American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Nanga Parbat, Diamir Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979

Nanga Parbat, Diamir Face. Our expedition left Peshawar on July 7 but didn’t reach Base Camp until July 24. Destroyed bridges, porter strikes and terrible heat made the way difficult. On the Diamir Face we used the Löw-Kinshofer-Manhart route of 1962 up to 23,625 feet. We had no high-altitude porters. Camp I was established on July 28 at 16,400 feet. It was easy to get up the Diamir Glacier to here; the ice-fall was relatively easy. The Löw Ice Couloir on the other hand was extremely difficult with 65° ice and vertical rock pitches. It is also objectively dangerous; Karl Pfeifer was seriously hurt on his left leg by rockfall on August 13 and could not continue to climb. Between Camps I and II we fixed 6500 feet of rope. On August 6 Camp II was placed on a projecting platform at 19,700 feet about 150 feet above the steep cliff. The route through the Kinshofer Icefield was not so steep, not over 50°. Objective dangers were less. We fixed 1300 feet of rope. Camp III was placed at 22,300 feet on August 11. Some sections were as much as 55° and there was some avalanche danger. Deep powder snow made this hard work. The first summit attempt made by Alfred Imitzer and Alois Indrich took place on August 20 and failed at 26,250 feet in bad weather. On August 23 Wilhelm Bauer, Reinhard Streif and I left Camp IV at six A.M. In the bottom part we followed the tracks of the others up a very steep ice gully (50°). Streif got to the summit at 4:30 and Bauer and I at 5:30. We were back at Camp IV by nine P.M. On August 28 Imitzer and Indrich repeated the ascent. We evacuated Base Camp on September 2 and were in Rawalpindi on the 6th.

Rudolf Wurzer, Naturfreunde, Linz, Austria

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