Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Sigi Low had been a very accomplished rock climber - he was, in name alone, the patron of our expedition - and had reached the summit in 1962 with Toni Kinshofer and Anderl Mannhardt, the most successful German climbers of their time.
Like us, they had survived a bivouac at 8000m, similarly equipped with only the bare essentials.
Confident that they would return to their top camp the same day, they had set off without sleeping bags. Whilst descending from the bivi, Sigi Low had lagged behind.
He slipped in a harmless, easy snow gully, fell and lay unconscious at the Bazhin Gap.
Mannhardt went down to fetch help while Kinshofer stayed with his now semiconscious companion.
Low was confused and suffering terrible hallucinations and could do nothing on his own.
Sigi Low died that evening and Kinshofer descended alone, convinced that he was walking through a tobacco plantation even though, in reality he was climbing down the endless ice slopes of the top part of the Diamir Face route.
Over the following days, the two summiteers suffered severe traumas. Mannhardt and Kinshofer had to be shepherded back to Base Camp. Later they were carried out with frostbitten feet by local porters though the Diamir Valley to the Indus.
The source of the experienceKinshofer, Toni
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
Reinhold Messner – The Naked Mountain