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Asia, India—Garhwal, Trisul Ascent and Tragedy

Trisul Ascent and Tragedy. The members of our expedition were Tilo Dittrich, Roland Wankerl, Michael Hawlitschek, Dirck Naumann, my wife Martina and me. With 28 porters, two high-altitude porters, a liaison officer, we took five days from the roadhead at Gath to Base Camp at 4400 meters below the west face of Trisul. Porters were excellent, friendly and easy to find in Gath. From July 21 to 23, we organized Base Camp. After a build-up, we all occupied Camp I at 5200 meters on the 26th. On July 29, Naumann, Wankerl, Dittrich and Hawlitschek occupied Camp II at 6000 meters. Bad weather ensued and the first two descended. On August 1 Dittrich and Hawlitschek pressed another 600 meters higher in terrible weather. After a second night in the 6200-meter bivouac, they climbed in improving weather to the Trisul Saddle at 6700 meters. Hawlitschek was not well during the night there. On August 4, they got to the summit (7120 meters, 23,360 feet) despite the poor condition of Hawlitschek. On the 5th, they wanted to descend to Camp I. At 6600 meters Hawlitschek blacked out and fell to his death some 2000 meters down the north face. Dittrich descended to Base Camp. Attempts to find Hawlitschek’s body were all in vain.

Lutz Henke, Deutscher Alpenverein