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”.
Date29. July 2016 | 17:05
TagsAles Cesen, Bonatti, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum IV, Greg Child, Luka Lindic, Mauri, North Summit, Northwest Ridge
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.
Date29. July 2016 | 12:22
“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.
Date28. July 2016 | 12:35
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.
Date27. July 2016 | 23:26
TagsAles Cesen, Bojan Petrow, Broad Peak, Ferran Latorre, Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum IV, Helias Millerioux, K 2, Luka Lindic, Nanga Parbat
Damn, 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?
Date22. July 2016 | 15:54
TagsAge limit, Dawa Steven Sherpa, Disabled climbers, Everest rules, Himalayan Times, Mount Everest, Nepalese Tourism Ministry
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?
Date19. July 2016 | 23:24
TagsBrendlberg, Climbing, Fall, Huber brothers, Interview, Latok I, Scull fracture, Thomas Huber, Watzmannflimmern
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.
Date15. July 2016 | 16:07
TagsCertificate, Climbing Sherpas, Himalayan Times, Mount Everest, Nepalese Tourism Ministry, Zertifikat
It is raining – at 9 p.m. at 5,000 meters in the Karakoram. “It’s incredibly warm here,” Ralf Dujmovits, Germany’s most successful high altitude climber, tells me via satellite phone from the Base Camp at the foot of Praqpa Ri. “We sat together until late in the evening with an open tent.” The unusually warm weather has resulted in difficult conditions on the seven-thousander so that its summit remains virgin. Like before on the also unclimbed seven-thousander Gasherbrum VI the 54-year-old German and his 47-year-old Canadian partner Nancy Hansen had to abandon their summit attempt. “We fought for every meter on ascent,” says Ralf. In vain.
Ralf, how far up did you climb this time?
Date15. July 2016 | 10:35
24 September 2014, 6.55 a.m.: Five men are climbing at 7,900 meters towards the summit of the eight-thousander Shishapangma when the avalanche releases. The Germans Sebastian Haag and Martin Maier and Italian Andrea Zambaldi are swept several hundred meters down the slope. German Benedikt Boehm and Swiss Ueli Steck have a lucky escape and get away from the snow masses. The 36-year-old Haag and the 32-year-old Zambaldi die. Maier miraculously survives and is able to escape by his own strength to the high camp. The news of the incident first appears in my blog. The first interviews about the avalanche with Bene Boehm and Martin Maier can also be read on “Adventure Sports”.
“Time does not heal everything”
More than one and a half year later, Martin has opened up a debate on the incident by giving an interview to the German magazine “Bergsteiger”. The 41-year-old industrial engineer is in his own words still suffering from long-term effects which are not only health problems: “Time does not heal everything – neither injuries that have remained to this day nor the sadness and bitterness about the fact that people want to increase their self-esteem at the expense of others.” Maier accuses the other two survivors of the avalanche, Boehm and Steck, of not having told the truth and of having abandoned him too quickly.
Date12. July 2016 | 21:25
TagsAndrea Zambaldi, Avalanche, Benedikt Boehm, Interview, Magazine "Bergsteiger", Martin Maier, Sebastian Haag, September 2014, Shishapangma, Ueli Steck
Again one of the really great high altitude climbers was torn out of his life: The 55-year-old Swiss Norbert Joos fell to death on Piz Bernina in the canton Grisons. According to Swiss media reports, Joos had guided a group to the 4049-meter-high summit. On the descent the roped party of three, to which Joos belonged, fell 160 meters deep. Joos was found dead, the other two climbers, a woman and a man from Italy, survived seriously injured.
Date11. July 2016 | 14:13
TagsAnnapurna, Eight-thousander, Fall to death, Kangchendzönga, Mount Everest, Norbert Joos, Piz Bernina, Stroke
“I already feel a lot better again,” Thomas Huber writes to me from the hospital in the Bavarian town of Traunstein. If that’s not good news! After all, the 49-year-old German top climber – as reported yesterday – had fallen twelve meters deep from a rock face on the Brendlberg near the village of Scheffau. According to the German website bgland24.de, the accident happened when Huber was abseiling. Thomas was standing on a small ledge, unclipped from the belay to take another rope, when he lost his balance. This could have ended in catastrophe. Probably owing only to “1000 guardian angels” (Thomas) and his instinct, nothing worse happened to him.
Date9. July 2016 | 17:19
“Contrary to all the reports: I am okay,” Thomas Huber writes on Facebook. “I had 1000 guardian angels.” According to the website bgland24.de, the 49-year-old German top climber fell 20 meters deep from a rock wall on the Brendlberg in the Berchtesgaden region in Bavaria, when he was preparing for filming on Tuesday. Thomas meanwhile said it was a 12-meter-fall. He had opened a new route in the wall in late May. The climber was taken to the hospital of the town of Traunstein. Thomas is said to have suffered a fracture of the skull in the fall. Reportedly he was immediately operated for a blood clot.
Date8. July 2016 | 11:24
The truth will out. According to the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, the Nepalese Tourism Ministry has initiated sanctions on the Indian couple that – as reported before – has obviously submitted faked summit pictures to get their Everest certificates. Most likely these certificates will be canceled and the cheat climbers might be banned from mountaineering in Nepal for up to ten years. “Department of Tourism will also take necessary action against the Liaison Officer, Climbing Sherpas and expedition organizing company,” DoT director Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal told the “Himalayan Times”. The two Sherpas who had supported Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod on Everest were still “out of reach”, said the operator Makalu Adventure blaming the Sherpas for the goof-up.
The staff of Himalayan Database, the mountaineering chronicle of legendary Elizabeth Hawley, is also checking the case. I’ve contacted Billi Bierling. The 49-year-old German journalist and climber is the designated successor of Miss Hawley, aged 92.
Billi, you and your colleagues from the Himalayan Database have also obviously been deceived by the Indian couple when you interviewed them. What’s about the much-trumpeted climbers’ honor?
Date5. July 2016 | 13:55
TagsBilli Bierling, Dinesh Rathod, Faked summit pictures, Fraud, Himalayan Database, Himalayan Times, Mount Everest, Nepalese Tourism Ministry, Tarakeshwari Rathod
One eight-thousander is still missing. Then Nives Meroi and Romano Benet would be the first couple who would have scaled together the 14 highest mountains in the world – always without bottled oxygen and without Sherpa support. On 12 May, the two 54-year-olds from Italy stood at the top of their eight-thousander No. 13, the 8485-meter-high Makalu in Nepal.
Nives was 19 years old when she met Romano. First he was her climbing partner, then her life partner. They are married for 27 years. In 1998, they scaled Nanga Parbat, it was their first eight-thousander. In 2003, they succeeded in climbing the Karakorum trilogy of Gasherbrum I, II and Broad Peak in just 20 days. In 2007, Meroi was the first Italian woman who climbed Everest without oxygen mask.
But there were also setbacks. In 2009, Meroi had a good chance to become the first woman on all 14 eight-thousanders. On Kangchenjunga, at 7500 meters, Romano suddenly became increasingly weak. He tried to persuade Nives to climb on alone. But she refused and supported him during the descent. The reason for Benet’s weakness was serious: aplastic anemia. Two bone marrow transplants were necessary to save Romano’s life. They returned to the Himalayas. In 2014, Romano and Nives climbed Kangchenjunga. And now Makalu. Five questions to and five answers by Nives Meroi:
Nives, Romano and you have managed to climb Makalu, your 13th eight-thousander. If you compare it with the other twelve, was it rather one of the more difficult or easier ascents?
Date4. July 2016 | 22:48
TagsAplastic anemia, Eight-thousander, Expedition 2016, Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Nives Meroi, Romano Benet