Happy New Year!
Date31. December 2016 | 15:37
And another winter expedition. After it had looked for a long time as if the eight-thousanders would stay in winter sleep this time, now at least two of the highest mountains in the world are visited in the cold season. As reported, the two Spaniards Alex Txikon and Carlos Rubio will try to climb Mount Everest without bottled oxygen. They are expected in Base Camp shortly after the turn of the year. The Frenchwoman Elisabeth Revol has already pitched up her tents at the foot of the 8,163-meter-high Manaslu in Nepal.
Date30. December 2016 | 18:58
Date24. December 2016 | 12:26
These days I received a funny Christmas card of an expedition organizer. It showed a Santa Claus on Mount Everest, with his finger in front of his mouth: “Pst … definitely too high for my reindeer.” This reminded me that I wanted to wish my old friend Chomolungma Merry Christmas. For years, he can be reached by mobile phone. At the first ring, he takes the call.
Namaste, Chomo! This is Stefan.
Hej, I haven’t heard from you for a long time.
Sorry for that. I wanted to check on your condition.
Sunshine, minus 26 degrees Celsius, 65 km/h at the summit, good visibility.
Sounds like calm winter weather.
I like it.
Have you heard that you’ll be visited?
Date23. December 2016 | 19:55
The experience on Mount Everest in spring 2013 has changed Ueli Steck. “The moment when I realized that the Sherpas wanted to kill me, a world came crashing in,” the 40-year-old Swiss top climber wrote in his new book “The Next Step”. “After that, my look at the world was a different one. I withdrew because I did not trust anyone anymore.” In spring 2017, Ueli will return to Everest – to try to traverse the highest mountain on earth and the 8,516-meter-high Lhotse. I talked to Steck about Everest.
Ueli, what does Mount Everest mean for you personally?
Everest is the highest mountain in the world. If high altitude climbing is your thing, it is, with an altitude of 8,848 meters, a dimension of its own and therefore the most interesting and exciting mountain.
Date20. December 2016 | 18:06
“We are so happy seeing the re-construction – and that the building is designed to resist earthquakes,” says Hari Bikram, the 43-year-old headteacher of Thulosirubari. The construction work in the small mountain village 70 kilometers east of the Nepali capital Kathmandu continues at high speed. “The plinth work has almost been finished,” Shyam Pandit, Nepalese liaison of the German relief organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries”, writes to me. I wanted to know from him whether the work will be stopped in winter. “No stop. I will continue construction work,” the contractor replied, says Shyam. However, it’s going to be a little slower in the cold season than now.
Date19. December 2016 | 14:09
TagsAid project: School up!, Charity event, DAV Cologne, Erdbeben, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Hari Bikram, Nepal, Nepalhilfe Beilngries, Ralf Dujmovits, Shyam Pandit, Thulosirubari
I was probably too hasty. One and a half weeks ago I had prophesied a quiet winter time on the highest mountains in the world. Now there will be a spectacular expedition. The Basque Alex Txikon wants to climb Mount Everest in winter, without the use of bottled oxygen. This is consistently reported by Spanish media. The 35-year-old will be accompanied by the internationally still relatively unknown 28-year-old Spanish climber Carlos Rubio, who has hitherto made more headlines as an extreme skier. In addition, the two mountaineers Aitor Barez and Pablo Magister will belong to the team as cameramen.
Date16. December 2016 | 17:06
TagsAlex Txikon, Ang Rita Sherpa, Carlos Rubio, Cichy, Mount Everest, Wielicki, winter ascent, winter expedition
“It was one of those expeditions where it all fit together perfectly,” says Hansjoerg Auer. The 31-year-old Austrian and his countryman Alex Bluemel succeeded the first ascent of the North Face of the 7005-meter-high Gimmigela East, in Alpine style, means without ropes and high camps, without Sherpa support and without bottled oxygen. The sub-peak of Gimmigela Chuli (7350 m) is located in the far east of Nepal, on the border with India, quite hidden in the area around the eight-thousander Kangchenjunga, the third-highest mountain on earth.
Date16. December 2016 | 13:05
TagsAlexander Bluemel, first ascent, Gimmigela East, Hansjoerg Auer, Kangchenjunga, Nepal, North Face
Impossibly Heidi Sand could have foreseen that Denali would change her life in this way. When the German mountaineer and sculptor descended from the summit of the highest mountain of North America (6,910 m) in 2010, the then 43-year-old suddenly had strong stomach pain. Soon after the shattering diagnosis: advanced colorectal cancer. After the emergency surgery, chemotherapy followed. “If I survive, I want to reward myself with an eight-thousander,” Heidi then promised herself – and fulfilled this dream of her life: On 26 May 2012 the mother of three children stood on the summit of Mount Everest.
Meanwhile Heidi Sand has passed the critical five-year mark after her cancer diagnosis. She is considered to be cured – and has realized further climbing projects after having summited Everest. In autumn 2013, for example, Heidi scaled Cho Oyu without using bottled oxygen and in spring 2014 she stood on top of Makalu (with breathing mask). With Billi Bierling, Heidi shares the honor of having been the first German women to reach the summit of Makalu. Sand dedicated her three successes on eight-thousanders to her children, for her husband remained the Eiger North Face which she succeeded to climb a year ago, in December 2015. And last November, she tackled, along with the Swiss mountain guide Lorenz Frutiger, the legendary granite giant Fitz Roy in Patagonia – in vain, the weather put a spoke in their wheel. I asked the 50-year-old four questions about her climbing.
Heidi, what do you owe to the mountains, especially Mount Everest?
Date13. December 2016 | 10:55
Only courage? Rather humility
For mountain lovers actually every day is a day of the mountains. However, there’s no harm in being aware, at least once a year, of how vulnerable and worthy of protection the mountain world is. Yesterday’s 11 December was the annual “International Mountain Day”. In 2016, the United Nations dedicated it to the people who live and work in mountain regions, 13 percent of the world population after all.
My contribution to the “Day of Mountains” is more personal (sorry for the one day delay, I still had to complete the English version). Recently, my employer asked me to do a small slide show about courage. They said, I had proved courage during my adventures in the Himalayas and the Arctic after all. Really? See for yourself:
Date12. December 2016 | 11:06
Nanga Parbat falls back into hibernation. After the 8125-meter-high mountain in Pakistan was bustling over the past years with expeditions who tried to climb it for the first time in winter, it now looks as if the “naked mountain” remains a lonely one in the coming months. This winter even the Polish climber Tomasz Mackiewicz will not change his living room – as he did in the last six years – with a cold tent on Nanga Parbat.
Date7. December 2016 | 17:02
TagsArjun Vajpaj, Lunger, Mackiewicz, Moro, Mount Everest, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Nanga Parbat, Txikon, Wielicki, Winter Expeditions
You can’t just set off. If you want to climb am mountain in Nepal you should check the rules beforehand, otherwise you might experience a nasty surprise. Like the three Spanish climbers, who recently opened new routes on two six-thousanders. They were under way without permits, now the authorities in Kathmandu are investigating the case. They are facing a stiff fine and a 10-year-ban from mountaineering in Nepal. My compassion for the Spaniards is limited. I find their justification (“We are not pirates, we have left our money in Nepal at all”) flimsy. If you follow this argumentation, you could bilk any national park fee worldwide. Nonetheless there have been some construction sites the Nepalese “mountain management” for a long time, which are allegedly worked on but whose status does not change.
Date6. December 2016 | 17:22
TagsAma Dablam, Expeditions, Liaison officers, Nepal, Nepalese Tourism Ministry, NMA, Permit, Thundu Sherpa, Tim Mosedale
“School up!” A new school is built
Week by week, I get pictures which show that the construction works for the new school in Thulosirubari really proceed. The old school in the small village, 70 kilometers east of the Nepali capital Kathmandu, had been damaged so badly by the earthquake on 25 April 2015 that it had had to be demolished. Even if we have not yet reached our target – without your donations for our aid project “School up!” we would not be where we are now. See for yourselves!
Date1. December 2016 | 17:09