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with Stefan Nestler

The highest ski school in the world

Ski course in Nepal

Ski course in Nepal

Certainly they won’t be the most elegant skiers on Mera Peak, but motivation and enthusiasm will surely not be missing. Six Nepalese mountain guides have set out to ski down the 6476-meter-high “trekking peak” in Nepal in September. They will be accompanied by two ski instructors from Europe, German Julius Seidenader and Austrian Michael Moik. What’s remarkable: The Nepalese have been for the very first time on skis only last February. “I am confident that they will be able to ski down along with us,” says Julius.

Date

25. August 2016 | 21:06

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Sport climber Halenke: “Olympics as a door opener”

Sebastian Halenke in action

Sebastian Halenke in action

The Olympic flag is already there, the climbers will come in four years. Today Governor Yuriko Koiki presented at Haneda airport in Tokyo the flag with the Olympic rings which the Mayor of Rio had handed over to her at the closing ceremony of the Olympics in Brazil. In 2020 in Tokyo, sport climbers will officially compete for medals for the first time (one week before the Winter Games in Albertville in 1992, there was already a demonstration event won by German climber Stefan Glowacz). “Of course, as a competition climber I welcome this development in principle,” says Sebastian Halenke regarding the Olympic premiere. “Until now, climbing as a competitive sport is barely represented in the media and even within the climbing scene there are rather spartan reports on the competitions.” The 21-year-old climber from the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, whose trademark is his red mohawk haircut, belongs to the World Cup’s top ten in the discipline Lead. In these competitions the participants have to climb a long, difficult route after only a brief glance at it as far as possible within a time limit and without falling.

Date

24. August 2016 | 15:56

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Mountaineering ban for Everest cheaters

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

No mercy for Everest cheaters. According to the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times” a three-member investigation commission recommended that the Nepalese government should withdraw the summit certificates of the Indian climbers Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod and forbid the couple to go to Nepal for mountaineering for at least ten years. It is seen as a formality that Tourism Ministery will nod the recommendation through.

Date

19. August 2016 | 13:35

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The “Everest Fall Man” is back

Nobukazu Kuriki

Nobukazu Kuriki

He is going to make it a round half-dozen. For the sixth time, Japanese Nobukazu Kuriki wants to tackle Mount Everest in the post-monsoon season. The 34-year-old says, he is planning to climb the highest mountain on earth solo, without bottled oxygen, this time via the Tibetan north side. Last year Kuriki had tried to reach the summit from the Nepalese south side – and had failed on Everest for the fifth time: He climbed up to 8,150 meters, about 200 meters above the South Col, before he abandoned his summit attempt due to deep snow and strong winds.

Date

16. August 2016 | 5:06

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Thomas Huber: “I’ll travel with a laughing heart”

Thomas Huber will set off again

Thomas Huber will set off again

Incredible – that describes Thomas Huber’s current life quite aptly. No wonder that the 49-year-old German top climber uses this word very often when we talk on the phone. Thomas was, as he himself says, “incredibly lucky” when he survived his 16-meter-fall from a rock face on 5 July. He recovered so “incredibly fast” that he – as initially planned before his fall – will shortly go “with incredible joy” on expedition to Pakistan. Truly incredible! The aim of the travel is the north side of the 7,145-meter-high granite giant Latok I in the Karakoram. Huber’s team includes Toni Gutsch – who, in 1997, first climbed the West Face of Latok II (7108 m) along with the Huber brothers and US climber Conrad Anker – and Sebastian Brutscher.

Date

13. August 2016 | 9:17

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On your mark, ready, …

Schoolchildren in Thulosirubari

Schoolchildren in Thulosirubari

… go! Not only Olympic athletes are currently waiting for this call. People in Thulosirubari are in the starting blocks too. Hopefully we are only few days away from the start of the construction of the new school at this small village in Sindhupalchowk District in Nepal. According to the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” finally all bureaucratic barriers have been broken down so that the school for 700 children and adolescents in Thulosirubari can be rebuilt. That has been and will be the goal of the aid project “School up!” that I had launched along with the professional climbers Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner from Austria and Ralf Dujmovits from Germany a year ago. The “Gerlinde and Ralf School”, which had been inaugurated only in 2009, was so badly damaged by the devastating earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015 that it had to be demolished.

Date

9. August 2016 | 15:20

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Sport climbing becomes Olympic – joy and concerns

climbing-olympicsI haven’t yet Olympic rings under my eyes. But that will surely change in the next two weeks because of the time difference between Rio de Janeiro and here. But when the next summer games are pending in four years in Tokyo, again in a different time zone, there will be an additional reason to change the daily habits: Sport climbing becomes Olympic in 2020. This was decided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “I think, it’s absolutely cool,” tells me German top climber Thomas Huber. “We have to be open to it. Sport climbing is worthy of being included in the Olympic program, because the competition has developed positively.” The IOC decision could send a signal to young people.

Date

5. August 2016 | 16:45

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Steck: “Basically I believe he can make it”

Kilian Jornet (l.) and Ueli Steck (r.) on the Eiger

Kilian Jornet (l.) and Ueli Steck (r.) on the Eiger

Ambitious or overwinded? The climbers’ scene is discussing the upcoming Everest project of the Spaniard Kilian Jornet. As reported before, the 28-year-old Catalan will set off to Tibet next Sunday to climb or rather run up the highest mountain on earth, within his project “Summits of my life”. The plan sounds crazy: if possible in a single push from Rongbuk Monastery to the 8850-meter-high summit; without bottled oxygen and Sherpa support; if the conditions on the mountain are right, on a seldom climbed route (Norton or Hornbein Couloir); and as if all that were not enough, in the monsoon. Of course, this evokes memories of Reinhold Messner’s legendary Everest solo in 1980. But Jornet will not be climbing alone. And he is a completely different type of climber than the South Tyrolean was at that time.

Date

3. August 2016 | 18:46

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Lindic and Cesen reach North Summit of Gasherbrum IV

Gasherbrum IV

Gasherbrum IV (Northwest Ridge on the left)

Great success for Luka Lindic and Ales Cesen in the Karakoram: According to the website “Altitude Pakistan”, the two Slovenian climbers reached on Tuesday the North Summit of Gasherbrum IV, which is about 20 meters lower than the 7932-meter-high Main Summit. It took Luka and Ales three days to ascend via the Northwest Ridge. It was only the fourth ascent of the route, which had been opened by the Australians Greg Child and Tim Macartney-Snape and the American Tom Hargis in 1986. “Altitude Pakistan” reports that heavy snowfall made the descent of the two Slovenians even harder. They arrived at Base Camp yesterday. “happy, exhausted and emaciated”.

Date

29. July 2016 | 17:05

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“Forrest Gump of the mountains” wants climb Everest

Kilian Jornet

Kilian Jornet

It sounds as if someone overextends himself completely. On Sunday next week (7 August), the Spaniard Kilian Jornet wants to ​​set off to Tibet to climb Mount Everest. Not in the “usual” way but speedy, in a single push, without bottled oxygen and Sherpa support, on a seldom used route, during the monsoon season. And the 28-year-old has never before been above 8,000 meters. Plenty of reasons to be skeptical and suspect that it just could be a cleverly arranged PR stunt – were it not for Kilian Jornet and his partner on the mountain, Jordi Tosas.

Date

29. July 2016 | 12:22

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Highline record on Kilimanjaro

Siegrist on the highline on Kilimanjaro

Siegrist on the highline on Kilimanjaro

“In terms of safety a 20- or 30-meter highline is comparable with climbing in the sixth or seventh grade,” Heinz Zak told me some time ago. The extreme climber, photographer and filmmaker from Austria is a slackline pioneer in Europe and a recognized expert in balancing at dizzying heights. Highlining is very popular in the climbing scene – the Swiss top climber Stephan Siegrist is also doing it from time to time. The 43-year-old has now set a new high-altitude world record in this discipline – most likely because there are not yet record lists. On Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, Stephen tensioned a 21-meter-long highline at an altitude of 5,700 meters between two rock towers above the “Arrow Glacier Camp” and balanced across the line in a height of about 150 meters above the ground. Until now the Hungarian Bence Kerekes was said to be the record holder, who had crossed a highline at about 5,300 meters in Indian Ladakh in 2015.

Date

28. July 2016 | 12:35

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Summit successes in the Karakoram

Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat

The Karakoram remains unpredictable. The climbing season in Pakistan is slowly but surely coming to an end – and the number of summit successes is manageable. On Nanga Parbat the Spaniard Ferran Latorre, the Frenchman Hélias Millerioux and the Bulgarian Bojan Petrov reached the highest point at 8,125 meters. “Seven intense days, but it was worth it,” tweeted Latorre (see also the video below). It was the 13th eight-thousander for him, he climbed all of them without bottled oxygen. Now only Mount Everest is still missing in the collection of the 45-year-old. Ferran wants to tackle it in spring 2017. Bojan Petrov has scaled so far eight of the 14 highest mountains in the world. Nanga Parbat was after Annapurna and Makalu his third eight-thousander this year.

Date

27. July 2016 | 23:26

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“Mosquito bite” Everest rules

StechmueckeDamn, it’s itching. Inevitably as a mosquito bite on a muggy summer day is the annually recurring announcement of the Nepalese government to set up new rules for climbers on Mount Everest. Mind you, the announcement, not the implementation. This year is no exception. This week Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal from the Nepalese Tourism Ministry told the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times” that the “Mountaineering Expedition Regulation”, which is in force since 2002, should be amended: According to the draft, mountaineers who are older than 75 years should be banned from climbing Everest as well as double amputees or blind climbers. In addition, each Everest aspirant should have climbed at least a seven-thousander before. Déjà-vu?

Date

22. July 2016 | 15:54

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Thomas Huber: “Thanks for staying alive!”

Thomas Huber (in 2014)

Thomas Huber (in 2014)

Approximately 1.8 seconds. That was the time it took when Thomas Huber fell 16 meters deep from a rock face on the Brendlberg in the Berchtesgaden region in Bavaria – now two weeks ago. As previously reported, the 49-year-old German top climber, the older of the two Huber brothers, landed on soft forest floor. As it turned out later, Thomas suffered a skull fracture and had to undergo surgery immediately. The doctor’s reassuring prognosis afterwards: no permanent damage. Meanwhile, Thomas has left the hospital and is recovering at home. I have phoned him.

Thomas, first things first: How are you?

Date

19. July 2016 | 23:24

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Slap in the face: No Everest certificates for Sherpas

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

There are things that simply cannot be understood. Like the recent decision of the Nepalese Tourism Ministry. According to the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, the Ministry refused to issue the compulsory summit certificates to all Climbing Sherpas who scaled Mount Everest this spring season.

Date

15. July 2016 | 16:07

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