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Summit attempts on Gasherbrum IV abandoned

Gasherbrum Iv

The weather conditions in the Karakoram remain difficult. German David Göttler and Italian Herve Barmasse had to give up their attempt on the almost-eight-thousander Gasherbrum IV. The two had originally planned to first climb the Southwest Face of the 7,932-meter-high mountain in the Karakoram for the first time. “For now, G IV must remain a dream climb,” writes David on Facebook. “Sad and frustrated we have been forced back to Base Camp by unpredicted snowfall. (The) Avalanche danger is too high.” Also the Spaniards Oriol Baro, Roger Cararach, Iker Madoz and Marc Toralles abandoned their summit attempt because of the bad weather and returned from Camp 2 at 6,500 meters. They had planned to reach the summit via the still unclimbed South Pillar.

Date

2. August 2018 | 16:15

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“School up!”: Base plate is concreted

The bricks are already there

Your donations for our aid project “School up!” continue to work. The base plate for the third section of the new school in the small mountain village of Thulosirubari, 70 kilometers east of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, has now been concreted. In the next step, the bricks for the walls of the first floor will be laid. Ralf Dujmovits – the so far only German climber to have climbed all 14 eight-thousanders – and I had laid the foundation stone for the third construction phase with another eight classrooms in mid-March. At that time, the first two buildings had been festively inaugurated.

Date

2. August 2018 | 10:49

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Thomas Huber before his expedition to 7000er Latok I: “Complex and difficult”

Thomas Huber, Rainer Treppte and Simon Gietl (from l. to r.)

Thomas Huber is sitting on packed expedition barrels. “I’m really looking forward to the expedition,” says the 51-year-old. The older of the two Huber brothers is leaving for Pakistan this Saturday. Thomas wants to tackle the northern side of the 7,145-meter-high Latok I – together with 33-year-old South Tyrolean Simon Gietl and climbing old hand Rainer Treppte, aged 59, who comes from Saxony and has been living in the Allgäu region for a long time. “I have already climbed with them,” says Huber about his two climbing partners. Last spring, the trio succeeded in repeating for the first time the difficult “La Strada” route on the Cima Grande in the Dolomites, which the Poles Piotr Edelman and Jan Fialkowski had mastered for the first time in 1988. “We harmonize very well as a team, and we have every chance to tackle such a goal as Latok I,” says Thomas Huber. I also talked to him about the drama on this seven-thousander in the Karakoram that had kept us in suspense for days.

Thomas, yesterday we got the relieving message that the Russian climber Alexander Gukov was rescued from the North Ridge of Latok I. How did you experience this dramatic story?

Date

1. August 2018 | 19:57

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Alexander Gukov rescued from Latok I

Alexander in the rescue helicopter

Good news from the Karakoram: Alexander Gukov is saved. The 42-year-old Russian climber had been trapped for almost a week on the North Ridge of the seven-thousander Latok I at 6,200 meters, without food or equipment. With finally good visibility, but strong wind, Pakistani helicopter pilots managed to get Alexander off the mountain on a long line. Two helicopters were in action.

Date

31. July 2018 | 8:03

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Still no rescue of Gukov possible

The drama on Latok I continues. Another day has passed on which Alexander Gukov is trapped on the North Ridge of the seven-thousander in the Karakoram without any help. Like throughout the weekend, thick clouds today prevented rescue helicopters from approaching the site at around 6,200 meters, where the 42-year-old Russian climber has been staying since Wednesday last week – without food or equipment. The helicopters took off, but returned without getting close to Gukov. “There will be no further attempts today,” mountain.ru reported. “The weather is getting worse.” It’s like bewitched. “Imagine everything is clear, only the Latok is completely in clouds,” said Viktor Koval from the base camp. “The pilots hardly managed to fly away.”

Date

30. July 2018 | 15:20

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Fear for Alexander Gukov on Latok I

Alexander Gukov (in 2014)

Alexander Gukov must persevere. This Friday, dense clouds covered the 7,145-meter-high Latok I in the Karakoram in Pakistan. The helicopter of the Pakistan army, with which the 42-year-old Russian mountaineer is to be rescued from the North Ridge, stayed on the ground. As reported yesterday, Gukov is trapped at 6,200 meters without equipment, his rope partner Sergey Glazunov had fallen to his death while abseiling. “Damn! Where do all the avalanches come from? I can’t even boil water,” Alexander wrote to Anna Piunova from mountain.ru by SMS today. Later he sounded a little more optimistic: “I managed to find half a Snicker and also drink some water.” His food supplies have run out after more than two weeks on the mountain.

Date

27. July 2018 | 15:29

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Drama on the 7000er Latok I in Pakistan

Gukov’s position on the North Ridge of Latok I (see arrow)

Fingers crossed for Alexander Gukov! According to Anna Piunova from the website mountain.ru, the 42-year-old Russian climber is trapped at 6,200 meters on the North Ridge of the 7145-meter-high Latok I in the Karakoram. Gukov made an emergency call on Wednesday:  “I need help. I need to be evacuated. I’m hanging in the wall without equipment.” His 26-year-old climbing partner Sergey Glazunov fell to his death while abseiling, said Alexander.

Date

26. July 2018 | 21:49

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Hansjörg Auer after his solo success in Pakistan: “The devil never sleeps”

Hansjörg Auer in the West Face of Lupghar Sar West

“It was very, very cool and intense,” Hansjörg Auer tells me. After his successful solo project in the Hunza region in northern Pakistan, the Austrian top climber is back in his native Ötztal. As reported before, the 34-year-old had first climbed the approximately 1,000-meter-high West Face of the rarely attempted 7157-meter-high Lupghar Sar West – solo. First Hansjörg climbed from the base camp to a bivouac site at the foot of the wall at about 6,200 meters. From there he left on 7 July at 5 am and climbed up to the summit in six and a half hours. At 8 pm, Auer was back at the base camp.

Hansjörg, you said in advance that you wanted to know what it’s like to be alone in the wall of a very high mountain. How did you experience it?

Date

25. July 2018 | 13:42

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First complete ski run from K2

Andrzej Bargiel after his return to base camp

The Pole Andrzej Bargiel has written K2 history. According to his own words, the 30-year-old succeeded yesterday the first complete ski descent from the second highest mountain in the world. In doing so, he snapped up the “Holy Grail”, which had previously caused the failure of some of the best ski mountaineers in the world – such as Hans Kammerlander from South Tyrol in 2001. After reaching the summit at 8,611 metres on Sunday, Andrzej skied down in one go to the base camp on a combination of several routes, his sponsor from Austria informed: “From the summit, he descended along the shoulder towards the Cesen route (also known as the Basque route), passing below huge seracs, then via the extremely difficult Messner traverse, and via the arête on the Kukuczka-Piotrowski route (which was opened by the two Poles in 1986). Next, he had to face some snow fields full of crevasses. He managed to overcome all the difficulties and achieved his dream, achieving the impossible in the process.”

Date

23. July 2018 | 17:18

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48 hours, two German women, one summit: Mount Everest

South side of Mount Everest

It would not have taken much more for the two women from Germany to shake hands on the roof of the world. Within 48 hours Ingrid Schittich at first, then Susanne Müller-Zantop reached the 8850-meter-high summit of Mount Everest last spring: Schittich on 15 May from the Tibetan north side, Müller-Zantop on 17 May from the Nepalese south side. They didn’t know about each other. Billi Bierling, head of the mountaineering chronicle “Himalayan Database”, first drew their attention to the fact that they had narrowly missed each other on Everest.

Date

20. July 2018 | 15:56

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Eight-thousander No. 8 for Luis Stitzinger

Luis Stitzinger

According to his own words, Luis Stitzinger has reached the 8,080-meter-high summit of Gasherbrum I in the Karakoram yesterday (Wednesday). He was on his descent, the 49-year-old German climber informed via Facebook today. For Luis, it is his eighth eight-thousander success after Cho Oyu (in 2000), Gasherbrum II (in 2006), Nanga Parbat (in 2008), Dhaulagiri (in 2009), Broad Peak (in 2011), Shisha Pangma (in 2013) and Manaslu (in 2017). He climbed all of them without bottled oxygen, six of them together with his wife Alix von Melle.

Date

19. July 2018 | 13:20

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A drone for rescue and more summit successes in the Karakoram

Broad Peak

For me, drones come right after leaf blowers. I find the noise generated by the increasingly popular flying machines extremely annoying. Drones sound like mutated giant bumblebees. Torture for my ears. But even I have to admit: On the eight-thousander Broad Peak in the Karakoram in Pakistan, a drone and the guy who flew it did a great job. Eight days ago, on 9 July, the 64-year-old Briton Rick Allen set off alone for a summit attempt. His teammates stayed in Camp 3 at 7,000 meters. When Rick didn’t return, they sounded the alarm because they feared Allen might have been injured or even died. Sandy Allan, who had already descended to base camp due to strong winds in the summit area, contacted the Polish Bargiel brothers in the nearby K2 Base Camp. Andrzej Bargiel is planning to ski the second highest mountain in the world from the summit to base camp for the first time this summer. His brother Bartek is filming the project – also using a drone.

Date

17. July 2018 | 14:19

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Italian climber dies on Gasherbrum IV

Maurizio Giordano (1986-2018), R.I.P.

Third death of the summer season in the Karakoram: The Italian news agency ANSA reports that Maurizio Giordano died today after he had been hit by an ice chunk on the 7,925-meter-high Gasherbrum IV. The accident occurred at 6,300 meters when the 32-year-old and his team mates Marco Majori, Marco Farina and Daniele Bernasconi were on their descent from Camp 2. The four members of the Italian army expedition wanted to be the first to repeat the route via the Northeast Ridge opened by their compatriots Walter Bonatti and Carlo Mauri, who had first climbed Gasherbrum IV 60 years ago.

Date

11. July 2018 | 14:14

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Summit success reported from Nanga Parbat

Kim Mi-gon

This summer’s first summit success on an eight-thousander in Pakistan has been reported. The Pakistani expedition operator “Summit Karakoram” informed that South Korean Kim Mi-gon, Taiwanese Lu Chung-han and Sanu Sherpa from Nepal had reached the 8125-meter-high summit of Nanga Parbat on Monday. The 45-year-old Kim thus completed his collection of the 14 eight-thousanders, it said.

Date

10. July 2018 | 22:50

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Hansjörg Auer succeeds first ascent on a 7000er – solo

Hansjörg Auer on top of Lupghar Sar West

This is a real milestone. The Austrian Hansjörg Auer says, he succeeded the first ascent of a big wall of a seven-thousander in the Karakoram – solo. “I climbed the West Face of Lupghar Sar West for the first time. I took a line on the left side and finished my route up the steep Northwest Ridge with very loose rock to the top at 7,157 meters,” the 34-year-old extreme climber wrote on Instagram. Hansjörg had set off to Pakistan in mid-June for his solo project. His originally planned climbing partner and friend Alexander Blümel had to call off due to health problems.

Date

9. July 2018 | 19:03

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