Annapurna, South Face. Our international party was composed of Poles Mrs. Jolanta Patynoska, Mrs. Wanda Rutkiewicz. RyszardPawlowski, Bogdan Stefko, Mariusz Sprutta and me as leader, German Rüdiger Schleypen, Belgian Miss Ingrid Baeyens, Briton John Keska and Portuguese Gonçalo Velez. We hoped to climb the 1970 British route. We set up Base Camp at 4150 meters on September 11 and Advance Base at 4850 meters at the foot of the face. We cooperated with another Polish expedition led by Mieczyslav Jarosz. Camps I, II and III were established at 6100, 6800 and 7350 meters on September 20 and October 4 and 11. We fixed 2500 meters of rope on the exceedingly difficult route with numerous technical obstacles. To prepare and fix 700 vertical meters between Camps I and II, with ice gullies of 55° to 60°, took two weeks. The first summit attempt was thwarted by strong winds. Stefko and I reached the summit on October 21 at 11:30 A.M. In the top area, we found tracks made some hours earlier by the Belgian Gabi Denamur, a member of the other Polish party. He reached the summit by the British route and decided to descend the normal route. Unfortunately, he was never seen again. On October 22, Pawlowski, Rudiger and Wanda Rutkiewicz got to the top, climbing separately. On the 23rd, Miss Baeyens, Sprutta and Velez were the third summit team. Base Camp was evacuated on October 26. Ours was the fourth expedition to climb the route. Velez was the first Portuguese to climb an 8000er. This was Ingrid’s third 8000er and for both Wanda and me the eighth.
Krzysztof Wielicki, Klub Wysokogórski, Katowice, Poland