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Asia, Nepal, Gangapurna, Glacier Dome and Tent Peak

Gangapurna, Glacier Dome and Tent Peak. The members of our expedition were Günther Hauser, leader, Ludwig Greissl, Hermann Wünsche, Hermann Köllensperger, Otto Seibold, Erich Reismüller, K. H. Ehlers and myself. We set up Base Camp at 12,000 feet, very low for the Himalaya. Five camps were needed for Gangapurna (24,443 feet) : I at 13,700 feet, II at 16,000 feet, III at 18,700 feet, IV at 20,350 feet and V at 22,300 feet. All eight climbers and three Sherpas, Sirdar Ang Temba, Phu Dorje II and Pemba Norbu, reached the top on May 6 and 8. The chief difficulty was a 1300-foot, 55° snow and ice face between Camps IV and V, which took a week to prepare. Camp I was knocked down several times from the wind preceding avalanches and Camp IV was overwhelmed by an avalanche from whose debris two climbers were rescued unhurt after they had been buried for an hour. Glacier Dome (23,410 feet) was climbed from the same Base Camp. This peak, which had been climbed by the Japanese in 1964 (A.A.J., 1965, 14:2, p. 465.), was ascended with four camps: I at 14,600 feet, II at 17,000 feet, III at 18,700 feet and IV at 20,650 feet. On May 29 Greissl, Wünsche, Sei- bold, Reismüller and I with the Sherpa Kippa stood on the plateau-like summit. This peak is at the start of the long, but technically not too difficult east ridge of Annapurna I (the first 8000er to be climbed, which was ascended by the French in 1950 from the north side). The chief difficulties were between 18,350 and 19,350 feet in a steep and dangerous icefall. Because we lacked technical aids, such as ice screws, used up on Gangapurna, the original route of the Japanese could be followed only in part. Hauser and Köllensperger made the first ascent of Tent Peak (18,209 feet) along with a Sherpa, so that it might be used as a survey point. The expedition was unlucky from the start. Equipment and high- altitude clothing (shoes, down parkas, etc.) were in short supply, since a quarter of the gear remained stuck in the Indian customs. Snow line was very low, about 10,000 feet, so that the barefoot coolies could not reach Base Camp. The supplies had to be relayed by eight sahibs, eight Sherpas and five special porters. Actually this rather increases our pleasure over our success. That all could reach the summit was the result of the very best teamwork. The expedition was back in Munich by the end of June.

Klaus Ekkerlein, Deutscher Alpenverein