I had the great pleasure of hosting the British Mountain Guide Sandy Allan at a lecture on Anglesey last night.
Sandy lectured on the first ever ascent of Nanga Parbat via the Mazeno Ridge, an exped he led last year.
I had kept a close eye on the exped which took place whilst the Olympics were on in London last year.
The Mazeno is the longest arete on any 8000m summit. A staggering 13km long from the Mazeno Pass at 5377m to the Schell Route then another 2km to the summit.
A particularly unassuming Scot, Sandy made light humour of the five days they endured without food, and three without water on the route.
There were multiple lessons to be drawn from Sandy’s 18 days spent on the traverse. What struck me most was the absolute enormity of the climb, which, coupled with an almost complete lack of media interest or courting, strikes me as unique nowadays. A genuinely very-near-death experience.
Sandy recovered and went back to work as a guide.
A privilege to meet Sandy and hear first-hand how he unlocked one of the few remaining very serious tests in world mountaineering.
A great night.