American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistan, Nanga Parbat Attempts

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

Nanga Parbat Attempts. Although many of the dozen expeditions that went to Nanga Parbat this year were successful, there were those which did not reach the summit. These include Swiss led by Stefan Wörner and Japanese led by Takashi Ozaki, both on the Diamir Face, Spaniards led by Alberto García Astudillo on the Rupal Face and Japanese led by K. Dobashi on the northeast ridge.

Ghul Lasht Zom South and Tirich North. Our expedition consisted of Ger Friele, Edmond Öfner, Egbert Veen, our liaison officer Shahid Mahmood and me. On July 10 we jeeped to Zungrangram. With 33 porters we walked in three hours to Shagrom, where we had to change porters. (Next year the jeep road will reach Shagrom.) We stayed 1½ days negotiating with new porters. Finally we agreed to pay 450 rupees for the 1½-day walk to Base Camp, which we reached at 4750 meters on July 14. On July 17 we bivouacked at 5100 meters at the foot of the Aspe-e-Safed east face. The day after, we climbed the central couloir in six hours to the ridge at 6350 meters and descended to Base Camp. On July 21 we reconnoitered Tirich Mir IV’s northwest face and slept at the foot of the face. We decided first to climb the northeast face of Ghul Lasht Zom South. On July 22 we descended from our bivouac to climb the face. By the end of the afternoon we had reached a crevasse at 6000 meters where we bivouacked. On the lower part of the face we had some interesting ice climbing up to 65°; the middle section was less steep but the snow was in terrible condition; higher it became better. At ten A.M. the next day we reached the summit (6450 meters, 21,162 feet) and descended the north ridge. Ours was probably a new route. On July 27 we bivouacked below the northwest face of Tirich North. The next day we climbed the lower 1000 meters of the nearly 2000-meter face. The first part went right from the big sérac; the bare ice was terribly hard and there was some rockfall. We climbed the first rock band up a kind of icicle to get to less difficult mixed terrain. The second and bigger rock band was climbed by a leftward- tending, steep, 80-meter ice couloir. We then climbed straight up between two séracs and finally turned right to reach a crevasse above the second sérac; there we bivouacked. The next morning we followed a kind of pillar with mixed rock and ice climbing. We then started up the big snowfield in the upper part of the face. After noon, while we rested on a rock band some 250 meters beneath the ridge, we were caught by a very severe earthquake. (Afterwards we were told it measured 7 on the Richter scale with the epicenter 40 kilometers from Base Camp. In Chitral 11 people were killed.) We were shaken as if we were on the jeep road and thought we would be shaken off the face. Fortunately the place where we sat was safe. All around on the other mountains we saw rockfall and avalanches. We bivouacked 100 meters below the top on the ridge. On July 30 we reached the summit (6732 meters, 22,086 feet) at eight A.M. We descended the route of the first ascent, the north ridge, and had our last bivouac at 5100 meters. Between August 6 and 15 we twice tried to climb a direct route up Tirich West IV. Strong winds, daily snowfall and avalanches drove us back. The highest point in the middle of the northwest face was 6100 meters.

Gerard C. Van Sprang, Koninklijke Nederlandse Alpen Vereniging

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