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Asia, Pakistan, K2 Attempt and Broad Peak

K2 Attempt and Broad Peak. Our expedition arrived at Base Camp on June 2. From June 13 until July 20 we spent most of the five weeks in uninterrupted bad weather. We could not climb higher than Camp II at 22,650 feet on the Abruzzi spur. Continuous wind even chewed through our fixed rope. When Wanda Rutkiewicz-Scharfetter and her Polish women’s expedition arrived, they finally brought some good weather with them. Walter Lösch, Georg Bachler and Werner Sucher for a time joined the German expedition led by Peter Gloggner and on July 23 with them reached the summit of Broad Peak. At that same time our Pakistani liaison officer Major Fayyaz Hussain and I prepared the route from Camp II to the site of Camp III on K2, at the top of the Black Pyramid at 25,000 feet. On July 27 all five of us were ready for our final attempt. I climbed for the fifth time to Camp II. On the 29th we were again held up by storm at Camps I and II, but we were all at Camp II on July 30. That afternoon the Poles Halina Krüger-Syrokomska and Anna Okopinska arrived at Camp II. We helped them prepare their tent site. At five P.M. Anna summoned us. Halina had suddenly fallen deathly ill. Oxygen, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, nothing availed. In a few minutes she died, apparently from a cerebral hemorrhage. We evacuated her body on July 31 with great difficulty. After a memorial service for her, we had neither the physical nor moral strength for a further attempt.

Alois Furtner, Österreichischer Alpenverein