Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage
The great mountaineering classic
- Hermann Buhl
- 01 Sep 2015
‘Me not belong in the mountains? Why, I couldn’t go on living without them! My thoughts, my dreams, my whole life were nothing but the mountains!’
In 1953 Hermann Buhl made the first ascent of Nanga Parbat – the ninth-highest mountain in the world, and the third 8,000-metre peak to be climbed, following Annapurna and Everest. It was one of the most incredible and committed climbs ever made.
Continuing alone and without supplementary oxygen, Buhl made a dash for the summit after his partners turned back. On a mountain that had claimed thirty-one lives, an exhausted Buhl waded through deep snow and climbed over technical ground to reach the summit, driven on by an ‘irresistible urge’. After a night spent standing on a small ledge at over 8,000 metres, Buhl returned forty-one hours later, exhausted and at the very limit of his endurance.
Written shortly after Buhl’s return from the mountain, Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage is a classic of mountaineering literature that has inspired thousands of climbers. It follows Buhl’s inexorable rise from rock climber to alpinist to mountaineer, until, almost inevitably, he makes his phenomenal Nanga Parbat climb. Buhl’s book, and ascent, reminded everyone that, while the mountains could never be conquered, they could be climbed with sufficient enthusiasm, spirit and dedication.
For many, Hermann Buhl is one of the greatest climbers of all time. Born in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1924, he was a frail child and not encouraged to climb but, driven by enthusiasm and determination, he did so anyway. He became one of the best rock climbers in Austria, and then one of the best mountaineers, before serving in the Second World War where he was captured while stationed with the alpine troops. Following the war, he turned his attention to the Western Alps with impressive results, making a series of remarkable climbs, often solo and frequently in appalling conditions. As his experiences and abilities grew – Buhl was to qualify as a mountain guide – it was inevitable that he would turn to the greater ranges.
In 1953, on his first expedition, Buhl made the first ascent of Nanga Parbat – the ninth-highest mountain in the world, and the third 8,000-metre peak to be climbed, after Annapurna and Everest. Climbing alone and without supplementary oxygen, he made a highly committing dash for the summit, driven by an ‘irresistible urge’ over technical ground and through deep snow. When, in 1957, he made the first ascent of Broad Peak, again without oxygen or support from porters, he became the first man to make two first ascents of 8,000-metre peaks. Buhl was killed only a few weeks later while descending from an attempt on nearby Chogolisa.
- Title: Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage
- Sub-title: The great mountaineering classic
- Author: Hermann Buhl
- Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
- ISBN: 978-1-910240-58-8
- Rights: Worldwide
- Publication date: 1 September 2015
- Edition: Sixth
- Size: 198mm x 129mm
- Extent: 448 pages
- Cover: Paperback
- Weight: 300g
- Retail price: £9.99
Also available as an ebook:
- Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
- ISBN: 978-1-910240-59-5
- Publication Date: 30 April 2015
- Price: £5.99