December Solstice 2015: What are you doing?
Victron people using Victron Energy products do extraordinary things, be that traversing deserts, rowing or sailing oceans – and on this solstice day that remains the case, but this time it is the start of climbing a mountain. This is no ordinary mountain.
Today, December 22 at 04:48 UT (that’s Universal Time not Coordinated Universal Time) is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere you may well be on a beach celebrating the beginning of summer, but today in our half of the world it is the beginning of the astronomical winter – and for Victron installer Marek Klonowski (pictured above) that means the start of his fourth attempt at climbing Nanga Parbat.
Nanga Parbat, along with K2, has never been climbed in winter. It is one of the eight-thousanders, with a summit elevation of 8,126 metres (26,660 ft). Literally it means Naked Mountain, an immense, dramatic peak rising far above its surrounding terrain. It is also a notoriously difficult climb with numerous mountaineering deaths in the mid and early 20th century, which lent it the nickname “killer mountain”.
Back in September I received an email from Leo Yntema who is the Victron Energy Sales Manager for Eastern Europe. In that email was a forwarded email requesting ‘climb sponsorship’ from Victron installer Marek Klonowski of Energy Freedom in Ireland and Mikrogeneracja in Poland.
We’ve featured Marek’s installations in a previous Victron blog, but this time the installation was to be on Nanga Parbet, to ensure an electricity supply to charge radios, satellite phones, send video and other media to the world via a satellite modem.
Here’s a short 4 minute video, from the winter of 2012/13, to give you a flavour of the challenge.
As you can see this climb is extraordinary, so naturally Victron Energy are delighted to help with the sponsorship to assist the current climb and team, who besides Marek consist of:
The team have over 10,000 followers on Facebook, where you can keep an eye on the climb’s progress. Use the translation tool in the page if you don’t speak Polish:
The blog, in English, is here: http://nangadream.blogspot.ie/
Below you can see a list of the Victron Energy equipment being used. The first image is one taken during the team’s two week acclimatisation on Rakaposhi mountain.
Victron equipment list with quantities and item codes:
- 2 x PIN012181100 Phoenix Inverter 12/180 IEC outlet – 230 V
- 1 x BPC120730064R Blue Power IP65 Charger 12/7 + DC connector
- 1 x BPC900400004 Clamp connector (with 30A ATO fuse)
- 1 x CIP132100000 MIDI-fuse 100A/32V (package of 5pcs)
- 1 x CIP000050001 Fuse holder for MIDI-fuse
- 1 x ASS030530000 VE.Direct to USB interface
- 1 x BAM010700000 Battery Monitor BMV-700
- 1 x BAT512600500 Victron LiFePO4 Battery 12,8V/60Ah – CB
- 4 x SCC010010050R BlueSolar MPPT 75/10 (12/24V-10A)
- 1 x SCC010015050R BlueSolar MPPT 75/15 (12/24V-15A)
- 1 x ASS030550100 Inverting remote on-off cable
- 1 x ASS030536000 VE.Direct Bluetooth LE dongle
- 1 x CYR010230010 Cyrix-ct 12/24V-230A intelligent battery combiner
- 1 x BPC120480034R Automotive IP65 Charger 12V/4A-12V/1A with DC conn
- 4 x SPM030301200 30W-12V Mono 430×545×25mm series 3a
- 6 x SPM030501200 50W-12V Mono 630×545×25mm series 3a
The second and third images below were sent in an email to us via satellite phone and modem on the 10th December, showing the inside of the base camp hut.
As Marek said to me in that email, “the satellite modem costs four dollars a megabyte and even if the photo quality is not great because of that, we wanted to show you some of the Victron toys at base camp, gracing this magical part of the universe as we ready for the winter climb.”
Well I don’t know what you are doing on this solstice celebration day, but this attempt to be the first to summit Nanga Parbat in winter has to rank as one of the most exciting.
We wish Marek and the rest of the team all the very best, and in a future blog we’ll let you know how they got on. In the meantime why not support them by giving them a ‘Like’:
Or post your words of encouragement in the Disqus comments below.
Keep calm and climb Nanga dream team!