In 2005, Kim Chang Ho and Lee Hylin made a traverse of Nanga Parbat. They repeated the Messner route on the Rupal Face - and came down the normal route to Gnaro's BC. That's where Silvio snapped this image of Mr Lee. Photo courtesy of Silvio Mondinelli.

Nanga Parbat SUMMIT - Korean Traverse and 9 summits on the normal route

Posted: Jul 15, 2005 03:53 pm EDT
Summits at last. Silvio Mondinelli reported over sat phone this morning to Idel that the 2 Korean climbers, Lee Hylin, 34, and Kim Chang, 39 made a traverse of Nanga Parbat!

In fact, the guys repeated the Messner route on the Rupal Face - and came down to Gnaro's BC. That's where Silvio shot this image of Mr Lee. (The other 2 climbers stopped at camp 4 to rest).

9 on the normal route, 14 total

In addition, the other 6 Japanese climbers, the French girl, Sandrine de Choudens, her boyfriend Spaniard Jorge Egocheaga, and another French climber also made the summit today on the normal route that Gnaro will attempt next week!

The total number of summits on Nanga Parbat this season is now 14. Earlier there were three summits by a Czech, Swiss and Pakistan climber on the normal route. There has not yet been other summits above 8000 meters in Pakistan this summer.

The first repetition of the Messner route

The Koreans did the first repetition of the route set by Reinhold Messner and his brother Günther on June 27, 1970. The climb was one of the boldest feats in mountaineering history, the brothers made the first ascent of the Rupal Face -- the worlds highest rock wall -- and reached the summit of Nanga Parbat. It was their first attempt on an 8,000m peak. It would also be Günthers last.

The descent, Günther goes missing

In Reinholds account, it was a combination of the weather, the hour, Günther's exhaustion, and having no ropes to descend back down the wall safely, that led the brothers to opt for descent down the less steep, but unknown Diamir face on the west side of the mountain. In a grueling two days that left both near total collapse, Reinhold went ahead to scout a route through the crevasses. He returned for Günther, only to find his brother had disappeared under an avalanche. Günther was never seen again.

Hunted souls

Over the years, Reinhold has returned to Nanga Parbat five times to look for signs of his brother, and put to rest the question of his credibility, raised in recent years by fellow expedition members from the 1970 expedition alledging that Messner abandoned Gunther for his own ambition and concocted the avalanche story to hide his guilt. Rubbish, says Reinhold, who believes they are motivated by opportunism, money and, in von Keinlins case, vindictiveness (von Keinlins wife left him to marry Messner.)

Silvio Mondinelli, currently in Nanga Parbat BC, paved the way for climbers on the north side of Annapurna this spring, fixing the route and setting all camps, only to be turned back and finally; watch Christian Kuntner die. Born in Gardone (Italy) in 1958, he has done major climbs all over the world, including nine 8000ers: Manaslu, Cho Oyu, Everest, GI, GII, Dhaulagiri, Makalu, Kangchenjunga and K2, plus Shisha Pangmas central summit.

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