Nanga Parbat – the killer mountain in the Himalaya was climbed by a German/Austrian party in the same climbing season as Mount Everest was climbed by the British led team.
This book is written in the heroic style, interesting to reread it after nearly 60 years, as the style is very different from that prevailing in more recent climbing books. But heroic was the style and heroic was the final solo climb by Hermann Buhl.
Nanga Parbat was a difficult mountain to climb. Apart from its great height the circuitous route to the summit made it challenging and long. Indeed, the previous expedition had suffered fatalities, which is why it was known as the killer mountain. This book gives just enough detail about the previous attempts to set the scene for Buhl’s final ascent.
Fittingly, this chapter was written by Buhl himself and gives some slight idea of the hazards facing him and the hardships he had to endure. The pictures also tell a tale.
The book has a good collection of photographs, mostly black and white. There were also a few line drawings to help illustrate the routes – which seem very complicated, I needed a bit more help with these to identify exact positions on the mountain. I guess is almost impossible to show the scale of the mountains in photographs even today with the most modern camera equipment.
This was a good reread, an engaging story – and a satisfying end.
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