American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Tibet, Shisha Pangma Ascent and Tragedy

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

Shisha Pangma Ascent and Tragedy. Our Austro-German party was composed of Germans Günther Semmler, Werner Braun, Frau Ottilie Dörrich, Dieter Porsche, Werner Meichsner, Karl Heinz and Helmut Thiele, Johann Obermaier, Dr. Karl-Wilhelm Dehn, Wilhelm Kummer, Max Stückl, Theo Zunterer, Thomas Krempl and Klaus-Dieter Scheid, and Austrians Theo Fritsche, Herwig Schnutt, Dr. Kurt Hecher and Johann Poell. We established Base Camp and Camps I, II, III and IV at 5100, 5900, 6400, 6900 and 7400 meters on May 5, 9, 10, 12 and 19. On May 20, we continued to follow the Chinese route up the north ridge with a traverse to the left at 7900 meters. There was much snow and avalanche danger on the traverse. The main summit was reached by Fritsche, Schnutt, Dörrich, Porsche, Hecher and me (my fourth 8000er and Porsche’s and Hecher’s second). Frau Dörrich at 54 years was the oldest woman to have reached the summit of an 8000er. Two days later, a second summit party composed of Semmler, Braun, Meichsner and Karl Heinz Thiele left Camp IV, intending to reach the central summit in view of the dangerous conditions on the traverse. They established radio contact with me at eleven A.M. and reported that they were at 7800 meters on the north ridge. After that there were no more radio contacts and the four climbers disappeared, presumably engulfed by an avalanche. The three Sherpas tried unsuccessfully to reach Camp IV to search, but deep snow and avalanche risk turned them back.

Günther Härter, Deutscher Alpenverein

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.