Nanga Parbat is one of the most difficult 8000m peaks. Even the normal route, the „Kinshofer-route“, asks for outstanding mountaineering skills and it is objectively dangerous due to avalanches and rockfalls. During the 50s Mt. Everest was the mountain of the British while Nanga Parbat was the goal of frequent German expeditions. The start of its climbing history made it one of the deadliest mountains. Especially German expeditions lost a number of mountaineers and so the mountain was nicknamed „German mountain of fate“.
The first ascent was achieved by the Austrian Herman Buhl (July 3, 1953), who was the first man to solo an 8000m peak.
A Brief History of Ascents
- 1895 Albert F. Mummery from Britain died during his attempt to climb Nanga Parbat from the Diamir (West) face.
- 1934 several mountaineers die during a German expedition in a snowstorm, the notion of „German mountain of fate“ is introduced.
- 1937 an avalanche kills 16 mountaineers (including 9 Sherpas) of a German expedition.
- 1953 Herman Buhl reaches the summit. The expedition was the first led by Karl Maria Herrligkoffer, who initiated many more lateron.
- 1962 the Bavarians Toni Kinshofer, Siegfried Löw and Anderl Mannhardt climb for the first time the Diamir-slope.
- 1970 the south-tyrolian brothers Reinhold and Günther Messner climb the highest face in the world (Rupal face) and traverse to the Diamir face. During this first traverse of an 8000m peak Günther Messner dies.
- 1990 a ski-expedition (Germans, Polish, Jugoslavians) led by Karl Maria Herrligkoffer fails to reach the summit via the Diama glacier and the Diamir West face.
- 1991 again an expedition led by Peter Wörgötter tries to reach the summit via the 1990 route. Herbert Rainer could reach 7400m.
- 2000 Hans Peter Eisendle, Wolfgang Thomaseth and Reinhold Messner reach 7500m on the Diamir West face, where it joins the Czech route from 1971.
- 2005 the Americans Steve House and Vince Anderson open a new route on the Rupal slope.
- Ralf-Peter Märtin (2002) Nanga Parbat. Wahrheit und Wahn des Alpinismus. Berlin Verlag: Berlin.
- Reinhold Messner (2001) Die Freiheit, aufzubrechen, wohin ich will. Ein Bergsteigerleben. Piper: München, Zürich.