Nanga Parbat: summit and first winter ascent by Simone Moro, Ali Sadpara and Alex Txikon

On Friday 26 February 216 Italy’s Simone Moro, Spain’s Alex Txikon and Pakistan’s Ali Sadpara successfully carried out the historic first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat (8126m, Karakorum, Pakistan). Italy’s Tamara Lunger stopped her bid on the ridge below the summit. Towards 20:00 circa (Pakistan time) all four alpinists returned to Camp 4 at 7100m.

Good things come to those who wait. And the waiting game certainly paid off for the Italians Tamara Lunger and Simone Moro, Spain’s Alex Txikon and Pakistan’s Hassan Ali Sadpara. They held on to their beliefs, adapted where necessary, changed plans, combined forces and resisted even when everyone (or almost everyone) no longer thought it was possible.

Their ‘journey’ lasted two months and a half. A period marked by the eternal waiting game, by high winds, ‘polar’ temperatures, terrible weather but also disappointments, sudden changes of plans and a thousand other obstacles that needed dealing with. Then, almost unexpectedly, the fleeting moment arrived and they managed to seize it.

At 15:37 local time today Moro, Txikon and Sadpara reached the summit of Nanga Parba while Tamara Lunger halted her attempt lower down, a truly immense achievement as she had not been feeling well since early this morning. The news regarding the summit was anounced by Igone Mariezkurrena directly from Base Camp, after having received comunication from the team of alpinists via walkie talkie. This is now the first time that the Naked Mountain has been climbed in winter.

A fact which – regardless of how people choose to view it – adds another important chapter to the history of winter mountaineering on the 8000m giants, and not only. It’s worth bearing in mind that prior to today’s success, Nanga Parbat had been attempted in winter by 30 or so previous expeditions. As of today, the only summit missing off the list of the 14 highest mountains climbed in winter is K2.

Another fundamental piece of information: Base Camp reported the much-awaited news that (at circa 20:00 local time, 16:00 CET) all four alpinists had returned to Camp 4 a 7100m. Circa 14 hours had passed since setting off from Camp 4, and 5 days since leaving Base Camp! Lunger, Moro, Txikon and Sadpara now need to complete the final important act. Another night and another day (or two) on the mountain lie in store.

Nanga Parbat (8126m) on 26 February 2016 when it was climbed for the first time in winter by Simone Moro, Alex Txikon and Ali Sadpara. The fourth member of the team, Tamara Lunger, stopped on the ridge just short of the summit.

They (and we) are comforted by the fact that the weather forecast is good. We’ll wait for them at Base Camp, when it really is all over. In the meantime it’s worth recognising that this summit represents, for each of the four alpinists (we’d also like to add Tamara to these three successful summiters), an absolutely cutting-edge achievement. For Simone Moro this mountain is now his fourth first winter ascent of an 8000er, after  Shisha Pangma (2005), Makalu (2009) and Gasherbrum II (2011). No one has achieved more than this!

Alex Txikon, Simone Moro, Ali Sadpara and Tamara Lunger at Base Camp before setting off for the historic first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat

Alex Txikon is the first Spanish mountaineer to add his name to the hall of fame of first winter ascents on one of the 14 eightthousanders. And, last but certainly not least, there’s Ali Sadpara. In the words of Moro: “he’s a great alpinist!” Sadpara is unsurprisingly considered Pakistan’s most successful mountaineer and, apart from being the first Pakistani to climb an 8000er in winter, with this summit he has now climbed all five of his country’s 8000ers as well as Mt. Everest.

Nanga Parbat in winter, the naked mountain at night

His success crowns last year’s unsuccessful bid that ground to a halt, together with Italy’s Daniele Nardi and Txikon at 7,800m… “off route” while on their way to the summit. At the time the trio descended in order to make a second summit push the next day, but Sadpara then felt unwell and this plan was abandoned.

For her part, Tamara Lunger has proven – regardless of the “non summit” – her true workhorse strength once again. Furthermore it’s worth noting that she was the only member of this 4-person team to not have attempted Nanga Parbat previously in winter.

Nanga Parbat in winter

We mentioned that many had almost stopped believing in today’s summit. And in effect, everything or almost everything took place during the last couple of days. At 5:30am on 22 February the four alpinists set off from Base Camp on the Diamir side of the mountain. Their aim, agreed on a long time ago, was to follow the Kinshofer route, first climbed in 1962 by Toni Kinshofer, Anderl Mannhardt and Siegfried Loew along the Diamir Face.

Nanga Parbat in winter

This is considered the “normal” route up Nanga Parbat, the second to be climbed after the legendary first solo ascent carried out by Hermann Buhl in 1953. Moro and Lunger had opted for this route only recently, initially they had planned to climb the Messner – Eisendle route but the serac above the starting traverse loomed too dangerously overhead.

Hence the consensual decision to join forces with Txikon and Sadpara on the Kinshofer line. In truth initially it seemed as if Daniele Nardi would form part of this team, but the Italian subsequently returned home as other components had done before him, belonging to other expeditions (this winter 6 expeditions had set their sights on this mountain).

Nanga Parbat in winter

As mentioned, the four had set off from Base Camp on 22 February. After 10 hours of “hard work” they reached Camp 2 at 6200m. Nothing could be taken for granted at this stage, there were still far too many doubts. Starting with their lack of acclimatisation.

Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara, Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger before setting off for the historic first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat

Due to the impeding weather (and avalanches), the maximum altitude Txikon and Sadpara had reached was 6700m, while Lunger and Moro had only climbed as high as 6100m. Furthermore, the pit stop at Camp 2 lasted all of 23 February due to… stormy conditions in true Nanga Parbat style.

Nanga Parbat in winter: the view from Camp 3 at 6700m towards the summit

Karl Gabl, the magic Austrian weather forecaster, had predicted the following: very favourable conditions were expected for Friday 26, but above all Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February. Which meant that should they succeed in gaining height on Thursday and reach Camp 4 at 7100m, and should they then make their summit push on Friday, they’d have another two days to descend in good weather.

Nanga Parbat in winter

In the meantime though they still had almost 2000m of climbing looming above them, coupled with the unknown route conditions and, above all, questions about how their bodies would react to the altitude. As Moro stated, the chances of scoring a winter ascent on an 8000m peak are always tiny.

Nanga Parbat in winter: Tamara Lunger

Fortunately on Wednesday 24 February the storm settled and the team set off once again. After a mere five hours they reached Camp 3 at 6700m. They were on form, could see the summit but… were separated from this by 1400 long meters. The route above was still eternal. Nevertheless, they continued to climb according to schedule. On Thursday 25 they reached Camp 4 at 7200m.

Nanga Parbat in winter

Now another 1000m vertical height gain remained to be climbed, the highest, the most unpredictable of all. Anything could still happen. All that could be done now was cross fingers and… hope.

Nanga Parbat in winter

The rest, as they say, is history. Written only a few hours ago. For the first time ever the summit of Nanga Parbat was reached in winter by Simone Moro, Alex Txikon and Ali Sadpara.

Nanga Parbat in winter: Tamara Lunger

Tamara Lunger stopped slightly short of the summit, somewhere along the ridge. Given the time of day, her decision to turn back was obligatory and absolutely the right one. Time had run out: only two or three hours separated the four from total darkness.

Nanga Parbat in winter: Simone Moro

And, at this point, the only summit they now had to reach was Camp 4, a thousand meters below them. They had made another good decision. Like a true team. Now we’ll wait for them to reach Base Camp. Another extremely important objective, the most beautiful one of all!

Nanga Parbat in winter: Tamara Lunger

by Vinicio Stefanello

UPDATE 27/02/2016 at 14:30
All have descended to Base Camp! Tamara Lunger, Simone Moro, Ali Sadpara and Alex Txikon have returned safely: the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat has been successfully completed. Congratulations!


vincent callebaut plans wooden orchids complex for china

presented as part of a larger masterplan, this project by vincent callebaut architectures has been designed to combat potentially damaging migration patterns in china. as more of the county’s vast population moves from rural areas to larger cities, urban resources have been stretched, resulting in incidences of overcrowding, pollution and substandard living.

roughly half the rooftop is covered with photovoltaic panels

positioned between mount lu (a UNESCO world heritage site) and poyang lake, the development seeks to promote a balanced lifestyle in provincial areas with a vibrant mix of both private and public uses that encourage eco-responsible living and working. within this framework, ‘wooden orchids’ offers local residents a vast retail complex that also includes a public library, a sports center, organic food courts and a farmers market.

vehicular movement is rationalized to improve and prioritize the pedestrian environment

from an environmental perspective, a number of technologies have been integrated within the design. vehicular movement is rationalized to improve and prioritize the pedestrian environment, while a ‘pro-active landscape’ provides open spaces and an informal network of pedestrian links. streets, plazas and parking areas contribute to capturing water through a series of ‘rain gardens’. surface water is then filtered through biofiltration means before being released into the wider drainage network.

a ‘pro-active landscape’ provides open spaces and an informal network of pedestrian links

a passive geothermal cooling and heating system is also employed, while a south-facing orientation strategy incorporates large photovoltaic canopies. at roof level, a large sky garden integrates children’s playgrounds, food gardens, and sports facilities. the project recently received an honorary mention as part of an international competitionbacked by the UIA.

streets, plazas and parking areas contribute to capturing water through a series of ‘rain gardens’

a passive geothermal cooling and heating system is employed




at roof level, a large sky garden integrates children’s playgrounds alongside food gardens

project info:

type: international competition, UIA
status: honorary mention winner in the professional category
location: mount lu estate of world architecture – molewa, ruichang, jiangxi province, china
plot size: plot 5 = 20,912 sqm
built up area: 30,000 sqm
program: eco-responsible shopping mall, public library, sports center, organic food courts, farmers market
project promoter: huayan cultural investment company, ltd., beijing, china
project manager: creativersal international, ltd., hong kong
technical adviser: chetwoods architects, london
jury: mr. ken yeang, ken yeang design international, malaysia/UK; mr. ashvinkumar s/o kantilal; ong&ong, former president of SIA, singapore; mr. silas chiow, SOM, US; mr. sean hinton, founder and CEO, terbish group, australia; UIA representative : ms. jennifer lee, OBRA architects, US.

vincent callebaut architectures envisions 3D printed oceanscraper

belgium-born and paris-based archibiotec vincent callebaut is in the research and development stages of a 3D printed oceanscraper called ‘AEQUOREA’. the futuristic underwater farm is situated at the the rio de janeiro shore and aims to find sustainable solutions to climate change by promoting sea life. the project proposes to recycle the ocean plastic pollution and to transform the floating garbage patches into building materials for the naval architecture and engineering.

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
aerial view of copacabana beach

‘aequorea’ provides a sustainable housing to climate change refugees by creating a new water civilization. the complex is energy self-sufficient, recycles all waste, and fights ocean acidification. the structures continue to self-build through eco-friendly, natural calcification in the same way sea shells do — by fixing the calcium carbonate contained in water to form an external skeleton.

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
aerial view of ipanema beach

each ‘aequorea’ village can welcome up to 20,000 aquanauts. their main access is on the water surface, through four marinas covered with a mangrove rooted on a floating dome 500 meters in diameter. modular living, co-working spaces, fab labs, recycling plants, science labs, educational hotels, sports fields, aquaponic farms and phyto-purification lagoons stack up layer by layer. the twisting of the towers is ultra-resistant to hydrostatic pressure. its geometry allows it to fight marine whirlpools and thus reduce motion sickness.

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
‘aequorea’ in the south atlantic gyre

there’s no more need for coal, oil, gas or nuclear energy to get light, as it will be produced by bioluminescence thanks to symbiotic organisms that contain luciferin which emits light through oxidation. in order to produce drinking water and fresh water for aquaculture, the OTEC power plant uses the in-depth pressure to counteract the osmotic pressure, and to separate the water from the salt via a semipermeable membrane. as for food, algae, plankton, and mollusks will be grown, rich in minerals, proteins and vitamins.

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
the cleaning ships reference the klein bottle

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
floating dome for organic farming

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboompublic boating access below the floating mangrove

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboomorchard and observation deck

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
floating food gardens and bio marina

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
the four eggs and the public amenities

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
mangrove and cleaning klein bottles top view

vincent callebaut architectures aequorea designboom
scientific basis and engineering surfaces

project info:

program: a multi-use oceanscraper printed in 3d from the seventh continent’s garbage
location: the 5 ocean gyres and rio de janeiro, brazil
housing surface area: 1.375.000 m²
dimensions: 500 meters width, 1000 meters depth, 250 floors (1/4 for permaculture and agroecology)
program: 10.000 housing (between 25 – 250m²), fab labs, offices, co-working spaces, workshops, scientific basis, sea farms, organic agriculture, community orchards and food gardens, phytopurification lagoons, coral gardens, etc.
building cost: 1950 euros/m²
status: research & development

German photographer Tom Fischer

All photos of German photographer Tom Fischer undergo digital retouching, so that in addition to the photo-art is no less present and pictorial component. Photographer and graphic artist Tom Fischer works in harsh advertising industry. Having looked through his work can be seen easily progress the quality of his creations. With the help of their manipulation, the German photographer takes photos of funny, ridiculous and even hilarious, you can see for yourself.

Advertising photographer in Slovakia – Hannes Kutzler and his new series of works

Advertising photographer from Slovakia Hannes Kutzle created a series of prints for the zoo in Bratislava area. Construction of the zoo began in 1959, and was officially opened May 9, 1960. Initially the zoo was located on an area of about 9 hectares, today the area is 96 hectares, which is inhabited by 174 species of animals in 1396 in 2006. Following an advertising campaign for the zoo will be presented (3 prints) and his actual portfolio.

Five Books You Should Read Before You Turn 30

Little differences over a long lifetime create big disparities. This is the nature of compounding. If you make decisions only a little better than your cohort that should translate into a big difference over a lifetime.


Someone who saves money for retirement is probably going to be in a better situation come 65 than someone who didn’t start saving until they were 45.

Here are five books that I think everyone should read before they turn 30. Reading and understanding these will give you an edge, however slight, that will increase the odds that things will work out to your satisfaction. When you’re a rich billionaire because of this, just remember me ok.

1. “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Psychologist Robert Cialdini introduces the universal principles of influence: reciprocation, scarcity, authority, commitment, liking, and consensus. Sure you can watch the short video but its not the same. Buy the book. Why do you need to learn these? To paraphrase Publius Syrus, ‘He can best avoid a snare who knows how to set one.’ After you read this book move on to “Poor Charlie’s Almanack.”

2. “Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin To Munger
The last time I mentioned this book Farnam Street readers flooded my inbox. I’ll try to address the two primary concerns that appeared. First, if you can’t find it new just purchase a used copy. Who cares? Second: Yes it’s an “expensive” book. Ignorance is more expensive. Just buy it.

3. “Letters from a Stoic
I came to Seneca a few years after I turned 30. It’s clear from reading Seneca that he’s full of wisdom. His letters deal with everything we deal with today: success, failure, wealth, poverty, grief. His philosophy is practical. Not only will reading this book help equip you for what comes in life but it’ll help you communicate with others.

4. “The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus
A Syrian slave, Syrus is a full of timeless wisdom. Want an example? “From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own.” Here is another “It is not every question that deserves an answer.” Ok, one more? “To do two things at once is to do neither.” And he didn’t even know of Facebook and Twitter. You can read this book in under an hour but spend the rest of your life trying to learn and apply his wisdom.

5. “The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Third Edition
I’d much rather recommend “Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders” (also freely available), however I recognize that most people would be intimidated by its size. In the Essays, Lawrence Cunningham thematically organizes Buffett’s own words. There is more than enough here to get a clear picture of the principles and logic of Buffett and Munger’s philosophy for business, life, and investing.

Curved wall house with forest views in the city (PHOTOS)


Japanese architecture firm Studio Velocity created this curved wall house with a bright white facade and lots of glazing that invites the indoors out. This live work house puts the work space on the main floor, offering easy access for comers and goers, and living rooms upstairs for privacy and the ultimate in views. Here’s the tour.


The trees surrounding this urban house plan truly create a sense of peaceful isolation in this densely populated urban core – not an easy feat!

Large windows and glass doors offer instant access into this green city garden, while flooding interiors with natural sunlight.


The home’s interiors have a certain charm without compromising its contemporary style. The lower level houses a work space, with private living areas upstairs. Wood floors add a warm, earthy quality. We love the chandelier suspended over the desk, and the old-school clock mounted to the wall, so you know the second it’s quitting time! The glass double doors swing open onto the garden and alfresco sitting area.


A cool spiral staircase winds its way up through the house, offering a means to access the upper level while also letting natural light spill down to the lower floor. Open risers allow light and views to spill through, unhindered.


The upper floor features high ceilings and tall windows to invite the green scenes in.


The glazed corner provides the perfect spot to sit and enjoy the view!


And for a closer look of the outdoors, step out onto the circular balcony overlooking the garden and the city.

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