American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Nanga Parbat, Japanese Tragedies

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1984

Nanga Parbat, Japanese Tragedies. Two Japanese expeditions unsuccessfully attempted Nanga Parbat and both lost members. An 11-man expedition to the Rupal Face led by Osamu Kunii established Base Camp, Camps I, II and III at 11,800, 16,750, 19,675 and 21,650 on the southwest ridge on April 23, May 6, 16 and 27 respectively. On June 4 they completed fixing rope to the proposed site of Camp IV at 24,275 feet and retired for a rest at Base Camp. On June 17 eight climbers were hoping to establish Camp IV. They were at 22,950 feet just short of the plateau when the snow gave way under the leader’s feet and the whole slope avalanched. Three were seriously injured but stopped some 1500 feet lower. However Kazuo Shimura fell some 6000 feet to his death and was buried under the avalanche debris. A 16-man party led by Isao Shinkai arrived nearly a month after the first group to attempt the same route and all worked together. In fact, two of those caught in the first avalanche were from this second group. They continued after Kunii’s group gave up. On July 12 Yuichiro Takamori, Satoshi Iida and Nobuyoshi Yamada lost their lives when an avalanche overwhelmed Camp I.

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