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Asia, Pakistan, Nanga Parbat, Southwest Ridge (Kinshofer or Schell Route)

Nanga Parbat, Southwest Ridge (Kinshofer or Schell Route). We set up the following camps: Base Camp, and Camps I, II, III, IV and V at 4500, 5000, 6180, 6800, 7200 and 7300 meters on July 28, 29, August 5, 7, 9 and 11. Camp IV was just below the Bazhin Gap and Camp V was in it. On August 12, Koji Matsui, Ryoichi Okabayashi and Hitoshi Yamaguchi tried for the summit. Yamaguchi had mountain sickness and suffered frostbite. In the terrible weather they couldn’t find the route and gave up. On August 15, Taisaku Tamura and I suffered from mountain sickness and we turned back. A third attempt by Matsui and Okabayashi on August 17 failed. On August 19 Matsui and Okabayashi set out at 5:30 A.M. and reached the summit at 7:42 P.M. They bivouacked for four hours on the descent and were back in Camp V at eight A.M. They returned to Base Camp on the 22nd. The summit day was the only good day we had on the mountain. It rained or snowed in Base Camp every day except for that. The snow above 7000 meters was always deep, averaging 70 cms. Of our seven members, six had trained in a low-pressure laboratory, but three suffered from mountain sickness. Four were frostbitten. The two summit climbers had second or third-degree frostbite. We set up fixed ropes on the lower part of the ice slope between Camps I and II. We used the Spanish fixed rope on the upper part. Above that we dug up and used fixed ropes that past expeditions had left. But every time we climbed, we had to free the fixed ropes from newly fallen snow. Osami Nakazima and Hitoshi Ohtani were also members of the expedition.

Tadakiyo Sakahara, Kawasaki City Teachers’ Expedition, Japan