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 German Amical Alpin Nanga Parbat 2001 Expedition

German Amical Alpin expedition Mr. Ralf Dujmovits [Summits of Everest, K2, etc...] from Germany

Update 7/5/2001: Summiteers on Nanga Parbat

Ralf Dujmovits
Hajo Netzer
Klaus-Dieter Grohs
Steffen Mayr
Dr. Magnus Funfack
Takeuchi Hirotaka
Dieter Kramer
Theresia Koch
Eva Zarzuelo
Illgvars Pauls
Qudrat Ali
Veikka Gustafsson

Before this expedition there was 186 Summits on Nanga Parbat with 61 deaths. 

Update 7/3/2001: Nanga Parbat Basecamp (4250m), Tuesday, 03.07.2001

AMICAL Alpin Nanga Parbat expedition successfully and accident free !

(This is a rough translation)

The ascent had many highs and lows. I would like to describe to you our Summit climb:

After 11 days of bad weather Charly Gabl, director/conductor of the weather service place Innsbruck a weather opening. We were in almost daily contact over the satellite telephone and thereby reliably a part of our success is given to the excellent weather reports from Innsbruck. One week beforehand he announced the best summit weather forecast to us for last Friday. Because of the quantity of snow that had fallen and this snow had to set itself sufficiently, in order to expose us to no avalanche danger, we had to wait. Besides strong winds had shipped each quantity of snow - and the wind is as well known the building master of the avalanches.

Thus it meant despite sunshine at the beginning of this week we were still in base camp waiting. On Monday afternoon Rosa and Theresia started up for Camp 1. A person coming down pointed out clearly that the weather was not yet stable. The following night the remainder of the crew rose after - directly starting from BC the 1750 meter steep climb to camp 2. The new-fallen snow the last day made it difficult. The fixed rope were deep in the snow and we have to dig and laboriously pull them from the snow or ice.

Up to Camp 2

We fought a completely frozen Kinshofer wall up the mountain, it looked as, in the deepest of winter. When we arrived a large shock came for us. Who would had expected, our camp II tents had disappeared. Where ten days ago there were seven tents, now there was only white. 

We dug and worked for four hours. Because of the wet new-fallen snow high over a meter, the linkages had penetrated and broken and partially also because of the tent walls had broken water linked in. Many liters of melt water in sleeping bags.   Rosa's dry sleeping bag was rescued. Most linkages were repaired and we repaired holes in the tents and sometime around 18:00 o'clock I had some warm tea.

The plan was good. The next day was hard climbing up to the depot at 6500 meters. But in the afternoon everyone had made it back to Camp 2 in time to drink and rest.

By the way in the meantime Veikka Gustafsson - (we climbed together in 94 on K2 - had followed us. His partner, the American Ed Viesturs, was convinced the new-fallen snow quantities was not going to be mastered and besides wanted for family reasons to return home. So I welcomed Veikka, and was glad to have Veikka, an old friend, and a strong climber in our crew.

Salvaging the tents in Camp 2

Well recovered on Thursday, (that was 6/28), we were climbing up. Hirotaka, our Japanese member, climbed alone with unbelievable strength the entire slope and kept in track. We soon set up our tents at Camp 3at 6750 meters. We melted snow for water and cooked meals. 

At the Depot On the way to Camp 3
To Camp 3 we go !
Camp 3

On Friday, 6/29, our climbing group formed. Hirotaka, started at 4:30am, and Qudrat Emrodin and I followed in track in the direction of Camp 4. We climbed in defiance of the deep snow. We alternated the lead keeping in track well. Some old fixed rope, which we pulled from the meter to deep snow, helped to traverse us up the giant slope. Meter after meters we preceded up the slope and other climbers had caught up. We arrived at the top of the legendary Bazin hollow.

In the ascent to Camp 4 Ralf after Camp 4
Another 1 and 1/2 hours later we were at a nice spot which have less steep places than the slopes of the Bazin hollow at 7100 m. Glad we did not have to carry the heavy backpacks further, we set up Camp 4. There was still 1000 meters for the tomorrow's summit day, but the snow was harden in some places very well and we were full of optimism for the day ahead. 
Camp 4

At 00:00 o'clock the alarm whistled, we made breakfast and set out at 1:30 o'clock. We kept in track together crosswise by the Bazin hollow, everyone always 10 - 30 meters together. We advanced well up the mountain and traversed the summit trapezoid. Charly Gabl should sleep quite well. The best day had been Friday, but Saturday was also well and that was it. A beautiful sunrise showed the shadow of the entire size of our mountain.

Traversing the  summit trapezoid
Nanga Parbat at 4 o'clock
Sunrise with shadows of Nanga Parbat
In the right section of the Summit trapezoid of Nanga Parbat

Orientation within the summit trapezoid was not simple, but somehow - with the assistance of the photo of a Spanish climbing friend - we found the correct way toward the main summit. Approx. 45 - 50° steep slope we climbed for a long time upward. What luck that the storms of two days ago had carried the snow out of this area. If we would have found the same quantities of deep snow here as we met in the lower section, we would have had no chance.

In the summit ice gutter Ralf - still 150m to     Summit Nanga Parbat
Klaus Dieter

The whole team was impressed by the ability of Hiro to pick the right line. His readiness to perform and kept in track to the top of the summit gutter almost completely alone. The summit was first achieved at 9:00 o'clock. We remained around three hours at the summit and enjoyed a  light wind a fantastic panorama of the entire Karakorum. It was impressive for me. Above 6-7000 m of low views toward Indus and Astor valley were great.

Hirotaka Takeuchi

And the most impressive was the fast arrival of Theresia ! Even at 50 years old !!! (sorry, one should not say actually!). She had fought upward with much enthusiasm, motivation and outstanding preparation as a first German woman to Summit Nanga Parbat. Congratulations to us all. Next came Eva Zarzuelo, we were so overjoyed as she became the first Spanish woman to Summit Nanga Parbat.

On Top: Hochtrδger Qudrat Ali, Ralf, Veikka Gustafsson, Steffen Mayr, Klaus-Dieter Grohs
Theresia Koch- first German woman on the Summit of Nanga Parbat

Briefly after 12:00 o'clock I said good-bye to the summit, to the target of a dream of mine of many years. I met about 150 meters below the summit on our two climbers and Veikka, which had waited, since Werner could not continue because of acute altitude problems. I descended together with Werner, but Magnus continued to fight up to the summit.

Theresia Koch and Eva Zarzuelo first German and first Spaniard woman to Summit Nanga Parbat

Sometime in the late afternoon again we were all in Camp 4 together united after an arduous descent. Hajo had accompanied and photographed them.  The last down from the summit with beautiful light late in the afternoon. In Camp we were situated ourselves everybody back healthy. We were convinced that for the weather would hold again for tomorrow.

Ralf, Eva Zarzuelo und Hajo Netzer on the Summit of Nanga Parbat

The night brought almost a small disaster: The mountain leader Abele Blanc from the Aosta valley, acting parallel at the mountain to us, had turned back from an attempt on the Messner-Route because of technical problems and then attempted our route. In an "express" ascend in our tracks and using our fixed ropes they were on the Summit in the afternoon after us. During the descent they had got lost and Christian and Abele came to us in Camp 4. Stefan Andre was lost somewhere. Somewhere, no one knew where, Stefan " had been lost ". In any case he turned up the next morning - not without a large embarrassment to all - Stefan, in the descent, had bivouacked and so the story had a happy ending. 

The next day, Sunday 7/1, we descended 3000 meters. With pouring rain we ran in the night at 23:00 o'clock in base camp. A part of the crew and the high carriers [porters] still remained in camp II, in order to carry  the next morning with much trouble the remaining tents downward. 

This (expedition) was a big new undertaking. Many voices were raised - as in '94 on K2 - saying that Nanga Parbat was too big technically difficult for an professionally led organized expedition. As with every expedition we naturally needed a good portion of luck. When 14 persons are ascending tens of thousands of meters in altitude you cannot afford any mistakes - and to accomplish this you need some luck. But in spite of this I think on this expedition we had gathered so much experience in the guides and on the basis of this experience could choose expedition-members that were fit and  capable of undertaking such a serious expedition. This was not a "relying-on-luck" expedition in this respect. 

My fellow guide Najo Netzer, who is also my friend, brought language-skills and innovation and thereby brought quality to the leadership of this expedition. This surely made big contribution to the possibilities and chances of success of a guided expedition. He was always the critical voice and in this way contributed in making my decisions clearer and more transparent to the expedition-members. Also this resulted in a stronger focus on security. I wish to thank Hajo for this, and also the members for putting their trust in us. I am convinced that with the necessary degree of experience, motivation, humor, leadership and sacrifice, but also patience makes it possible with expeditions of this size and ambition. The challenge for this type of expedition is on the lower 8000'ers, 7- and 6000 meter high mountains.

We are still going to be another week on the road before we are on the plane back to London. It has been a good time with exchange of ideas, interesting conversation, many jokes and good mountaineering. I hope you all have enjoyed our information and hope to soon tell more stories from some other place. 

I would also like to thank my long-time personal sponsors SCHΦFFEL, GORETEX footwear, CICLO, IBM Schweiz and Sparkasse Bόhl. Without the financial help from these companies I would NOT have been able to plan and go through with projects of this size in addition to many other activities. 

Ralf Dujmovits

For full dispatches in German see here!

Update 7/1/2001: On Saturday, June 30th between 9:00 and 12:00 o'clock, the AMICAL Alpin Nanga Parbat team reached the summit of 8125 meters high Nanga Parbat. Among them the first Spanish and German woman. After the climbers are back in base camp we expect a report of "the exciting moments of the summit". For today best greetings, the AMICAL Alpin team

NEWSFLASH 6/30/2001 10:40AM US Time: "We just received a Sat phone call from Nanga Parbat Base Camp that the two Nanga Parbat expeditions, German led by Ralf Dujmovits and Italian led by Christian Kuntner reached the summit. All are celebrating at the base camp and so are we here in Islamabad for this successful ascend. Ralf took 12 members out of 13 along with his 2 high altitude ports. The details will be sent soon.... 

Italian Focus Nanga Parbat Expedition let by Christian Kuntner also reached the summit. They were total 6 members and we don't know how many made the summit, but will let you know as soon as we the latest news. I will send more details as soon as I get them." Cheers, Essar Karim

NEWSFLASH 6/30/2001: At the moment the expedition group and Ralf are not available because they are in the high altitude camps. With little snow expected, they hope to be on the Summit of Nanga Parbat Friday or Saturday. Essar Karim

Update 6/30/2001: EverestNews.com believes climbers were high on the mountain on Friday... Stay Tuned...

Dispatch 6/25/2001: The weather at Nanga Parbat is better now. Today the group and Ralf will arrive at Camp II.

Best regards Nicola AMICAL Alpin

Dispatch 6/24/2001: Continuous precipitation had left progress stopped at Camp 1. The bad weather returned and caused us to retreat at the end of last week to base camp. On Tuesday of last week Charly Gabl Director/Conductor of the weather service in Innsbruck, a leader and experienced Himalayan mountain climber - told us over the satellite telephone that we would have this weather on the weekend too. Which was quite precise. During the entire week we had bad weather because of a weather system within the area of north Pakistan and Nanga Parbat. Naturally the motivation of everyone suffers. 

A large improvement in the weather was not expected soon. We had to cancel our planed trip to Camp 1 on Thursday. In the afternoon, Veikka Gustafsson from Finland - we were 1994 together on the K2 - and the American Ed Viesturs -  arrived back in base camp. 
Some tents have broken poles as you can see. Poles had punctured tent and water got on all the equipment. We dug out the tent and salvaged what equipment we could. One tent was a complete loss, but we were able to repair others. Then it begin to snow again heavily. 

We are writing in our journals and having fun despite the bad weather. Our weather report from Innsbruck expects the weather to be bad until Monday. We have to let the snow settle before moving up again. 

Cordial greetings from the Nanga Parbat base Camp,

Ralf Dujmovits

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