AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Pakistan, Nanga Parbat, Rupal Face

Nanga Parbat, Rupal Face. Our team consisted of four climbers, Ger Friele, Gerard van Sprang, Bas Gresnigt and me as leader, an assistant-climber, Frank Moll, our medical team of Marjan and Gee van Enst and our only porter, Mohammed Din, whose one task was to keep Camp I supplied. Above Camp I we climbed without porters or artificial oxygen and above Camp III at 7000 meters (22,950 feet) we climbed alpine-style. On June 25 we traveled by jeep above the Astor River to Rampur and then walked for a day and a half to Base Camp at 12,000 feet at Tap Alp. On June 28 Gresnigt and Mohammed Din carried to the site of Camp I at 16,750 feet. By July 4 we had made a dump at 19,850 feet but the weather continued bad until July 10 when Gresnigt, Moll and I established Camp II at 20,000 feet near the foot of the ridge. We had climbed a 4000-foot face which became increasingly steeper and in the last part was mixed climbing like the north face of the Matterhorn. On July 12 Gresnigt and I climbed the easy, beautiful ridge to 22,300 feet, where we found a completely stocked German camp. Friele and van Sprang on July 14 established Camp III at 23,125 feet on a windy col, where they again found material of earlier expeditions. Gresnigt, Moll and I climbed on the 17th to the top of the Rupal face at 24,600 feet. We descended to Base Camp to prepare for the summit assault. Despite bad weather, we left Base Camp on July 23 but had to wait an extra day in each of Camps I, II and III. On the 29th the weather was so bad that our tents were destroyed and we had to descend to Camp I. Moll fell ill and went down to Base Camp. I also became sick but antibiotics were successful and I took ten of them, the last on August 5, the summit day. On August 3 we climbed from Camp III to the col on the Mazeno ridge where we bivouacked at 24,600 feet after finding much German tood from the 1981 Herrligkoffer expedition. On August 4 we traversed the Diamir face, twice taking the wrong way. Gresnigt and Friele felt the altitude badly; Gresnigt decided to go lower, but Friele kept on. Badly delayed, we bivouacked at 24,775 feet. The next morning Friele was too altitude-sick to continue. Van Strang and I started up a snow face and then a ridge until, a couple of hours later at 25,600 feet, van Strang decided to return because he was tired and also worried about Friele. He watched me for two hours until I disappeared at 26,325 feet. The last part to the summit was very difficult. The snow was 65° and the rock was sometimes difficult, technically the hardest part of the climb. At 26,325 feet I reached a snow ramp which I traversed to the easier summit ridge. I was on top (8125 meters, 26,660 feet) at one P.M. on August 5. The descent was an ordeal for all, but by August 7 we were in Base Camp. I think that Friele would have died without the help of Gresnigt and van Strang. Friele had very badly frozen fingers and lost two-thirds of all of them.

Ronald Naar, Koninklijke Nederlandse Alpen Vereniging