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Asia, Pakistan, Broad Peak Attempt

Broad Peak Attempt. Paul Hoekstra, Paul Lahaye, Nympha Stassen, François Verhoeven and I as leader set up Base Camp at 4910 meters. On July 20 and 21, Hoekstra and Verhoeven set up Camps I and II at 5800 and 6600 meters. The weather changed and they descended. Meanwhile, Wanda Rutkiewicz and an international group asked permission to use our route and camps. We agreed. At the same time that our climbers arrived back at Base Camp, the message of an accident to them reached us. One of the group, German Kurt Lyncke-Krüger, had fallen to his death. After a very emotional funeral ceremony, all but Stassen (our only woman member) started again. I could not stand the altitude and Lahaye was shaken by the accident and so we two descended from Camp I. Verhoeven and Hoekstra got to Camp III so early two days later that they set out for the summit attempt without waiting. The snow conditions were bad and so they got only to 7700 meters, where they bivouacked. On August 2, they reached 7980 meters, where Verhoeven fell unhurt into a crevasse. They bivouacked again. During the night Verhoeven glided in his sleeping bag 40 meters downhill into rocks. Luckily he was not injured, but he wet his inner boots. They gave up the attempt and took two days to descend. Verhoeven had badly frostbitten feet and was helicoptered out.

Jos Smeets, Koninklijke Nederlandse Alpen Vereniging