American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Nanga Parbat, Rupal Face Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1978

Nanga Parbat, Rupal Face Attempt. After organizational and political difficulties, we started from Poland on July 31. The team consisted of Dr. Jan Koisar, Zygmund Krzechki, Wojciech Dzik, Jerzy Kukuczka, Jósef Kubik, Jan Loson, Janusz Majer, Marian Piekutowski, Marek Pronobis, Danuta Wach, Zbigniew Wach and me as leader, from Poland, Albert Precht and Werner Sucher from Austria and liaison officer Shoaib Hammed. Base Camp was placed on September 1 in the Rupal valley at 11,725 feet. We placed four high camps at 16,500, 19,500, 22,600 and 24,600 feet. The steep rocky section between Camps I and II entailed fixing 3000 feet of rope. Camp V was established at 25,200 feet during the final push by the leading team: Kukuczka, Piekutowski and Pronobis. They reached the col above the south face via the Willi Merkl Couloir (c. 26,000 feet) at noon on October 14 but could not traverse further or climb the very steep cliff of the summit (26,660 feet) above. That night two of them suffered heavy frostbite at Camp V with –40° temperatures. No further attempt was possible. The descent and evacuation of camps was done in heavy storm. We did not use oxygen. No porters carried above Base Camp. The only day on which a summit attempt could have been made was October 14 because of weather and snow conditions. I think that Hanns Schell’s 1976 route, which we chose, is the safest, especially on the lower part.

Adam Zyzak, Klub Wysokorgórski, Katowice, Poland

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