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Polish Winter Nanga Parbat Expedition

Nanga Parbat forms the western anchor of the Himalayan Range and is the westernmost eight-thousander. It lies just south of the Indus River in the Astore District of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan administered Kashmir. Not far to the north is the western end of the Karakoram range.

Nanga Parbat was first climbed on July 3, 1953 by Austrian climber Hermann Buhl, a member of a German-Austrian team. The expedition was organized by the half-brother of Willy Merkl, Karl Herrligkoffer from Munich, while the expedition leader was Peter Aschenbrenner from Innsbruck, who had participated in the 1932 and 1934 attempts. By the time of this expedition, 31 people had already died on the mountain.

The final push for the summit was dramatic: Buhl continued alone, after his companions had turned back, and arrived at 7 p.m.; the climbing being harder and more time consuming than he had anticipated. His descent was slowed when he lost a crampon. Caught by darkness, he was forced to bivouac standing upright on a narrow ledge, holding a small handhold with one hand. Exhausted, he dozed occasionally, but managed to maintain his balance. He was also very fortunate to have a calm night, so he was not subjected to wind chill.

He finally reached his high camp at 7 p.m. the next day, 40 hours after setting out. The ascent was made without oxygen, and Buhl is the only man to have made the first ascent of an 8000m peak alone.

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Posted on: 20/09/2016






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