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Asia, China, Shisha Pangma, Second Ascent

Shisha Pangma. The Naturfreunde Expedition consisted of Hans Mautner, leader, Dr. Paul Alf, Thaddäus Dowbenka, Roman Findl, Egon Obojes, Karl Ölmüller, Kurt Pokos and Ewald Putz. Base Camp was established on September 18 at 16,850 feet. Camps I, II, III and IV were placed at 18,050, 19,000, 20,675 and 23,075 feet on September 20, 23, 24 and October 1 respectively. Our climbers followed the Chinese first-ascent route to Camp IV. On the summit slopes they went farther east and then climbed straight to the northeast ridge, which they followed to the top. On October 13 all but Pokos and Ölmüller set out from Camp IV. Putz and Obojes went ahead of the others, reaching the summit (8012 meters, 26,288 feet) at five P.M. As they descended, they found Dr. Alf alone, 500 feet below the top. They tried to persuade him to turn back, but he insisted on going on to the foresummit. At dusk, still 2000 feet above camp, they looked back and saw him descending. Minutes later they heard him shout that he had slipped and fallen. In the night they could not find him. At dawn the next day Findl found him unconscious in the snow without gloves. He had crept further in the night and fallen again. He had broken both ankles and several ribs. His fingers were frozen. It took four days to carry him down to Base Camp, whence he was taken by jeep to Lhasa for a flight to the hospital in Austria.

Fritz Moravec, Naturfreunde, Austria