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Asia, Pakistan, Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat. Our expedition consisted of Dr. Christian Brückler, Franz Prasicek, Walter Lösch, Ewald Lidl, Monika Göttinger and me as leader, and later of Eduard Koblmüller and Fred Pressl. We hoped to climb the southwest ridge of Nanga Parbat, the Kinshofer or Schell route, principally without porters and without supplementary oxygen. When we arrived at Base Camp on June 29, we found the Japanese Fukuoka expedition already there and on the same route. There was much snow this year and we struck it first at 12,500 feet. Using five porters on only one day, we carried to Camp I at 16,750 feet from June 30 to July 3. Camp II was established at 20,000 feet on July 9. On July 12 a giant avalanche swept down from 1250 feet above Camp I, carrying away four of the six tents. Two of our team freed themselves and dug out one surviving Japanese. Tragically Iida, Takamori and Yamada died. Our injured members, Dr. Brückler and Lidl, were flown to Rawalpindi by helicopter and thence to Austria. We lost much equipment in the avalanche. After establishing Camp III at 22,650 feet on July 20, we returned to Base Camp because of bad weather and lack of acclimatization. Eight days of good weather began on July 28. Above Camp III in all, one snow bivouac was made at 24,275 feet and two at 25,600 feet. Lösch and Prasicek got to 25,925 feet during this time but had to turn back because of wind-slab danger. Koblmüller and Pressl joined us, well acclimatized after their Batura I climb, getting to Camp I on July 10. They were in Camp II on the night of the avalanche. They continued alpine-style. On July 16 Koblmüller got to the summit solo. Pressl turned back at 25,925 feet because of frostbite suffered on Batura.

Walter Göttinger, Österreichischer Alpenverein