American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Asia, Pakistan, Nanaga Parbat, Ski Attempt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1992

Nanga Parbat, Ski Attempt. In 1990, under the sponsorship of the Deutsches Institut für Auslandsforschung, Josef and Marianne Walter reached the Diamir Col on skis but were unable to continue because of snow conditions. (AAJ, 1991, pp. 276-7.) The idea intrigued Peter Wörgotter, and so he and Austrian companions Christian Bogensperger, Fritz Hörhager, Herbert Rainer, Max Schneider and Dr. Joachim Zeitz arrived at Base Camp at 4000 meters below the Diamir Glacier, accompanied by 54 low-altitude porters. On June 24, Wörgötter, Bogensperger and Rainer climbed to 5000 meters on the Diamir Glacier, to where the 1961 and 1962 German expeditions had placed their Camp I. They traversed the glacier below the Sigi Löw Ice Couloir and on to 5600 meters where they placed their Camp I. After a long rest, the three climbed a steep gully after sundown and continued up a steep slope on the glacier where they set up a tent for Camp II at 5950 meters. Finally, the next day they found a way through the 150-meter-high step. After ascending a 30-meter-high ice cliff, they made a supply dump at 6170 meters. They skied back to Base Camp in only two hours. On July 4, after some bad weather, the same three climbed to Camp II and the next day to the supply depot. Clouds forced them back to Camp II, where they found Hörhager and Schneider. They all descended. On July 9, they returned to Camp II and the day after established Camp III at 6350 meters. On July 11, they ascended an 800-meter-high avalanche track since the snow beside it was knee- deep. They set up Camp IV at 7000 meters below a rock rib. Rainer climbed another 400 meters solo and left supplies to the north of the north summit. Bogensperger spent an uneasy night. Because of his condition, on the 12th they decided to descend. The snow in the avalanche track was full of humps and ridges; the snow beside it was heavy and covered with breakable crust. Eventually they reached Camp II. On June 13, they evacuated Camp II and descended to Base Camp. Depite bad weather, they had managed to open a new route which led nearly to the Bazhin Basin and the summit pyramid.

Karl Maria Herrligkoffer, Deutsches Institut für Auslandsforschung*

*Dr. Herrligkoffer died on September 11, 1991. In his long career, he had led more than 20 mountain expeditions, particularly to Nanga Parbat. Well remembered are the first ascent by Hermann Buhl and the climb by Reinhold and Günther Messner, which ended with such dissension. He was also the author of many excellent mountain books.

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