Nanga Parbat, Diamir Face. For the past three years, my husband Haruyuki Endo and I have been engaged in special training to climb high mountains which combines normal advanced sportsman’s training and low-pressure, low-oxygen training in a depressurized chamber. This chamber was installed at a sports club in Nagoya under the direction of Dr. Hara, chairman of the High Mountain Research Center. Thanks to this special training our bodies are quick to react and it is easy for us to acclimatize to a low-oxygen atmosphere. We proved this in a two-day ascent of Aconcagua last year. After fixing 600 meters of rope in the Kinshofer Couloir between Camps I and II at 5500 and 6200 meters in only two days, we descended to rest at Base Camp at 4200 meters and on June 23 departed for an all-out attack on the peak. After three bivouacs, we reached Camp IV at 7300 meters and headed for the summit the next day. This attempt failed in a storm at 7500 meters. Our second attempt seven days later failed at Camp II in bad weather. Two days later came our third attempt. Climbing up to Camp IV in two days, we headed for the Bazhin Gap to climb the normal route. Unfortunately none of the couloirs on the left side of the peak was in good condition, with rocks exposed due to the unusually small snowfall this year. We returned to Camp IV, where we were joined by Swiss Vincent Banderet. The next day, July 13, we all set out together, but Banderet climbed ahead of us. We later found out that he had quit 80 meters from the summit. We clung to the steep snow face to traverse to the front face of the summit trapezoid. By noon thick clouds covered us. However, my husband and I stood on the summit at three P.M. Although it took us three attempts to reach the summit, we feel that it would have been possible for us, with our training, to have made the top on the first try.
Yuka Endo, High Mountain Research Center, Nagoya, Japan