American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Nanga Parbat, Diamir Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1986

Nanga Parbat, Diamir Face. Having left Rawalpindi on May 22, my wife Laurence de la Ferrière and I drove up the gorges of the Indus on the Karakoram Highway. We shared permission for Nanga Parbat with the Polish women led by Wanda Rutkiewicz. We started walking at Bunar Bridge and placed Base Camp at 4200 meters four days later on May 28. At Base Camp we found Stefan Wömer’s Swiss and Mitsuo Uematsu’s Japanese expeditions. They too were on the 1962 German route, which is the safest on the Diamir Face. We placed Camps I, II and III at 5000, 6200 and 6900 meters on May 31, June 2 and 7. A few days later Austrians with Peter Habeler and Michael Dacher arrived. The camp seemed like an international climbing meet. The following three weeks saw several attempts but they were frustrated by bad weather, snow, wind and clouds. The Swiss gave up. Good weather returned at the end of June. We quickly got to Camp III but were held up there for three days. On July 4 we set up Camp IV despite much new snow. Our summit attempt on July 5 was stopped by deep snow. On July 6 and 7 violent winds pinned us to Camp IV. On July 8 we two reached the summit at 12:30 P.M. with the Japanese, Hiroshi Hanada and Mamaru Kikuchi. This was my wife’s second 8000er, as she had climbed Yalung Kang in 1984. She has climbed higher without supplementary oxygen than any other woman. She was the second woman to reach the summit of Nanga Parbat. We climb as a couple, which is our concept of what mountaineering and life should be, a human adventure in which the performance is not the only motivation.

Bernard Muller, Groupe de Haute Montagne

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