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by Kurt Diemberger. First published 1971. One of Michael Chessler's Top 100 Mountaineering Books. The autobiography of his early years with brief stories of many of his climbs, including the Matterhorn, the first ascent of Broad Peak with Hermann Buhl in 1957 followed by Buhl's tragic death on Chogolisa, the Eiger, the Peuterey Ridge on Mont Blanc, the first ascent of Dhaulagiri in 1960, and Tirich Mir (West IV) in 1967. There are 56 pages of b/w photos. The front cover is the Southeast ridge of Dhaulagiri.
A 28-page chapter, titled My First Eight-thousander: To Broad Peak With Hermann Buhl, describes the first ascent of Broad Peak by Diemberger, Hermann Buhl, Fritz Wintersteller, and Marcus Schmuck on June 9, 1957. "His (Buhl's) plan was that from base camp onwards there would only be climbers on the mountain; they would do everything, load-carrying, establishment of camps and, finally, the assault on the summit. And it was all to be done without the use of oxygen." There are 12 pages of b/w photos, 1 map, and 1 route diagram.
The Broad Peak chapter briefly describes how Diemberger joined the expedition, the trek to Base Camp and setting up the camps and reaching the forepeak on the first summit attempt. After regrouping at Base Camp, they started their second summit attempt. Buhl was struggling: "We got to the col at 1:30, half an hour behind the others. Hermann was in such a bad state that he had to lie down. Could I do it alone ... I asked Hermann's permission to have a go. He knew how set I was on it, and said yes." Diemberger reached the summit just as Marcus Schmuck and Fritz Wintersteller started their descent. "I stood there, utterly exhausted, and looked back to the subsidiary summit. I had only taken half an hour to come up from it. And what about the summit itself? It had been impressive, the prospect from it overpowering; but the picture in my imagination, my fantasy-summit, outshone it by far."
As Diemberger was descending from the summit he met Buhl still ascending. "Slowly, with all that incredible strength of his will, he started to move, very slowly, upwards. ... And now, surely, we would be able to go up to the summit together ... There we stood, speechless, and shook hands in silence. ... Two men were standing on a peak, still breathing heavily from the ascent, their limbs weary - but they did not notice it; for the all-enveloping glory of the sun's low light had encompassed them too. Deeper and deeper grew the colours. ... No dream-picture, this. It was real enough, and it happened on the 26,404-foot summit of Broad Peak."
After their descent, Buhl and Diemberger attempted an alpine ascent of nearby Chogolisa, named Bride Peak by the British because it is always entirely clad in white. As they neared the summit: "Without any warning, all hell broke loose. ... We fought our way forward through clouds of blown snow, bending double to meet the fury of the gale." With only a thousand feet to the summit-tower: "Suddenly Hermann spoke: 'We've got to turn back at once, or the wind will cover our tracks up, and then we shall stray out on to the cornices!'" As they descended, suddenly Diemberger couldn't see Hermann any more: "'For God's sake, what's up? Hermann!' I rushed, gasping up the slope. There it was, the crest ... and beyond it, smooth snow ... and it was empty ... Hermann ... You! ... Done for ... I dragged myself up a little farther. I could see his last footmarks in the snow, then the jagged edge of the broken cornice, yawning. Then the black depths."
I really enjoy reading Diemberger's books, which have an almost lyrical poetic writing style that expresses his love for life and climbing. Diemberger is also an expert photographer, and the photos are excellent.
by Richard Sale. First published in English 2004. The author attempts to tell the true complete story of the first ascent of Broad Peak by Austrians Marcus Schmuck, Fritz Wintersteller, Hermann Buhl, and Kurt Diemberger on June 9, 1957 drawing on the climbing diaries of Schmuck and Wintersteller, accounts written by Buhl, and conversations with Diemberger and Pakistani liaison officer Qader Saeed. They climbed without artificial oxygen, without porters on the mountain, carrying everything themselves. The cover is Marcus Schmuck on the summit of Broad Peak on June 9, 1957 at 17:05 with K2 in the background. There are 24 pages of colour photos, 6 pages of b/w photos, 22 colour photos in lines with text, 9 b/w photos in line with text. The appendix has a list of ascents to 2004.
The Alpenverein Karakoram Expedition 1957, led by Schmuck, travel to Skardu and then trek towards their base camp. The usual porter problems occurred with the team member sahibs becoming porters carrying their supplies the last 20km to base camp. Interpersonal difficulties started to surface early in the expedition with Buhl commenting: "Markus (sic) wants to shift all responsibility to the other members. Every time there is a problem, he holds Fritz responsible for it if it is food, me if it is equipment, and Kurt for anything to do with health. He just wants to play leader of the expedition and acts like Herrligkoffer." The climbers quickly set up Tooth Camp I (5800m), Cornice Camp 2 (6450), The Eagle's Nest Camp 3 (7100m), and made their first summit attempt on May 29, 1957. When Diemberger and Wintersteller made it to the foresummit, they were extremely disappointed to see that the true summit was still a distance away. The mists blew in and they decided to descend. Buhl was upset with Diemberger because they had an implicit agreement to go for the summit together. Schmuck complained that Diemberger hadn't led any of the climb and had an easy time at the expense of the others.
After regrouping at Base Camp, they start for their second summit attempt on June 7, reaching Camp 2 that day. On June 8 they climbed to Camp 3, and on June 9 Schmuck and Wintersteller led the way towards the summit. Wintersteller: "We reach the pre-peak, where we turned back on 29 May. This time the view is clear - 400m away there is another, higher peak which can easily be reached by walking along a partly snow-covered ridge." Schmuck: "The last stretch before the summit is now ahead of us. The summit itself is a huge cornice. We stand 20m below on the last rock. Awed and happy for a moment we just stand there. Then each of us invites the other to begin the last steps to the top. Finally we do it together. It was 5:05pm when we stood on top of the huge cornice of Broad Peak's main, 8047m-high, peak. A wordless handshake was all we were capable of." Buhl was struggling, so Diemberger asked if he could go on alone and Buhl agreed. Diemberger made it to the summit just as Schmuck and Wintersteller started to descend. As Diemberger was descending from the summit he met Buhl still ascending. He turned around and accompanied Buhl to the summit in the dying light of day.
Schmuck and Wintersteller then made the first ascent of Skil Brum (7360m) on June 19, while Buhl and Diemberger attempted to climb Chogolisa. Buhl's death on Chogolisa on June 26, 1957 is one of the significant moments in mountaineering history. Schmuck was overwhelmed: "Dear Hermann! It's not easy for us to say farewell to you. You've been a good companion to us. We don't know your last moments, but hopefully your beloved mountains haven't made it too hard for you. Rest in Chogolisa's lap. We won't forget you. We will return".
I enjoyed this book for attempting to provide insights into the personalities and challenges of the four people who climbed Broad Peak in true alpine style. Diemberger comes off as a bit of a slacker. Although Buhl is shown to be struggling, his willpower is alive and he finally makes it to the summit. The photos are excellent. I was disappointed when the author started conjecturing, rather than sticking to the comparison of the diaries and reports and interviews.
by Reinhold Messner and Horst Hofler. First published in English in 2000. This book follows the outline of Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage: The Lonely Challenge highlighting his climbs in the North Tirol (including Schusselkarspitze and Laliderer), the Dolomites (including Western Zinne North and Marmolata), the Western Alps (including the Grandes Jorasses, Mont Blanc and Eiger), and Buhl's successful 1953 solo climb of Nanga Parbat. It then adds Buhl's climb of the Dru west face in 1956 and Broad Peak in 1957. This biography includes material from Buhl's previously unavailable diaries, as well as interviews with Buhl's family and climbing partners. There are 43 pages of colour photos and 83 b/w photos in line with text. The cover is Kurt Diemberger's classic photo of Hermann Buhl reaching the summit of Broad Peak on the evening of June 9, 1957.
The chapter on Broad Peak was largely based on a few short excerpts from Buhl's seven-part report on the climb prepared at base camp. There are 13 pages of colour photos, a 1 page b/w photo, and 10 b/w photos in line with text on Broad Peak. The authors briefly describe getting the team organized, trekking to base camp with the inevitable porter problems, the team setting up three camps, and then reaching the forepeak.
On the second summit attempt, Buhl is annoyed that Schmuck and Wintersteller set off early and continue ahead of him most of the day. Diemberger stays with Buhl, but eventually asks Buhl if he can go on without him to the summit, and Hermann agrees. Buhl: "I must admit honestly that all my ambition has deserted me. ... I happen to notice how quickly Kurt is getting up ... This spurs me on again ... Half way up I meet Kurt who is just returning from the summit. When I tell him that I still want to go up he walks with me. ... At 7 in the evening - it is Whitsunday - we are standing on the Summit of Broad Peak (8047m) ... It is a solemn moment. The sun is glowing red and hanging just above the horizon. Chogolisa, Gasherbrum IV, and K2 are lit up in the dying light, and from minute to minute the dark shadows wander higher and higher, gradually extinguishing the light over the surrounding summits."
After Broad Peak, Diemberger and Buhl decide to climb Chogolisa alpine style. Diemberger: "When Hermann does not arrive I suddenly get this eerie feeling and gasp my way back up the slope ... Hermann has disappeared. Then I see his tracks; they lead right to the edge of a fresh break in the cornice. Hermann ... fallen to his death."
This is a good companion book to Buhl's Nanga Parbat Lonely Challenge. The photos, many by Kurt Diemberger, are excellent. The writing itself is straightforward.
by Chris Bonington. Published 1981. The famed British mountaineer briefly describes 21 stories of adventure in 7 groups: 6 stories on Oceans, 1 on Deserts, 1 on Rivers, 7 on Mountains, 3 on The Poles, 1 on Air, 1 on Space, and 1 on Beneath The Earth. The mountains stories are the first ascents of Annapurna in 1950, Everest in 1953, Cho Oyu in 1954, and Broad Peak in 1957; Bonington's Annapurna South Face expedition in 1970, Reinhold Messner's solo ascent of Nanga Parbat in 1978, and Walter Bonatti's ascent of the Dru in 1955. There are 27 pages of colour photos, 31 pages of b/w photos, 29 colour photos in line with text, 118 b/w photos in line with text, 25 maps, and 10 mountain climbing routes.
The Broad Peak chapter is 19 pages, with a 1-page colour photo, 2 pages of b/w photos, 3 colour photos in line with text, 1 map, and 2 mountain climbing routes. "In the story of Broad Peak there is the pathos of the story of a declining but once brilliant star. And yet all four members of the team succeeded in reaching their summit without the help of high-altitude porters, using the very minimum of set camps. In doing so they marked a major step forward in the development of Himalayan climbing."
Bonington starts off by briefly describing Hermann Buhl's solo ascent of Nanga Parbat in 1953. He then describes the first Broad Peak summit attempt, where they reached the forepeak, only to see that the summit was still some distance away. "but now their latent differences began to come to the surface as they faced the prospect of repeating almost the entire climb - just to finish off twenty metres. ... When Wintersteller and Schmuck pressed on, now going very strongly, Buhl resented it bitterly; whilst the others' strength had built up from their previous effort, his had waned. He no longer had the endurance - but it is a cruel thing to have to admit to oneself. For Buhl, each step was an agony."
"For Diemberger, the frustration of holding his pace down to that of his partner had been cruel, but he had done it willingly. It was now so obviously hopeless, he asked Buhl if he could press on for the summit on his own. Buhl agreed." Diemberger reached the summit just after Schmuck and Wintersteller had left it. Meanwhile Buhl's resolve came back and he started for the summit. "Diemberger waited for his partner to reach him and then, without a second thought for the consequences, turned to follow him, back towards the summit."
Schmuck and Wintersteller went off to climb Skil Brum, and Diemberger and Buhl decided to attempt Chogolisa, "perhaps the most beautiful of all Baltoro summits, with its sweeping fluted ridges and gigantic cornices. ... Buhl seemed to have recovered. It was a real renaissance; he was full of enthusiasm for the climb, going very strongly. ... This was to be a true Alpine-style push." Bonington uses an excerpt from Diemberger's Summits and Secrets book to describe Buhl's death on Chogolisa.
Bonington spoke with both Diemberger and Schmuck in preparing his account, and tells the story from a broader perspective than Diemberger did in Summits and Secrets. The tension between the team members and Buhl's lack of strength are highlighted. The photos, most from Kurt Diemberger, are excellent.
by Jochen Hemmleb. Published 2007 in German. See affimer.org/hemmleb-broadpeak.html There are 43 colour photos and 5 b/w photos from 2006; 7 colour photos and 10 b/w photos by Kurt Diemberger from the first ascent of Broad Peak in 1957; 2 b/w photos from the 1954 Herligkoffer attempt; 4 maps and 1 route diagram.
The subtitle of this book is Following in the footsteps of Hermann Buhl's last expedition to Broad Peak and Chogolisa. Hemmleb compares the 2006 Broad Peak expedition to Buhl's, drawing heavily from Broad Peak by Richard Sale, Kurt Diemberger's books, Broad Peak 8047m Meine Bergfahrten mit Hermann Buhl by Marcus Schmuck, and Hermann Buhl: Climbing Without Compromise by Reinhold Messner and Horst Hofler.
On July 5, 2006 Sepp Bachmair and Peter Ressmann climbed in a single push from Base Camp to Camp 3, catching up with Markus Kronthaler at Camp 2, who got there the previous day. Together they left for the summit from Camp 3 (7200m) at 23.30, and arrived at the Broad Peak col (7800m) at 12:30 on July 6. Continuing ahead of his partners, Ressmann reached the foresummit at 17:00 and the main summit on July 6 at 18:00. On the descent, Ressmann met his partners, who had decided to bivouac in a snow cave at 7900m. Ressmann made it back to base camp the next day.
Bachmair and Kronthaler set off for the summit at 7:00, but, climbing very slowly, they did not reach the Broad Peak main summit until sometime around 15:15 on July 7, 2006. On the way down Kronthaler's strength gave out halfway between the Broad Peak main summit and the foresummit. Through the night, Bachmair tried to support, drag and even carry his partner, but to no avail. Kronthaler died of dehydration and exhaustion at 6:00 on July 8. Bachmair continued his descent to the Broad Peak col, where Piotr Morawski gave up his summit bid and accompanied Bachmair down to Camp 3 (Morawski reached the summit solo the next day). As the Morawski communicated the events, Spanish climber and Medical Doctor Jorge Egocheaga immediately offered to help, even though he had just made a speed ascent of 21 hours from base camp to the summit and return just two days earlier. Bachmair was not only dehydrated and exhausted – he also suffered from frostbite in his hands and feet. Jorge treated him with medicine and together with two Argentineans helped him down to Base Camp, which they reached on July 9 at 16:00. The next day Sepp was evacuated to Skardu in a helicopter.
Even if you can't understand German, the photos are excellent, both from 1957 and 2006.
by Reinhold Messner. Published 1983. This coffee-table photographic book with text in German details Messner's ascents of Kangchenjunga on May 6, 1982, Gasherbrum II on July 24, 1982, Broad Peak on August 2, 1982, and Cho Oyu on May 5, 1983. Hmm, maybe it should have been called 4x8000? The front cover is in Leh, Ladakh. There are 119 pages of colour photos.
The combined chapter on Broad Peak and Gasherbrum II has 7 pages of colour photos, and 7 pages of text with 14 b/w photos and 1 map. The chapter on Broad Peak has 9 pages of colour photos (one including climbing routes), 1 b/w photo, and 1 page of text with 2 b/w photos and 1 map. On August 2, 1982 Reinhold Messner and Pakistani climbers Sher Khan and Nazir Sabir completed the 6th ascent of Broad Peak in alpine style without oxygen.
The photos are very good.
by Kurt Diemberger. First published in German in 1989 and English in 1991. This book about the 1986 tragedy on K2 also has a chapter on Broad Peak. The cover is Julie Tullis on the summit of Broad Peak in 1983 looking to K2 – her mountain of mountains. There are 28 pages of colour photos and 24 pages of b/w photos, 1 b/w photo in line with text, 4 maps, 2 climbing routes, and 3 illustrations. There are 4 pages of colour photos and 3 pages of b/w photos (some from 1957) of Broad Peak.
There is a 19-paqe chapter on their Broad Peak climb with Kurt Diemberger and Julie Tullis reaching the summit of Broad Peak on July 18, 1984. They suffered a hazardous descent in deep fresh snow and avalanches. Julie Tullis thus became the first British woman to climb an 8000er and, even better, to survive it.
I really enjoy reading Diemberger's books, which have an almost lyrical and poetic writing style that expresses his love for life and climbing. The photos, most by Kurt, are very good
by Greg Child. First published 1988. Child writes about his expeditions to Shivling (1981), Lobsang Spire and Broad Peak (1983), and Gasherbrum IV (1986). Greg Child, Doug Scott, Georges Bettembourg, and Rick White made the first ascent of Shivling (6543m) East Pillar on June 15, 1981. Greg Child, Doug Scott, and Pete Thexton completed the first ascent of Lobsang Spire (5707m) via the South Pillar on June 13, 1983, with Child using a drill for the last 30m. Greg Child and Pete Thexton were climbing near the summit of Broad Peak when Greg developed symptoms of acute mountain sickness, so they turned back. On the way down Greg got better and Pete got worse, dying of pulmonary oedema in his sleep. Greg Child, Tim Macartney-Snape, and Tom Hargis made the first ascent of the spectacular Northwest Ridge of Gasherbrum IV on June 22, 1986.
There are 21 pages of colour photos: 7 of Shivling, 4 Lobsang, 4 Broad Peak, and 6 of Gasherbrum IV. There are 11 pages of b/w photos showing the climbing routes on Shivling, K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I and IV, Chogolisa, Muztagh Tower, Masherbrum, Lobsang Spire, Trango and Nameless Towers, and Paiju Peak. The cover is Pete Thexton on Broad Peak with K2 beyond.
The story of Broad Peak starts with the drive from Rawalpindi to Skardu and Dassu, and then the trek to Base Camp. "'It's no punter's peak up there,' Alan (Rouse) says. 'The summit ridge is at 26,000 ft and is bloody long. Technical too.'" Doug Scott and Steve Susted reached the Broad Peak summit on June 28, 1983 with Greg Child and Pete Thexton lagging behind still heading for the top. "We traverse for another half-hour to the False Summit, an icy, corniced dome at 26,382 ft. There we sit, looking toward the tantalizingly close Main Summit. ... I look ahead: The corniced ridge dips down and curves left in a final long, easy slope to the summit, only 18 ft higher than our position. We are nearly there, 30 minutes away."
"A vicious headache rings in my ears and pounds at my temples, and a tingling in my arm grows so intense that my fingers curl into a tight fist. ... In sixty hours we’d climbed from 15,000 ft to over 26,000 ft. We had found our limits. The decision to descend comes without a word. ... 'I can’t breathe properly,' he (Pete) says in a whisper, 'It feels as if my diaphragm has collapsed.' A bolt of fear runs up my spine. 'Are my lips blue?' he asks. 'Yes' ... Then I talk him down, ordering and cajoling every step out of him. At about 10.00 pm he collapses in the snow and whispers he can no longer see." They finally reached their high camp at 02:00, but Pete Thexton died at sunrise.
I really like Greg Child's writing style - interesting and witty. He is a keen observer and uses conversation effectively to bring immediacy to the stories. The photos are excellent. The b/w photos of the climbing routes are a very good reference.
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My favourite books that partially feature Broad Peak are:
by Richard Sale, John Cleare ((Photographer). Published 2000. Highly recommended! The book details the exploration, first ascent, and other major ascents of all 14 8000m peaks, including spectacular photos.
by Simone Moro. Published 2008. In Italian and English. This coffee-table size book features excellent photos from all 14 8000m peaks. Each 8000m peak has a brief history, a photo of each face showing the climbing routes, and lots of excellent photos.
There are 13 pages on Broad Peak. Simone Moro and Inaki Ochoa reached the summit of Broad Peak on July 15, 2003 in 29 hours from Camp 2 (6200m). Simone Moro and Shaheen Baig's winter attempt on Broad Peak in early 2007 failed 700m below the summit due to heavy snows and high winds. Simone Moro and Shaheen Baig returned for a second winter attempt on Broad Peak in early 2008, but failed again, this time just 247m from the summit.
The photos and route diagrams are excellent.
by Shiro Shirahata. Published 1990. One of Michael Chessler's Best Mountain Photo Books. He may just be the best mountaineering photographer ever. This coffee-table sized book provides stunning large photographs printed on glossy quality paper.
This book contains K2 (cover), Broad Peak, the Gasherbrums, Chogolisa, Nanga Parbat, and Tirich Mir. The photo of Gasherbrum IV on the back cover is stunning.
The photos are excellent. Shirahata just may be the best mountaineering photographer ever.
by Laurent Doldi. Published 2006. In French and English. A large soft-cover photo book detailing 10 Himalayan treks: K2 Base Camp (12 pages. 23 photos), Ladakh to Zanskar (16 pages, 38 photos), Jeep tour in Kinnaur Spiti and Ladakh (12 pages, 32 photos), the Sources of the Ganges in India (14 pages, 30 photos), Dolpo (18 pages, 36 photos), Around Annapurna (22 pages, 45 photos), Helambu and the sacred lakes of Gosainkund (16 pages, 29 photos), Rolwaling Valley in winter (18 pages, 37 photos), Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes (20 pages, 41 photos), and Kangchenjunga Base Camps in Nepal (21 pages, 44 photos). Each chapter starts with a very brief overview including a map and altitude profile. The front cover is K2. There are 360 colour photos.
This is very good companion book to a trekking guide, enabling you to visualize what you will experience on a trek. The photos are very good.
by Reinhold Messner. One of Michael Chessler's Top 100 Mountaineering Books. This book details Messner's ascents of all 14 8000m peaks documented with his photos. He also includes route diagrams and some basic history of the first few ascents. Messner was the first climber to summit all 14 mountains over 8000 metres in height, beginning with Nanga Parbat on June 27, 1970 and finishing with Lhotse on October 16, 1986. The cover photo is on the ascent of Kangchenjunga. The inside title page is on the summit of Nanga Parbat.
On August 2, 1982 Reinhold Messner, Nazir Sabir and Sher Khan completed the sixth ascent of Broad Peak via a variation on the normal route.
The photos are very good.
by Andy Fanshawe, Stephen Venables. Published 1996. This book briefly details 40 of the world's finest climbs on mountains in Pakistan (including K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum IV, and Nanga Parbat), India, Nepal and Tibet (including Annapurna, Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Everest, Makalu and Kangchenjunga). Each climb is illustrated with many great photos, climbing routes, and summary statistics and information. Each area has an excellent overview map.
There are five pages on Broad Peak West Spur / North Ridge.
by Marco Bianchi. Published 2003. Although the title claims to be the 14 highest summits in the world, this beautiful, large-format photo book really focuses on the seven mountains the author climbed. The text is in Spanish, but the photos transcend language.
After attempts on Makalu in 1986 and Cho Oyu in 1989, Bianchi summitted seven of the 14 8000m peaks: Manaslu Sept. 28 1992 via Northeast Face, Broad Peak July 6 1993 via Normal route, Cho Oyu Sept. 18 1993 via West Ridge, Shishapangma Oct. 6 1993 via Southwest Face, Dhaulagiri Sept. 25 1994 via Northeast Ridge, Everest May 12 1995 via Northeast Ridge, and K2 Aug. 10 1996 via North Ridge.
There are 44 pages of the trip from Islamabad to Skardu, the trek up the Baltoro Glacier to Concordia, Gasherbrum I and II, Broad Peak and K2.
The photos are excellent.
by Vittorio Sella. Published 1999. Spectacular b/w photos in a coffee table sized book. The chapters are the Alps, the Caucasus in Russia (includes a 4-page fold-out panorama from Elbrus), Mount Saint Elias in Alaska, Ruwenzori in Uganda, K2 and area (includes a 4-page fold-out panorama of K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum IV, Chogolisa, Mitre Peak).
The book includes 30 pages on K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum IV, Chogolisa, Mitre Peak, Muztagh Tower. and Masherbrum.
The photos are spectacular.
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In addition to the following DVDs and Videos please see youtube.com Broad Peak videos.
This 56-minute film follows famed French mountaineer Jean-Christophe Lafaille's exploits in 2003, climbing Dhaulagiri solo (May 20), and Nanga Parbat (June 24) and Broad Peak (July 15) with Ed Viesturs. The narration is in French with English subtitles. One of the bonus features is a video of his ascent of the Shishapangma (Dec 11, 2004) solo in winter. Another bonus is a 12-minute interview with JC and Ed Viesturs. Lafaille disappeared on January 26, 2006 near the summit of Makalu, attempting the first solo winter ascent.
The 20-minute chapter on Broad Peak begins with his wife Katia joining him on the journey up the Karakorum Highway and on to Skardu and Askole. Ed Viesturs joins up with him again as they trek to Paiju and up the Baltoro Glacier and arrive at Broad Peak Base Camp on July 11. After delaying a day due to the weather forecast, they climb on the 13th to Camp 2, the 14th to Camp 3, and Jean-Christophe Lafaille and Ed Viesturs reached the summit of Broad Peak on July 15, 2003 at 10:15.
By the time Lafaille was on his last descent, however, his aggressive pace began to take its toll. On his way down from Broad Peak, he experienced serious breathing difficulties. Ed Viesturs and Kazakh climber Denis Urubko coordinated a night time rescue and brought Lafaille safely down the mountain, where he was taken by helicopter to Skardu.
Filmed by Lafaille himself much of the time and Ed Viesturs, I liked the honest portrayal of a mountaineer dealing with the struggles of climbing and the basics of life like getting a haircut, shaving, eating and melting snow for drinking. The mountain views are very good.
by Sebastian Alvaro. Al Filo De Lo Imposible, Spanish TV. 72 minutes. Filmed in Winter 2003. Released 2005. This is really two films in one: The first is the story of the people and village of Hushe; the second is the attempt by Spanish climbers Juanito Oiarzabal, Juan Vallejo, Josu Bereziartu, Silvio Mondinelli, Fernando Latorre, and Mikel Zabalza to climb Broad peak in winter 2003.
The Hushe story opens with an English interview with Abdul Karim, known as Little Karim, who accompanied the biggest international expeditions to K2 and the Korakoram. We also see his modern-looking son Hanif who works in trekking and tourism, and the rest of his family. We see many scenes of Hushe village and people in winter and kids playing in snow. Little Karim and Hanif walk above Hushe to see ibex. A village festival is highlighted, with people with ibex heads chasing the people, and a villager dressed as a snow leopard killing the ibex. There is lots of singing. Hanif visits the local school and we see kids learning their alphabet.
The Broad Peak story opens with Juanito handing out clothing to porters, Skardu street scenes, trekking up Baltoro, and setting up Base Camp. When the sun comes out, there are good scenes of Broad Peak, K2 and other Karakoram mountains. They climb and set up Camps 1 and 2 and are shown eating and cooking in tent. They then return to Base Camp and pass the time of bad weather by cooking and eating, playing chess, reading, listening to music. They climb back to Camp 1 to find their tents and equipment blown away. They find and salvage what they can, but emotionally have to give up at 6900m.
The bonus is Karakorum (57 minutes, released 1996), which features a 1997 attempt on the west face of Amin Brakk (5850m), a 1996 kayak trip down the rapids of the Indus River, and 1996 expeditions to Gasherbrum I and II.
The Broad Peak filming is very good, clearly showing the winter weather. I especially enjoyed meeting Little Karim and seeing the people of Hushe and the colourful ibex festival. I wish I could understand the Spanish narration.
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