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Item #: OP3972-361
NEPAL: EIN SOMMER AM RANDE DER WELT [NEPAL: A SUMMER ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD] Heinz Steinmetz and Jurgen Wellenkamp 1956 1st ed Hardcover No DJ Very Good
By Steinmetz, Heinz and Jurgen Wellenkamp
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Detailed Product Description
Germany, 1956, 1st edition. 129 pp, 65 b/w and 24 color photos, end paper maps. In German. Black cloth Hardcover with gilt lettering, no Dust Jacket, Very Good condition. A little edge wear on cover, pages are near fine. Former owner's handsome bookplate inside front cover. Fine photos taken during the German Nepal Expedition of 1955.

This book is large format so extra postage will be requested for Priority Mail or International Mail.

THE GERMAN NEPAL EXPEDITION, 1955 [From the Himalayan Journal]
HEINZ STEINMETZ

The Annapurna Himal cuts across the heart of Nepal from west to east, being bounded on the west by the river Kali and on the eastern end by the Marsyandi. Four important summits rise from its backbone ridge. These, from west to east, are Annapurna I (26,492 ft.), the first 8,000-metre peak to be climbed when, in 1950, a French expedition reached its summit; Gangapurna or Annapurna III (24,858 ft.), a savage peak so far undisturbed, Annapurna IV (24,688 ft.) and Annapurna II (26,041 ft.), whose black, rocky ridge soars high above the surrounding hanging- glaciers. This group of great mountains, with its outliers as far as the Tibetan border away to the north, was the objective of our operations.

The expedition was mounted, equipped and put into execution by the Deutsche Himalaja Stiftung (German Himalaya Foundation) in co-operation with the Deutsches Alpenverein (German Alpine Club). It consisted of four members: Heinz Steinmetz, 29, a Munich businessman (leader), Fritz Lobbichler, 29, of Straubing, an inspector of schools, Harald Biller, 24, of Nurnberg, a technician in machine construction, and Jiirgen Wellenkamp, 24, a mathematics student from Bad Reichenhall.

We left Munich on March 28th, 1955, after more than three years of preparation, conditioned by the long delay in obtaining a permit from the Nepalese Government. We reached Raxaul on the frontier of Nepal, by way of Genoa and Bombay, without any untoward incidents. The expedition's baggage, amounting to rather more than three tons, was flown in from there to Katmandu, the capital of Nepal.

After attending to the various formalities in the capital, we were able to start off on the approach march from Katmandu to the Annapurna Himal on April 26th with a train of 126 coolies. Two Sherpas had meanwhile left Darjeeling to join us on the way.

We were delighted and relieved when it became clear, during the very first days of the westerly march through the foothills, that we would be able to get along with the porters from Katmandu. This was an extremely important point for us, because of the large number of porters in relation to the European composition of the expedition; and also because the Sherpas had not yet joined us. Experience has shown that the familiar manifestations of porter-trouble, with demands for pay increase, strikes and the like, are to be feared especially on the approach march.

We had no misconceptions about the enormous difference in height between Camp III and the summit, involving an ascent of about 3,500 ft. and back again in a single day. But we wanted at all costs to avoid establishing yet another camp, in order not to overtax our strength by more load-carrying-for the whole weight of the transport had been on the shoulders of the sahibs ever since the ice-bulge.

The three of us set off at first-light on the 30th, complete with bivouac-equipment and food for three days. The summit ridge proved to be technically much more difficult than we had expected, but the splendid condition of the ice and snow made good any time lost through belaying, and route-making. We caught our first glimpse of the rocky summit-pyramid at about noon, and gave ourselves an hour's rest there at about 23,300 ft.; then, leaving all our bivouac-equipment behind, we started off for the summit. It took us the whole afternoon to climb the sector of the ridge and the ice-slopes beneath it, though they had looked so ridiculously short from below. We had made up our minds long ago that we could still reach the summit, but that to get back to Camp III during the same day was out of the question. At about 5-30 p.m. we hoisted the pennants of Nepal and Germany on an ice-axe in the summit snow and we also left a small statue of the Madonna up there.

The successful passage of the gorge to the northern side brought us to our scene of operations and on May 13th we were able to establish our Base Camp in the Sabzi Chu, a small lateral valley running from the upper course of the Marsyandi to the foot of Annapurna IV.

Night was falling as we began our return journey. The party arrived at the place where we had left the bivouac-equipment in pitch darkness, and there we dug ourselves into the wall of a crevasse. That bivouac at 23,300 ft. in the bitter cold of the night, coming on top of an exhausting day, was as trying as any of the hardships on the way to the summit of Annapurna IV, but the knowledge that we had attained the main objective of the expedition helped us to bear the ordeal with greater equanimity. It took us three days to evacuate the camps and get off the mountain. etc etc

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