“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.”
Date24. May 2017 | 0:25
TagsArnot-Reid, Binsack, Commemoration, Interlaken, Jonathan Griffith, Nuptse, Robert Boesch, Schaeli, Siegrist, Ueli Buehler, Ueli Steck
Only a few meters have been missing to the top, but they’ve climbed through the wall. David Goettler and Hervé Barmasse entered the Shishapangma South Face on Sunday morning and climbed in 13 hours to a point just below the 8,027-meter-high summit. “We found a last traverse of about ten meters and then five meters up to the summit too delicate due to the avalanche danger,” David writes to me after returning to the Base Camp. Originally, the 38-year-old German and his one year older climbing partner from Italy had planned to open a new route through the South Face. Like in spring 2016, when David had tried the same with the Swiss Ueli Steck, the weather conditions impeded the project.
Date23. May 2017 | 8:40
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).”
Date22. May 2017 | 13:38
TagsAndy Holzer, Dead, Elisabeth Revol, Janusz Adamski, Kilian Jornet, Lhotse, Mount Everest, Rafal Fronia, Ralf Dujmovits
That’s not on!
In the next few days there will surely be a lot of success reports on the eight-thousanders. Before we switch to the congratulation mode, unfortunately, we have to bring up some painful objects of commercial climbing. I’m really not a moralizer, but some news from the last few days have raised my concern – especially today’s tweet by Tim Mosedale. “Ronnie & Pemba have arrived at Lhotse high camp to find that some scumbags have nicked the supply of oxygen. Completely unacceptable”, writes the British expedition leader, who summited Mount Everest on Wednesday for the sixth time. And he sent another tweet: “Stealing Os jeopardises lives of other climbers. If it’s an emergency let us know and of course we’ll help. Taking it is utterly disgraceful.” It’s really shocking, absolutely negligent and inexcusable that egoism on the mountain goes so far that even oxygen bottles are stolen. This does not show the attitude of some (hopefully only a few) climbers on the highest mountains on earth in a very favourable light. This also applies to what happened in the failed summit attempt on Kangchenjunga last Tuesday.
Incorrect information in the highest camp
The Australian Chris Jensen Burke reports in her blog, a leader of another group had told them in the last camp below the summit that ropes had been fixed up to 8,100 meters on the previous day. Therefore it would not be necessary to take all ropes available in the camp, he added – and that no Sherpas would have to ascend long before the clients of the commercial expeditions. Half a day later this turned out to be simply wrong. As a result, there was a “conga-line” (Chris) at an altitude of about 8,000 meters: ahead the Sherpas, who still had to secure the route, behind them the summit aspirants of the different teams. Then, in consequence of the incorrect information at the high camp, the ropes ran out. The summit attempt had to be abandoned, all climbers descended.
No trace of appreciation
“Why were we given incorrect information?,” Chris Jensen Burke asks. “I have to believe inexperience played a key part, and there must have been no appreciation by the chap of the consequences.” No trace of teamwork. However, also the comment of a client quoted by Chris make me shake my head: “If a route setter knows climbers are coming up behind them, they should move faster.” These words are short of any respect for the work of the Sherpas. And the question must be allowed: What’s about the self-responsibility of the clients?
Among those who turned back on Kangchenjunga were the three Nepalese Maya Sherpa, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita and Dawa Yangzum Sherpa. Today they decided to leave the mountain because of the rather bad weather forecasts. “It’s clearly a very disappointing decision, and we would obviously wish that we could return with a summit,” the Sherpani trio wrote on Facebook.
Date20. May 2017 | 20:26
TagsChris Jensen Burke, Dawa Yangzum Sherpa, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Maya Sherpa, Mount Everest, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, Tim Mosedale
The good weather window predicted for the coming weekend has not only led to a huge number of teams starting their summit attempts on Mount Everest. Also on other eight-thousanders climbers have left the base camps. On Makalu, for example, the German Thomas Laemmle, who is climbing solo and without bottled oxygen, has today pitched up his tent already far up, on Makalu La at 7,400 meters. On Dhaulagiri, the 78-year-old Spaniard Carlos Soria and his team-mates are planning to reach the summit on Sunday. On Annapurna, the Pole Adam Bielecki, the Briton Rick Allen and the German Felix Berg have started their summit attempt on Wednesday.
Date19. May 2017 | 16:38
TagsAdam Bielecki, Annapurna Northwest Face, Azim Gheychisaz, Carlos Soria, Dhaulagiri, Felix Berg, Lhotse, Louis Rousseau, Makalu, Rick Allen, Thomas Laemmle, Tilicho Peak
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?
Date18. May 2017 | 16:50
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.
Date17. May 2017 | 18:57
TagsGorak Shep, Kilian Jornet, Mount Everest, Nepal, Nobukazu Kuriki, North Face, Tibet, West Ridge
There’s been a hail of success reports from Nepal. Especially from Mount Everest. Dozens of climbers reached the summit at 8,850 meters from both the Tibetan north side and the Nepalese south side. Among them was the Romanian Horia Colibasanu, the first mountaineer to have climbed Everest this spring without bottled oxygen. “It was very, very hard and very, very cold,” the 40-year-old informed on Facebook. For Colibasanu it was the eighth eight-thousander. He ascended from the north, as did the German expedition leader Dominik Mueller. The 46-year-old head of the operator Amical alpin reached the summit along with a client, both of them used bottle oxygen.
Date16. May 2017 | 14:08
TagsAmical Alpin, Dhaulagiri, Dominik Mueller, Horia Colibasanu, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Mollie Hughes, Mount Everest, Peter Hamor
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.
Date15. May 2017 | 10:47
TagsEverest south side, fixed ropes, Gurkha Everest expedition, Mount Everest, Sherpas, Summit successes
David Goettler and Hervé Barmasse are waiting for their chance. For a good weather window, which allows them to enter the Shishapangma South Face where they – as reported before –want to climb a new route. In contrast to Mount Everest, where both sides of the mountain are overrun by hundreds of climbers, the 38-year-old German and the 39-year-old Italian are alone in their Base Camp on the south side of the Shishapangma. I sent David four questions.
Date14. May 2017 | 14:23
The Everest wave rolls, at least on the Tibetan north side of the mountain. According to an Indian operator, six clients of their commercial expedition team reached the summit on Saturday, accompanied by ten Sherpas. Among those who stood on the highest point on 8,850 meters was reportedly also Lhakpa Sherpa. It was her eighth summit success on the highest mountain on earth. The 43-year-old Nepalese who lives in the USA remains the woman with the most Everest ascents. Other commercial expeditions have started their first summit attempt.
Date13. May 2017 | 21:16
TagsForesummit, Gipfelerfolg, Lhakpa Sherpa, Main Summit, Makalu, Masha Gordon, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Mount Everest
The ropes are fixed up to the summit of Mount Everest – at least on the north side of the highest mountain on earth. On Thursday, according to consistent reports, nine Sherpas of an Indian team, responsible for securing the normal route on the Tibetan side, reached the highest point at 8,850 meters. The Nepalese operator Arun Treks, who had organized the expedition, dedicated these first ascents of the Everest season to the Swiss climber Ueli Steck, who had fallen to death on Nuptse on 30 April.
Date12. May 2017 | 14:32
TagsArun Treks, Makalu, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Mount Everest, Revol, Sherpas, Summit successes, Thomas Laemmle
They did it. Nives Meroi and Romano Benet have climbed their 14th eight-thousander. The Italian couple belonged to a group of six climbers who reached the summit of the Annapurna today at 10.30 a.m. local time. This is reported by the Spanish climber Alberto Zerain, who in his own words was also on top, along with his compatriot Jonatan Garcia. Moreover, two Chileans reached the highest point on 8091 meters, says Alberto. Nives Meroi and Romano Benet, both 55 years old, are the first couple to have reached together the summits of all 14 highest mountains in the world – without the use of bottled oxygen and without sherpa support. It was their third attempt on Annapurna after 2006 and 2009.
Date11. May 2017 | 10:20
Still, it is only news snippets. But it looks as if today for the first time this spring climbers have reached the summit of Makalu. With an altitude of 8,485 meters, Makalu is the fifth-highest mountain on earth. “We had summits!” twittered the British expedition operator Altitude Junkies from Makalu. “Everybody is safe.” Details are to be published on Thursday. The newspaper “BonDia” from Andorra reported that Domi Trastoy, a 36-year-old climber from the mini-state, had reached the summit without the use of supplemental oxygen. For him, Makalu was the second eight-thousander after Mount Everest, it was stated.
Date10. May 2017 | 21:07
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.
Date9. May 2017 | 19:34