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with Stefan Nestler

Everest without O 2: Right on schedule

Ralf Dujmovits above Everest North Col

So far, the summit attempts of the climbers, who are currently tackling Mount Everest without bottled oxygen, are on schedule (with one exception, see below). According to his life partner Nancy Hansen, Ralf Dujmovits today reached Camp 2 on the Tibetan north side of the highest mountain on earth: “Ralf just called me from 7,700 m, where he will sleep for the night,” the Canadian climber wrote on Facebook. “It is stormy now, but the winds should come down. Tomorrow he will move up to 8,300 m. He feels good!” The 55-year-old has already – as the only German climber so far – scaled all 14 eight-thousanders. Only on Everest in 1992 he had used a breathing mask. The current attempt without bottled oxygen is his eighth and in his own words the “definitely last one” on Everest.

Date

25. May 2017 | 14:32

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Without O2: The Everest summit pushs of Dujmovits and Co. are on

Ralf Dujmovits, in the background Mount Everest

If everything works, there could be a “topless” party on the summit of Mount Everest next Saturday. Some climbers who want to scale the highest mountain on earth without breathing mask have started their summit attempts. Among those who set off from the Advanced Base Camp on the Tibetan north side was Ralf Dujmovits. The 55-year-old, so far the only German who has scaled all 14 eight-thousanders, wants to succeed in his eighth attempt climbing Everest without supplemental oxygen. In his successful attempt in fall 1992, Ralf had used a breathing mask above the South Col, due to bad weather. All other eight-thousanders he had climbed without bottled oxygen. His plan now: today North Col (7,050 m), tomorrow Camp 2 (7,700 m), on Friday Camp 3 (8,300 m) and on Saturday “hopefully towards the summit” (8,850 m), as Ralf writes to me: “I am confident, I feel good and I think that the extremely warm temperatures (probably minus 20 degrees Celsius) might help me.”

Date

24. May 2017 | 12:43

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Farewell, Ueli!

The Eiger North Face in the evening light

“I believe he was a totally happy person when it happened,” said Robert Boesch, the Swiss photographer and mountaineer, at the commemoration for his friend Ueli Steck, who had fallen to death from an altitude of about 7,600 meters on Nuptse on 30 April. Every SMS Ueli had sent from Everest Base Camp before had conveyed the message: Everything is perfect, motivation as well as fitness. Boesch believes that it was a spontaneous decision of the 40-year-old not to ascend to Everest South Col, as originally planned, but to climb Nuptse. “The conditions must have been good, otherwise he would not have been so early so far up,” said Robert. Surely Steck had climbed “in a flow”. Why he fell, could not be clarified: “That doesn’t matter, that’s just climbing. He did not have the quantum of luck he would have needed.”

Date

24. May 2017 | 0:25

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Jornet and Holzer on Everest, Revol on the Lhotse

Mount Everest

The summit of Mount Everest was probably quite crowded today. From the north side, maybe 60 climbers tried to reach the highest point on earth at 8,850 meters, Ralf Dujmovits wrote on Instagram. The number of summit aspirants on the Nepali south side might have been much higher. Dujmovits, the so far only German who has climbed all 14 eight-thousanders, wants to reach the summit of Everest without bottled oxygen. The 55-year-old plans to wait for the current run being over and only then start his own attempt: “At my age climbing without supplemental oxygen one needs to climb at a very steady pace – can’t speed up for overtaking (loosing too much body warmth) or can’t wait at typical cueing points (loosing body warmth by just waiting).”

Date

22. May 2017 | 13:38

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Dominik Mueller on Everest: “It was perfect”

Dominik Mueller on Everest (© www-third-pole.com)

While for many climbers the decisive phase on the highest mountain on earth has begun right now, Dominik Mueller is already packing his bags. As reported before, the German expedition leader reached the 8850-meter-high summit of Mount Everest from the Tibetan north-side on Tuesday, as well as one of his clients. Two other members of his team turned around at 8,550 respectively 8,600 meters. “All are fine, not even a single wound,” says Dominik when I reach the 46-year-old head of the expedition operator Amical alpine via satellite telephone in the Advanced Base Camp at 6,300 meters.

Dominik, first of all congratulations. How was the weather and the conditions on the mountain during your ascent?

Date

18. May 2017 | 16:50

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Kuriki changes his Everest plan

Nobukazu Kuriki

Nobukazu Kuriki has changed Everest sides. The 34-year-old Japanese today reported on Facebook from Gorak Shep, the 5207-meter-high last inhabited settlement below Everest on the Nepalese south side. Apparently, Kuriki has managed the necessary formalities with the Nepali authorities. Previously, Nobukazu had pitched his tent on the Tibetan north side: on the Central Rongbuk Glacier below Everest North Face. The reason for his change of location, says Kuriki, was that he had changed his previous plan for the ascent. Originally, the Japanese had wanted to climb the North Face, solo and without bottled oxygen, via the so-called “Supercouloir Route”, a system of gullies that stretches almost through the entire wall.

Date

17. May 2017 | 18:57

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First summit successes on Everest south side

South side of Mount Everest

The spell is broken. For the first time this spring, climbers have scaled the summit of Mount Everest also from the Nepalese south side of the mountain. An employee of the Ministry of Tourism informed from the Base Camp that today 14 climbers reached the highest point on 8,850 meters. The route is now secured up to the summit with fixed ropes. According to consistent reports three members of an expedition of the British Gurkha military brigade were among the successful climbers.

Date

15. May 2017 | 10:47

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Dujmovits on Everest: “I’m confident”

Ralf Dujmovits above Everest North Col

Everybody is writing about how crowded Mount Everest is. “The mountain is almost completely deserted,” Ralf Dujmovits tells me today via satellite phone. The only German who has so far climbed all 14 eight-thousanders has just returned from his second acclimatization climb on the Tibetan north side of Everest. He spent a night in Camp 2 at 7,700 meters, then he descended, as scheduled, to the Advanced Base Camp (ABC) at 6,300 meters.

Date

9. May 2017 | 19:34

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Everest aspirant caught without permit

Mount Everest

Actually, the first summit successes on Mount Everest had been expected for the past weekend. However, the Sherpa team that wanted to fix the ropes up to the highest point on 8,850 meters on the Nepali south side of the mountain had to turn around because of strong winds. And now it’s snowing. Snowfall is also expected for the next days. After all, the weather forecast for this week predicts little wind in the summit area. Maybe something will be still possible. This does not apply to Ryan Sean Davy. The 43-year-old South African was caught in Everest Base Camp without permit and sent back to Kathmandu.

Date

8. May 2017 | 17:04

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Senior Min Bahadur Sherchan dies on Everest

Min Bahadur Sherchan (r. , with expedition leader Shiva Bahadur Sapkota)

He wanted to regain the age record, now he has died in the Base Camp at the feet of Mount Everest. Min Bahadur Sherchan passed away on Saturday afternoon local time, said Gyanendra Shrestha, an official of the Ministry of Tourism, who is staying in the Base Camp on the Nepali side of the highest mountain on Earth. The doctors, according to Shrestha, suspected a heart attack as the cause of death. It is the second fatality of this spring’s climbing season on Mount Everest, after Ueli Steck’s ​fall to death on Nuptse last Sunday.

Date

6. May 2017 | 15:45

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Ueli Steck cremated at Tengboche Monastery

Tengboche Monastery

He would have liked that. At Tengboche Monastery in the Khumbu area, at almost 4,000 meters, with a view to Mount Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam, Ueli Steck’s ​​family bid farewell to the Swiss top climber during a Buddhist ceremony. The 40-year-old had fallen to death on Sunday on the 7861- meter-high Nuptse. “According to the Nepali tradition, the deceased was cremated in an impressive three-hour ceremony,” Steck’s family informed via Facebook. Uelis wife Nicole, his parents and parents-in-law took part. “The family perceived the ceremony as very solemn and impressive, sad and at the same time liberating.” The family will take a part of the ashes back to Switzerland, where a public memorial is planned for friends, acquaintances and companions. Place and time are not yet fixed. On Ueli Steck’ homepage ​​an online book of condolence was established.

Date

4. May 2017 | 23:35

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Ines Papert on Ueli Steck’s death: “It was HIS life!”

Ueli Steck a few days before his fall to death

Why did Ueli Steck choose Nuptse to acclimatize himself? This is a question I ask myself, since on Sunday the news of the death of the Swiss spread like a run-fire. A few days earlier, the 40-year-old had climbed towards the West Shoulder of Everest. That made sense. After all, he planned to climb on his Everest-Lhotse traverse via the West Ridge and the Hornbein Couloir to the highest. But Nuptse? Not exactly the classic tour to get acclimatized. What was the added value besides making additional height meters?

Reinhold Messner speculated in several interviews that Ueli might have planned to try the “great horseshoe”, the never-attempted round trip form Nuptse to Lhotse and Everest across the ridges between the mountains. I see no evidence for this after all I have heard and read. The Frenchman Yannick Graziani wrote in his blog that Ueli had asked him three days before his death, if he wanted to accompany him on Nuptse. The 43-year-old, who wants to climb Everest without bottled oxygen this spring, declined. It was really just an acclimatization trip, Yannick’s team told me on request: “Ueli never said or wrote about Nuptse or horseshoe. He was waiting for his Sherpa friend Tenji to recover from frostbite and reach together the West Shoulder.”

On Monday, I had written to some top climbers asking how they had experienced Ueli. Two other answers reached me.

Date

3. May 2017 | 13:06

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Siegrist: “Only the most difficult was good enough for Ueli”

R.I.P., Ueli!

The mountaineering scene is still paralyzed. No one can really understand that Ueli Steck is no longer among us. The 40-year-old Swiss had fallen to death in the immediate vicinity of Mount Everest yesterday. His corpse had been found at the foot of Nuptse West and had been flown to Kathmandu. His wife, his parents and other relatives are expected in the Nepalese capital. According to the newspaper “Himalayan Times”, Ueli is to be buried in Nepal. Why Steck fell, will probably never be resolved. After all, he was solo climbing again to prepare himself for the planned Everest-Lhotse traverse. His team partner, Tenjing Sherpa, had suffered frostbite and had not been able to accompany Ueli.

Date

1. May 2017 | 17:28

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On the death of Ueli Steck: One of the best, but not a reckless gambler

Ueli Steck (1976-2017)

Ueli Steck is dead. Fallen to death somewhere on Everest. Incredible. I can not believe it. What has happened? The exact circumstances are not yet clear. The body of the 40-year-old was found somewhere between Camp 1 (at 6,100 m) and 2 (6,400 m). Steck climbed solo on Nuptse, slipped and fell about 1,000 meters deep, reports the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times”. In the past week, Ueli had reported via Facebook on a “quick day” climbing from Base Camp up to 7,000 meters and back again. The attached photo showed him with trailrunning shoes. Typical Ueli, I twittered with a twinkle in my eye – and the thought: Only one like him gets away with this, “The Swiss Machine”, the “Speedy Gonzales” among the high-altitude climbers, undisputedly one of the best.

Date

30. April 2017 | 17:02

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Two fast men on Everest: Jornet and Steck

Kilian Jornet (r.) and Emelie Forsberg (l.) in Kathmandu

“I feel really acclimatized and strong in altitude,” said Kilian Jornet – already before he set off towards the Himalayas last weekend. As a training for his eight-thousander expedition, the speed specialist had climbed along with his Swedish girl friend Emelie Forsberg in Norway, and the day before their departure both had started at the Trofeo Mezzalama in Italy, one of the classic races for ski mountaineers in . Kilian had won second place in a team with the Swiss Martin Anthamatten and Werner Marti, Emelie had won the women’s competition along with the Swiss Jennifer Fiechter and the French Laetitia Roux. Jornet and Forsberg traveled via the Nepalese capital Kathmandu to Tibet. Within the next two weeks, they want to climb Cho Oyu, with an altitude of 8,188 meters the sixth highest mountain on earth. “If everything goes well, we could be on the summit on 7 or May,” said Emelie, for whom it is the first experience on an eight-thousander. And Kilian adds: “For me, it will be good preparation for Everest because I’ll be better acclimatized when I get there.”

Date

25. April 2017 | 19:03

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