Some background and History
local name of Broad peak is Faichan Kangri. The
height of main peak is 8047 meters/26,401ft. It
is called Broad Peak because of its breadth at
the top. It has also been called enormous
triple-headed Breithorn (4165 meters high
three-headed peak of European alps) of the
Baltoro. In 1954, Dr. Karl M. Herligkoffer of
West Germany tried to climb it. His original
objective, however, was to climb Gasherbrum
76° 34' 25'' E. Latitude:
35° 48' 35'' N.
is stated to have failed in persuading porters to
carry loads beyond Concordia above the Baltoro
glacier. Accordingly, the party carried the luggage
and made an attempt, from the south-western side,
through the lower Broad glacier. It however, did not
meet with success because of a storm and a very low
1957, an Austrian expedition came to Pakistan to climb
this peak. It was led by Marcus Schmuck. Other
important members of the party were Fritz
Wintersteller, Kurt Diemberger, climber and
photographer and a legendary mountaineer, and Hermann
Buhl, who is considered one of the best known postwar
Austrian climbers and the first climber to Summit Nanga Parbat.
The group began a reconnaissance of a
ridge on the western face of the mountain.
Consequently they climbed a snow gully and
camped at 5791 meters. While climbing, they made the
best use of ropes which were fixed by the 1954 German
expedition. On the May 29th, all members of the
expedition left Camp 3 for an assault on the summit. A
storm forced them to return to the base camp. It was,
however, on June 9th, 1957 that Marcus Schmuck, Fritz
Wintersteller, Kurt Diemberger and Hermann Buhl
climbed the peak without using oxygen and high
was after this climb that Schmuck and
Wintersteller climbed an un-named peak (7360 meters).
In ten hours they crossed ten miles of the
Godwin-Austen and Savoia glaciers and climbed up
a snow slope on skis to camp at about 6096 meters.
On June 19th, they ascended in twelve hours the
meters on the south west face of the summit, first on
hard snow and then in deep powder. They were back at
base camp just 52 hours after their departure. What an
extraordinary feat of self-discipline, endurance and
sheer determination. The un-named peak so climbed is
probably the Skill Brum peak of Jerziwala Polish maps.
other two climbers, Diemberger and Buhl, headed
towards Chogolisa peak where Buhl met his death by
falling from the mountain.
name of other peak in the Broad range is Broad Peak
middle/central Some maps show its height at 8016
meters while the others show it 8000 meters. It is
stated to have been climbed in 1975. Anyhow, it was in
1976 that a French expedition led by Yan nick Seigneur
made an attempt on this peak in alpine style, along
with main Broad peak. This party of four followed the
Austrian first ascent route and made four attempts but
could go only up to 7925 meters. The expedition had to
come back because of bad weather.
six member Spanish mountaineering expedition climbed
Broad (central) peak in 1987. The leader of the party
was Josef Estruch.
third peak in the Broad range is Broad peak North.
Again some maps show its height as 7538 meters while
the others show it 7550 meters. An Italian expedition,
which was led by Renato Casarotto, attempted to climb
it in 1982 but was unsuccessful. The party shows its
height as 7600 meters. Casarotto, however, succeeded
in climbing it in 1983.
"Broad Peak" was bestowed by W.M.
The literal translation into Balti, Phalchan
Kangri has no acceptance among the Baltis.
sheer bulk of the mountain, so aptly named by
Conway, is what seems to have impressed most travelers. It dominates the left bank of the
Godwin-Austen glacier for most of the latter's
length. Its three summits are linked by a long,
tortuous crest, steep and heavily corniced.
FIRST ASCENT Austrian expedition, four members,
leader M. Schmuck, left Skardu April 18. Their
porters left rather hurriedly and the climbers
were obliged to ferry the loads for the last few
kilometers to Base Camp, positioned on the true
left side of the Godwin-Austen glacier a little
beyond Pt. 6230 at 4910 m. The line of ascent was
to be directly up the avalanche free West Ridge
leading to the snow Plateau, thence up a hanging
glacier to the small col and along the crest to
the actual summit. They set off May 13; three
camps were placed along the West Ridge, the third
on May 28 at 6950 m after they had been back in
Base Camp for a few days rest. Early next morning,
May 29, the four climbers (H. Buhl, K. Diemberger,
Schmuck and F. Wintersteller) left for the summit;
they reached the col at 3 p.m. and continued on
along the ridge until they thought they had at
last reached the top. But it was not so for there
was another summit, only some 15 m. to 20 meters
than theirs, rising beyond a shallow dip and about
one hour away; it was too late to go any further
so they turned back. After a few more days rest in
Base Camp the team set off again, June 7; they
reached camp II (6350 m) in one day and were able
to leave Camp IV very early on June 9. Schmuck and
Wintersteller were the first pair to reach the
summit (all without oxygen); Buhl, troubled by
fierce pains in his right foot (he had lost two
toes as a result of frostbite on Nanga Parbat),
finally gave up when still below the subsidiary
summit; Diemberger continued alone and reached the
top at about 6 p.m. just as the first pair were
leaving. On his return Diemberger met Buhl who,
refusing to be beaten, had struggled up to the
subsidiary summit. Without stopping, Buhl went on,
plodding slowly for the goal. Diemberger paused,
turned round and followed after Buhl. They reached
the summit together. It was half past midnight
when they got back to Camp III. (Diemberger
followed by Buhl, June 27, after turning back when
within striking distance of the summit of
Chogolisa (7654 m), were groping their way back
along the precipitous and heavily corniced S.E.
Ridge when suddenly one of the cornices broke off
and Buhl plunged to his death).
Japanese expedition, eight members, leader T.
Arioka had intended to climb K12 but
unexpectedly the Pakistan Government gave them a
permit for the more difficult Broad Peak shortly
before they were due to leave Japan. They did not
have time to plan an assault on this peak but
decided to attempt its North summit instead. Base
Camp was established at Concordia June 30, and
Camp I on the Godwin-Austen glacier at 4875 m.
were unable to find a way up the West Ridge so
turned their attention to the north. They are
reported as having tried to reach the summit along
the N.E. Ridge from Sella La (6159 m) but found it
too long and had to turn back after reaching 6300
m. Reports mention the attempt as being on
"The 8000m North Peak". It is the
Central Summit which is 8000 m and it seems that
it must have been this summit that Arioka was
aiming for and not the North Summit (7538 m): this
would make an approach from the Sella La more
SUMMIT - FIRST ASCENT
expedition, 14 members, leader J. Ferenski, landed
at Skardu June 13 and reached Concordia June 29
with the intention of climbing Central Summit.
Base Camp was placed on the middle moraine of the
Godwin-Austen glacier at 4950 m. The line of
ascent was much the same as for the 1957 Austrian
climb and again three camps were set up, the last
at 7200 m, July 13. A summit team of six - R.
Bebak, K. Glazek, M. Kesicki, J. Kulis, B.
Nowaczyk and A. Sikorski - left Camp III early the
of July 28, and reached the small col after 12 ½
hours climbing; Bebak was obliged to turn back
just short of the col. The other five reached the
summit at 7.30 p.m. - 16 ½ hours from Camp III.
The height quoted by the Poles is 8016 m. On the
way back to the col, in a raging snow storm,
Nowaczyk disappeared down the east side of the
ridge. The others were obliged to bivouac on the
col and next morning the search for Nowaczyk
continued but to no avail. A second bivouac lower
down became necessary but just before this Kesicki,
Kulis and Sikorski slipped and fell; Kesicki and
Sikorski were both killed. The two survivors
reached Base Camp, with the help of their
collegues, August 1.
A small French expedition of four (B.Mellet, J-C.Mosca
and Y.Seigneur with Dr. D.Mennesson in support)
set off with the intention of climbing the Central
and Main summits in alpine-style, without the help
of porters beyond Base Camp. The line followed was
that of the Austrian 1957 ascent. They were dogged
by exceptionally bad weather and despite four
attempts - the last one to beyond the small col on
the way to the Main summit - they were forced to
give up in the face of terrific winds and intense
cold. High point reached was about 7850 m, June
Second Ascent: A Japanese expedition of 13 members, leader
arrived on the Godwin-Austen glacier with the
intention of climbing the mountain by the Austrian
1957 route. Base Camp was established at about
4900 m on July 7. Four further camps were set up
along the route, the last at 7500 m, August 2.
From there three climbers - K. Noro, T. Ozaki and
Y. Tsuji - reached the summit on August 8.
Third Ascent: A
French expedition of four members left Skardu on
May 15 and established Base Camp on the
Godwin-Austen glacier at 4800 m, May 27. Two days
later G. Bettembourg, Y. Seigneur and cameraman G.
Sourice set off to climb Broad Peak by the
Austrian 1957 route and bivouacked at 6100 m but
the weather turned foul and they had to withdraw
to Base. On June 2 they set off once more for
their bivouac site and the day after they
continued up to 7500 m where they bivouacked
again. On June 4 Bettembourg and Seigneur reached
the summit and came down again to their high
bivouac. The following day they went down to Base
Broad Peak Expeditions and News see here.