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Asia, Pakistan, Nanga Parbat, New Route, Solo

Nanga Parbat, New Route, Solo. Only three months after his ascent of Mount Everest, Reinhold Messner stood on the top of his fifth 8000- meter summit. This time he had made a new route on Nanga Parbat, solo from beginning to end. With a liaison officer and doctor and eight porters, he approached the mountain in ten days over the Babusar Pass. Base Camp was placed at 13,800 feet at the head of the Diamir valley on July 20. As acclimatization and reconnaissance he climbed 20,000-foot Ganalo Peak. It appeared to him that the Mummery rib of the Diamir face was threatened by rockfall. He decided on a route further to the right toward Mazeno Pass. On August 6 he climbed with a 30-pound pack to bivouac at the foot of the wall at 15,750 feet. The next day he climbed to 21,000 feet over terrain much of which was difficult. An earthquake in the night shook off enormous avalanches and persuaded him not to descend the ascent route. On the 8th he climbed to bivouac at 24,275 feet. To that point the difficulties had been principally on ice. On August 9, after deep powder, he had to cope with difficult rock. He got to the summit (26,660 feet) at four P.M. and spent an hour photographing before descending to the height of the previous bivouac. Storm prevented movement on the 10th but on the 11th he descended all the way to Base Camp. The first part of the descent route followed Hannes Schell’s route but then he continued straight down to the left of the Mummery rib. He attributed a frozen thumb to dehydration caused when he was short of fuel and could not melt enough water during the storm.