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Broad Peak Paperback – 14 Mar 2004
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The ascent of Broad Peak, the world's twelfth highest mountain in 1957 was one of the most important climbs in the history of climbing on the great peaks. A team of four Austrians, carrying their own equipment and dispensing with bottled oxygen, took the climbing ideas of the European Alps to the Himalayas/Karakoram, an advance in tactics which laid the foundations for many of the great ascents which followed. As well as being a landmark, the expedition also resulted in the death of Hermann Buhl, at that time the most famous climber in the world. This book, written by Marcus Schmuck, the leader of the expedition, was never translated from its German original, so the Broad Peak expedition was known chiefly from the account of Kurt Diemberger who has been Buhl's companion on his last climb. Now for the first time, using the original climbing diaries of Marcus Schmuck and Fritz Wintersteller, and previously unpublished material from Hermann Buhl as well as the recollection of both Diemberger and Qader Saeed, the team's Pakistani liaison officer, the fully story of the expedition is told.The book is illustrated with previously unpublished photographs from Marcus Schmuck and Fritz Wintersteller.
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The account is supported by conversations with Kurt Diemberger and with Qader Saeed, who was the expedition's Pakistani liaison officer. The book includes an account of Buhl's last climb and death on Chogolisa, from the protocol written by the surviving team members on the day Diemberger returned to Base Camp after the accident. The book begins with a history of Broad Peak, including the first ever drawing of the mountain (from Martin Conway's expedition of 1892), the first ever photograph (from the Eckenstein expedition of 1902) and Vittorio Sella's panorama from the Duke of Abruzzi expedition of 1909.
There is also an account of the first attempt on the Peak by the Karl Herrligkoffer expedition of 1954. The book ends with an Appendix of all summit climbs from 1957-2004. The photos from the 1957 expedition are almost entirely from previously unpublished work of Schmuck and Wintersteller. New Hardcover with dust jacket. SIGNED BY Richard Sale, Fritz Wintersteller and Marcus Schmuck (who is now deceased).
One of the most impressive Himalayan ascents of the last century was Austrian party of Marcus Schmuck, Fritz Wintersteller, Kurt Diemberger and Hermann Buhl’s 1957 first ascent of Pakistan’s 8,047 m Broad Peak.This was achieved by a small team without artificial oxygen who ferried all the loads to the high camps. The trip ended with the tragic death of top Austrian climber Hermann Buhl, who fell through a cornice duringa reconnaissance of Chogolisa.
Now, this book by Richard Sale, Broad Peak, discusses the dynamics between the climbers themselves and the effect of Buhl’s death on the way the trip has been reported. In the past, the roles ofthe massively strong Schmuck and the talented Wintersteller have been downplayed, even though they performed brilliantly as a team and made the first ascent of the peak. Another little recognized aspect of such trips is the role played by liaison officers. On the 1957 expedition, a dashing young Pakistani infantry officer, Quader Saeed was the liaison officer.
Saeed emigrated to Toronto in 1971 and now runs a grocery store there. Saeed instantly liked the climbers, an impression made stronger when Buhl had a pair of boots flown to Rawalpindi from Austria because the expedition had none that fit him. Saeed saved the men from difficulties on several occasions. “I had to explain to them that we were five men and that there were forty porters and we were a long way from any help. They demanded sunglasses, and one of the climbers said,‘be tough, tell them no.’ Instead, I asked the porters why they needed these glasses now, when they had never needed them before, in all their travels in exactly the same areas. We had to pay them for the glasses, but avoided a conflict.”
Saeed was devastated by the death of Buhl, and tears still come to his eyes when he describes Diemberger coming to the camp with the news. Saeed stays in touch with Schmuck and Wintersteller and visits their homes in Austria every few years. He has two photographsof himself and Schmuck climbing on Broad Peak on the wall of his store and follows the climbing news about Broad Peak. Saeed greeted Sales’ book enthusiastically because,according to him, it is the first book to set the record straight about one of the most impressive ascents in Pakistan’s history and one of hismost treasured memories.