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Asia, Nepal, Fang

Fang. The Fang (7647 meters, 25,090 feet) is a sharp rock-and-ice tooth crowning three jagged ridges and sérac-covered faces, southwest of Annapurna I. Its south face rises steeply some 16,000 feet. The highest still unclimbed summit in Nepal, it had resisted stubborn attacks by two Austrian and one Italian expeditions on the east and west ridges. Our expedition was composed of Dr. Bernd Bahner, Dr. Jochen Hoyer, Hermann Neumair, Oswald Gassler, Sepp Sint, Albert Fellinger and me as leader. We planned to attempt an 8000-foot south face to reach the west ridge. We left Pokhara on April 6 and reached Base Camp on the Ghaleti Khola on April 12. We fixed 10,000 feet of rope in the next ten days, enabling the five Sherpas to jümar with loads. The face was steeper and more difficult than the Matterhorn north face. Camp I was placed on the face at 14,750 feet on April 16 and Camp II on the west ridge at 18,700 feet on April 22. The climbing on the sharp ice ridge and steep flanks to Camp III took the highest concentration of effort. The weather was bad for weeks at a time. Lightning was particularly threatening on the exposed ridge. Tents had to be protected with lightning rods. Not until May 6 was Camp III occupied at 21,150 feet above the chief climbing difficulties and 13,000 feet of fixed rope. Three feet of new snow then drove us back to Base Camp. Despite doubtful weather, we set out for the summit push on May 13. Camp IV was placed at 23,125 feet on May 16. On May 17 Neumair, Sherpa Ang Chhopal and I climbed to the summit in l0½ hours. We were back at Base Camp three days later.

Sepp Mayerl, Alpenraute, Lienz, Austria