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Asia, Pakistan, Nanga Parbat, Ski Descent

Nanga Parbat, Ski Descent. On July 1, South Tirolean Hans Kammerlander and Swiss Diego Wellig reached the summit of Nanga Parbat and from about 100 vertical feet below the summit began a ski descent which they continued to Base Camp except where it was necessary to rappel or rock climb. After their arrival in Pakistan, they experienced bureaucratic delays, difficulties in bus travel to where the trek to Base Camp began and porter problems. They did arrive on June 17 at their 4400-meter Base Camp below the Diamir Face with their film team, South Tirolean Wolfgang Thomaseth and Swiss Stefan Jorsen. The original plan had been to attempt the Mummery Rib and to ski down the very right side of the Diamir Face. However, after watching avalanches sweep both routes, they settled on the normal 1962 German route on the left side of that face. On June 21, they climbed nearly 2000 vertical meters to camp. The numerous other expedi tions were using nearly all the available camp sites, but they managed to occupy a tiny spot off the route before being driven back by storm a day later. On July 29, Wellig, Kammerlander and Thomaseth were back in Camp I. Jorsen was sick. On the 30th, they continued up with light packs to bivouac at 7000 meters. Having taken only a tent and mattresses, they spent a miserably cold night. On July 1, the three set out for the summit, but Thomaseth had to quit, fearing frozen feet. Wellig and Kammerlander climbed up on skis to the foot of the summit pyramid below the north summit. They ascended a couloir somewhat to the right of the 1953 Buhl route. Despite a lack of acclimatization, they crossed over the north summit and reached the main summit at two P.M. [It is not quite clear if Wellig got to the main summit or only to the slightly lower north summit.—Editor.] They descended to the north summit before putting on their skis. Since the couloir was very steep and there were rock bands across it, the skiing was of extreme difficulty. They were impressed as snow loosened by their skis slid down thousands of feet. They skied across the plateau, abandoned their tent, met Thomaseth at 6800 meters and descended to Camp I. They were back in Base Camp the next day, having skied as much of the descent as possible. (We are grateful to Diego Wellig for this information.)