer Nanga Parbat started very early. In 1895, an English mountaineer Albert F. Mummery led an expedition to the peak and reached almost 7,000 m on the Diamir side, but later disappeared with his two porters. Then in 1932 a German-American expedition climbed the Raikot Peak and reached the east ridge before being beaten by lack of Himalayan experience. In 1934, five German climbers and elven Sherpas attained a height of around 7,800m when three climbers and six Sherpas perished in a blizzard. Another German attempt in 1937 was beaten when all seven climbers withe their nine high-level porters were overwhelmed by avalanche. More attempts were made in 1938 and 1939, each time reaching around 6000m. After the death of 31 people, Nanga Parbat was first climbed on July 3, 1953 by a single man, Austrian climber Hermann Buhl, a member of German-Austrian team. Nanga Parbat was yet to be climbed in winter, 28 expeditions have tried this feat as of 2015.

Nanga Parbat has three faces, Diamer face, Raikot and Rupal. The local name of the mountain is Diamir, meaning “Monarch of the Gods.” It is said that the mountain is inhabited by fairies and superlatives.

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