Nanga Parbat 2000 Expeditions/Mystery/Herman
There are at least 6 Expeditions to Nanga
Parbat (8125 meters) this Summer/Autumn.
Belgium Expedition 2000
Italian Messner Expedition 2000
Korean Millennium Expedition 2000
Hong Ki Kun
Slovak Focus International Expedition 2000
Nanga Parbat Expedition 2000
Nanga Parbat Expedition 2000
Nanga Parbat 2000:
Messner is there ! So is
Loretan ! Why are these two climbers who have completed the 14 8000 meter
peaks back ?
would like to know...
Reinhold Messner's team is made up of his
younger brother Hubert (46), Peter
Eisendle (43), Wolfgang Thomaseth (52),
and himself (now 56 years old). The "official
word" is they are going to
attempt an unclimbed route up Nanga Parbat. The
planned unclimbed route includes an
Alpine-style trek from the North Summit
(25,824 feet) to the Main Summit. Reinhold
Messner has completed not one but two Summits
of Nanga Parbat in the past.
Nanga Parbat, is forever linked
with the history of German climbing. 30 years
ago, on June 29th 1970 Reinhold was climbing
Nanga Parbat along with his brother Guenther.
Guenther died on the mountain that
year... In 1978 Reinhold Messner established a new route to
the Summit alone.
As of last week, the
mountain was winning, as they have been turned
back on attempts at the Summit. Some call
Nanga Parbat, "Messner's personal fate
mountain". As his expedition attempted
this very difficult unknown flank of Nanga
Parbat, the "Rupalwand," with 4500
meter faces it's one of the highest walls on
the earth. They explore and wait for
a proper weather window to open, in order to
be able to dare the "Erstbesteigung": without
oxygen, without high altitude Sherpas or porters, without
fixed ropes and without satellite
Others would call this
crazy: Messner calls this climbing !!!!
Why the Mystery? Some
are speculating that Messner might be there
to search for the of the
Guenther his brother.
Guenther died when buried in an
avalanche. He was very exhausted and with symptoms of altitude
sickness, after 3 days of climbing hard.
Others feel Messner is only there to open a
On Loretan, the third
man in obtaining the 14 8000 meter Summits, his
plans are ambitious and defined. The
Swiss mountain climber attempts Nanga Parbat
by the passage of the Mazenos, most of which
is over 7000 meters. Others have attempted
this, i.e. Doug Scott, the last expedition
called it impossible!
After 31 people had
died on Nanga Parbat, the summit was reached by a single man: Hermann Buhl.
Here's the incredible story of this fantastic
1953, Nanga Parbat, was again subject to the
German's interest. Earlier, 31 people had lost
their lives on this mountain, including the
inter-war years German Himalaya elite, and it
was the scene of some of the worst tragedies
in alpine climbing's history. Once it was
thought that Nanga Parbat ("The naked
mountain") was the easiest 8,000 meter
mountain to climb. That was a fatal mistake.
As destiny would have it, even the world's
highest mountain would be ascended before this
ice-covered and avalanche-dangerous colossus.
The initiator for the 1953 German - Austrian
Himalaya expedition was Dr. Karl
Herrligkoffer, stepbrother to the late (1934)
Willy Merkl, and the whole operation was meant
to be a "memorial" expedition for
the last-mentioned. Herrligkoffer's way of organization
and preparation didn't win the
trust of the big alpine organizations, and he
had difficulties engaging famous climbers;
Heckmair and Rebitsch said no. Eventually he
found a couple of climbers with Himalaya
experience in the Himalayas: Aschenbrenner (a
veteran from 1934) and Frauenberger. Last but
not least he managed to engage the famous duo
from the Alps: Buhl and Rainer. Herrligkoffer
managed to arrange the expedition at the last
minute and they were finally underway.
Everything went smoothly and a base camp was
established during the end of May. Camp I - IV
were established and stores and equipment were
Heavy snowfall and uncertain weather made all
attacks towards the higher regions impossible.
On June 30th, Herrligkoffer ordered everyone
to Base Camp. At that time, they hadn't gotten
higher up than the 1932 expedition.
the weather suddenly changed on July 1. Buhl,
Kampter, Frauenbergar and the camera man Ertl
were still in the higher camps. They had
refused the retreat-order and after discussing
it via radio, they managed to get their will
through. (There had been conflicts the entire
time between Herrligkoffer and Aschenbrenner,
who was supposed to lead the climb). On July
2, Buhl and Kempter established Camp V at the
Col on the ridge up to the Silver Saddle at
6,900 meters. Ertl and Fruenberger returned to
Camp IV. The weather conditions seemed to have
stabilized. Buhl's plan was, if possible, to
reach the Silver Saddle at 7,450 meters and
the big plateau above. From there he could
either ascend the preliminary summit or the
Northern Summit and the expedition's honor would be saved. Buhl's famous solo-climbs in
the Alps had proven his daring and strength,
and now he was ready to invest it all.
1.00 a.m. July 3, Buhl left Camp V heading
upwards, Kempter had difficulties leaving his
sleeping bag and followed one hour later. The
snow conditions were good and the night was
clear with the moon lighting up the mountain.
At 5.00 a.m. the
sun rose above the horizon and Buhl reached
the Silver Saddle.
|| The three km long plateau
taxed Buhl's strength. The heat was almost
overwhelming and the air stood completely still.
At the end of the plateau, Buhl had some tea
and left his pack behind. Now he could move
more easily. Now Kempter as well had reached
the plateau but Buhl was moving too fast, and
was way ahead. Kempter realized he would never
catch up, and so he turned back and reached
Camp V safely.
reached the Col below the summit (7800
meters) at 2.00 p.m. Buhl had the technically
most difficult section of the whole climb
ahead of him and the last 300 meters didn't
look promising. After an inner struggle he
decided to continue. He took a dose of Pertvin
(a stimulant) and started climbing the rocks.
His apprehensions came true; the climb was
partly very difficult and took a long time.
First at 6 p.m. Buhl reached the shoulder and
one hour later he stood on the summit. It was
dead calm and perfectly clear, the chapter
Nanga Parbat was finished for the lonely man
on the top.
below, Kempter had reported that Buhl
continued alone toward the summit, and from
each camp they looked up towards the Silver
Saddle hoping to see Buhl on his way back in
the evening. But nothing was to be seen,
Frauenberger had returned to Camp V during the
day and spent the night there together with
Kempter. They could however not sleep,
thinking about Buhl's destiny.
Buhl still was at the summit, the sun went
down. He drank his last tea and planted his
Pakistani and Tyroli flags attached to it and
took a few pictures. Night was falling fast as
he started to descend. Above 8,000 meters at a
tiny ledge below the shoulder he was forced to
emergency bivouac - without any sleeping bag
or warm clothes, he had left his pack on the
plateau! Standing on a piece of rock between
9.00 p.m and 4 a.m. Hermann Buhl spent the
night up in Nanga Parbat's
"death-zone". The wind was calm and
the night clear, and in spite of his thin
clothing Buhl's body managed the cold, but he
was loosing all the feeling in his feet. At
dawn he continued the descent and going up
from the Col was extremely strenuous.
took a new dose of Pertvin, and eventually
reached the plateau and found his
pack. He was in no condition to eat or drink
anything. Pursued by hallucinations he
struggled on downwards across the plateau in
the burning sun. His thirst became
overwhelming, some more Pertvin mobilized his
last resources of strength and at 5.30 p.m.
Buhl reached the Silver Saddle.
Kempter on July 4 descended to Camp IV, Ertl
reaches Camp V and along with Frauenberger
erected the memorial plaque over Willy Merkl
at the place where 1938 year's expedition had
found him, all the time looking up towards the
Silver Saddle. They planned to continue the
next day to try to find out what had become of
Buhl. Frauenberger returned to the plaque to
attach it better when he suddenly saw a small
dot on the SilverSaddle that is moving
downwards! Buhl! His happiness at being
reunited with his friends is indescribable.
was very lucky on Nanga Parbat, escaping with
just a few frostbitten toes. This story
reflects Buhl's style of climbing; totally
focused and by taking enormous risks he often
succeeded where others failed. If anyone at
this time could manage such a climb, it was
years later on Broad Peak, he and his
companions proved that, without any help from
high altitude porters, a small team could
climb an 8,000 meter peak. But it was Buhl's
last summit. Some days later, attempting
Chogolisa, he fell through a cornice to his
The Hermann Buhl
story and pictures are courtesy of Per