February is a special month for Italy’s Daniel Nardi, who is currently on a mission to conquer the world’s ninth highest peak, Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas.
One of the leading mountaineers in the country, Daniel’s satellite communications equipment is sponsored by our service partner, Intermatica. Daniel spoke to us about the goals for this trip and about reaching the peak through one of the most dangerous passes, Mummery Ridge.
Tell us more about your expedition and how long will it be?
Our expedition started from December 27th, 2014. It is hard to determine how long the journey will take, especially in winter. It usually takes between two to three months or even less than 50 days, depending on the weather and how difficult is the way up is and on your personal training.
Could you share with us your goals for this expedition?
My ultimate goal is to reach the top of Nanga Parbat at 8,125m in winter. What makes it special is that no one has done it before. My personal goal is made up of two parts. First is to conquer Mummery Ridge, which was identified as one of the hardest peaks by Albert Frederick Mummery. Since 1953, it has yet to be conquered by any mountaineer, regardless of weather conditions. I would like to get to the peak of Nanga Prabat directly through Mummery Ridge. It will be a tough climb but if that is not achievable because of the elements, I would go through Kinshofer’s route instead. That is my second goal.
What are the 10 most important things that you need on your journey?
1. Good communication by radio and satellite that is managed by my team in Italy
2. Good food to replenish our energies at base camp
3. Strong tents to protect us from the wind
4. Efficient down suits to protect us from the cold and the wind
5. Ice axes and durable performance crampons for the very hard ice of the mountain wall – Nanga Prabat is nothing like on the Alps
6. High quality glasses and masks to protect our eyes from the cold, the wind and the ultra violet rays
7. Music is essential to motivate myself and to feel as if I have a close friend with me
8. Great climbing partners to spur each other on
9. Good trip planning and organization to support all our efforts during the expedition
10. Family, for they have to support us, without them nothing is possible.
What role does satellite communications play on this journey?
A satellite modem and phone are essential for good communication with base camp and with our team in Italy. The equipment helps us obtain weather forecasts so that we can plan the best routes for climbing safely, the weather changes rapidly during the day and we need to be ready for anything. It becomes crucial to communicate where we are at all times of the expedition to allow our team to monitor our progress and to enable our fans to follow our journey online. A direct benefit of keeping in touch with our fans is that thousands of kids have signed my High Human Rights Flag in respect of the international Youth for Human Rights campaign – this has further motivated my climb. The support that we’ve gathered is fantastic, I can feel this energy on my skin! Without Intermatica and Thuraya’s satellite technology, this challenge would not be possible.
What is your communications set-up like?
This year I have the best set up ever, both at base camp and in high altitude. I am using an antenna scan and the Thuraya IP satellite broadband terminal as well as two computers that are used for communication and editing of our videos. I also have two Thuraya satellite handsets to communicate from the high altitude camp and during situations where it will be hard to set up the terminal and computers. The Thuraya IP has been working well and is perfect for communications by Skype with our family and our fans. It is great! I would like to thank Thuraya and Intermatica for the safe and reliable equipment they have provided me on this journey.