American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Tibet, Everest Attempt and Tragedy

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

Everest Attempt and Tragedy. Our expedition was composed of Austrians Wastl Wörgötter, Dr. Andreas Paul, Ingeborg Aufschnaiter, Harald Benzl, Johann Pree, Josef Inhöger, Martin Hornegger, Johann-Georg Bachmair, and me as leader, Germans Dr. Karl Wimmer, Reinhilde Natterer, Georg Wis- chmann, Peter Kowalzig, Otto Huber and Rüdiger Lang, Swiss Georges Piemontesi, Italian Teresa Zanol and Czechoslovak Dr. Margita Šterbová. We hoped to climb Everest by the North Col without supplementary oxygen or high-altitude porters. We approached overland from Kathmandu. On April 7, Base Camp was set up at 5100 meters below the Rongbuk Glacier. Advance Base was established by mid-April on the East Rongbuk at 6400 meters. Strong winds destroyed numerous tents on the North Col and camps on the north ridge. On May 15, Hornegger, Kowalzik and Inhöger set out from Camp III at 8400 meters with a temperature of -35° C. At 8570 meters they decided to turn back because of the excessive cold, luckily in time to avoid frostbite. Other groups were no more successful because of wind and cold. Rüdiger Lang, who in January had climbed a variant on the Vinson Massif in Antarctica, wanted to ascend a new route in the north face of the highest point of the north ridge. On May 1, he set out. He bivouacked at 7300 and 7700 meters. From May 3 to 7, the face was whipped by snow squalls and cloud. On May 8, he was found in an emergency bivouac at 7850 meters, where he had doubtless perished on the night of the 3rd. Saddened by the loss of a comrade, our group withdrew into Nepal on May 19.

Marcus Schmuck, österreichischer Alpenverein

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