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Asia, Nepal, Annapurna I

Annapurna I. Our expedition was composed of Gustav Harder, leader, Dr. Werner Müller-Esterl, Wolfgang Brög, Erika Heimrath, Klaus Harder, Thomas Hummler, Konrad Staltmayr and me. We left Pokhara on March 24 with 185 porters. After the difficult crossing into the upper Miristi Khola we set up Base Camp on April 6 on Annapurna’s northern moraines at 14,275 feet. We chose the Dutch Spur, where there was difficult ice climbing. Camps I, II, III, IV, V and VI were established at 16,750, 19,200, 20,675, 22,150, 23,625 and 24,925 feet on April 9, 10, 14, 21, 28 and 29 respectively. Five Sherpas helped us. Avalanches threatened, thundering down on both sides of the spur and several times reaching Camp II. We had intestinal and respiratory problems. Erika Heimrath had to be evacuated by helicopter on May 6 with pneumonia. On May 1 Harder, Sherpa Ang Dorje and Staltmayr got to the top (8091 meters, 26,545 feet) in ten hours. They had carried skis to 26,100 feet, but it was too late for a ski descent. On May 3 Brög, Sherpas Maila Pemba and Ang Sanghi and I climbed to the top, but again it was too late for a ski descent. On the 4th and 5th Brög and I again tried to descend on skis but in vain. On May 11 we left Base Camp. We descended the whole Miristi Khola Gorge, which we recommend against.

Karl Schrag, Deutscher Alpenverein