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Rescue runs on Mount Everest

Rescue in Everest Base Camp

Rescue in Everest Base Camp

My heart is heavy. My thoughts are with the people in Nepal – and also with the climbers on Mount Everest. After the devastating earthquake on Saturday, the death toll is rising continuously. Meanwhile, it’s more than 2,000 across the country. And also from the base camp on the Nepalese side of Everest more and more victims are reported. As reported before, yesterday’s earthquake had triggered a huge avalanche from the seven-thousander Pumori vis-a-vis Everest that had hit the Base Camp at 5,300 meters. Today, the area was shaken by ​​strong aftershocks of magnitude 6.7 on the Richter scale.

Date

26. April 2015 | 10:49

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Nepal devastated by earthquake, avalanche on Everest

South side of Mount Everest

South side of Mount Everest

The number of victims of the devastating earthquake in Nepal is increasing every hour – now over 1100. In the capital Kathmandu, but also in the nearby towns of Patan and Bhaktapur, many houses and buildings collapsed, including centuries-old temples. The tremors reached a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, the center of the quake was 80 kilometers north-west of Kathmandu. At least ten climbers were killed at the foot of Mount Everest after the quake had triggered a massive avalanche on Pumori. The seven-thousander is located vis-a-vis the highest mountain in the world. The situation is dramatic.

Date

25. April 2015 | 18:23

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Breaking news: Strong earthquake in Nepal, avalanche hits Everest BC

South side of Mount Everest

South side of Mount Everest

Terrible news from Nepal: A severe earthquake of magnitude 7.9 has killed several hundred people. At Mount Everest, the shocks triggered a huge avalanche. The snow masses reportedly released from the seven-thousander Pumori and met the Everest Base Camp. According to the Nepalesse government at least eight climbers were killed. The number could rise, said a representative of the Ministry of Tourism. On the Tibetan north side of Everest apparently nothing happened. “The quake was clearly felt in Everest BC, it occurred smaller landslides and debris flows. Nobody was hurt. We are doing well”, wrote German climber Luis Stitzinger. 

P.S. Follow my tweets! (right side of the blog)

Date

25. April 2015 | 13:06

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The other dead man from Annapurna

Annapurna I

Annapurna I

Dead and gone. Why only are single deaths of Sherpa climbers in the Himalayas swept under the carpet so quickly? Almost as if it was just a work accident. According to the motto: It’s sad, but unfortunately it sometimes happens. The most recent example was the accident on the eight-thousander Annapurna four weeks ago. In the days that followed, many obits of the 36-year-old Finn Samuli Mansikka were published. For sure, he had deserved each of them. Samuli was not only an excellent climber – Annapurna was his tenth eight-thousander, eight of which he climbed without bottled oxygen – but, according to all reports of his mates, a cool guy, always up for fun or ready for party. However, we learned next to nothing about the other climber who died. It was 35-year-old Pemba Sherpa, was said in a few reports. Allegedly he was born near the eight-thousander Makalu and was called “Technical Pemba” due to his technical climbing skills. About what Pemba had previously done as a mountaineer, the information diverged widely. I was not content with this confusion.

Date

23. April 2015 | 9:56

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Thomas Ulrich ends solo trip in the Arctic

Thomas Ulrich some days ago

Thomas Ulrich some days ago

The man took me to the North Pole six years ago. Thus I owe Thomas Ulrich a lot. At the time of our last degree expedition, the 47-year-old adventurer from Switzerland proved to be a prudent and motivating expedition leader. Also this year, Thomy led a group on skis, pulling sledges, the last almost 120 kilometers from the 89th degree of latitude to the North Pole. A week ago they reached 90 degrees north. In contrast to 2009, Ulrich did not fly with the other expedition members by helicopter back to the Russian ice station “Barneo”.  Thomy wanted to ski towards Canada, solo and unsupported. His destination: Ward Hunt Island, 800 miles from the North Pole. Ulrich thought that it would take him 30 to 40 days to reach the island. Previously only his Norwegian friend and former expedition partner Borge Ousland had soloed the distance. But after a few days Ulrich turned around again.

Date

21. April 2015 | 22:18

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Baumann: “Families of Everest victims still need help”

Baumann visiting the family of avalanche victim Chhiring Sherpa

Baumann visiting the family of avalanche victim Chhiring Sherpa

There was no climbing on Mount Everest on this Saturday. At the Base Camp at 5,300 meters, more than 300 western climbers and an equivalent number of Sherpas commemorated the 16 Nepalis who had been killed in the avalanche in Khumbu Icefall exactly one year ago. It was the worst avalanche disaster in the history of Everest. The German climber and physician Matthias Baumann had witnessed the tragedy at the Base Camp. Later he visited the families of the victims and launched a relief campaign for them. In March, the 43-year-old trauma surgeon from the city of Tuebingen traveled again to Nepal. He distributed money to the families of the victims and launched financial sponsorships to guarantee the education of the avalanche victims’ children.

Matthias, a year ago, you were at the Base Camp of Mount Everest, when the avalanche released in the Khumbu Icefall. You were among the doctors who first treated the injured climbers. Are you still thinking of what happened on 18 April 2014?

Date

18. April 2015 | 21:09

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Edi Koblmueller is dead

Edi Koblmüller (1946-2015) (© Bergspechte/Uli Seidel)

Edi Koblmüller (1946-2015) (© Bergspechte/Uli Seidel)

Edi Koblmueller, one of the most famous Austrian mountaineers froze to death a few days after his 69th birthday at a ski tour at the 5047-meter-high Mount Kazbek in Georgia. The guide had led an eight-member group of the operator “Bergspechte”. A 59-year woman from Austrian also died. According to media reports, she had been slower than the other members of the group and Edi had remained with her. “The local group told us that Edi Koblmueller and the woman ran into a blizzard,” it says on the website of “Bergspechte”. The other members of the group were able to escape from the snow storm into a shelter. The bodies of the two victims were later found and recovered by helicopter.

Date

17. April 2015 | 16:30

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Bonington: “The joy of climbing in the Himalayas is exploration”

Chris Bonington

Chris Bonington

He was knighted to Sir Chris Bonington but he kept his feet on the ground. The 80-year-old Briton, a true living legend in mountaineering, is still a friendly man who is always speaking frankly. I was able to verify this at first hand when I met him last week in Chamonix where he was awarded the Piolet d’Or for his life achievements in the mountains.

Chris, what does the “Career Piolet d’Or” mean to you?

It means a huge amount, because this is an award for my peer group. And in it I’m joining some of the finest and best climbers in the world [Walter Bonatti (awarded in 2010), Reinhold Messner (2011), Doug Scott (2011), Robert Paragot (2012), KurtDiemberger (2013), John Roskelley (2014)], many of whom of course are good friends as well. So it means as much as any award I ever had.

You are 80 years old and you are still climbing, most recently in Catalonia in Spain some weeks ago. Please tell me your secret?

Date

16. April 2015 | 16:31

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Piolets d’Or: And the winners are … all!

The winners: Bonington, Cesen, (Doug Scott), Prezelj, Lindic, Lonchinsky, Caldwell, Gukov (f.l.)

The winners: Bonington, Cesen, (Doug Scott), Prezelj, Lindic, Lonchinsky, Caldwell, Gukov (f.l.)

It was not surprising any more. All three teams that had been nominated for this year’s Piolets d’Or were finally awarded the Golden Ice Axes. The US climbers Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold got it for their full traverse of the Fitz Roy range in Patagonia, the Russians Aleksander Gukov and Aleksey Lonchinsky for their new route through the South Face of the 6,618-meter-high Thamserku in Nepal and the Slovenes Marko Prezelj, Ales Cesen and Luka Lindic, because they had opened up a route via the North Face of the 6,657-meter-high Hagshu in Northern India.No doubt, three amazing climbs worth to be cherished.

Date

12. April 2015 | 1:56

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Piolets d’Or: Outstanding achievements

Chris Bonington

Chris Bonington

„This award for my live achievements means a lot to me“, said Sir Chris Bonington visibly touched. „It honours not only me but also my peers and fellow mountaineers.“ On Saturday evening in Courmayeur, the 80-year-old British mountaineering legend will be awarded the „Piolet d’Or Career 2015“ for all his outstanding performances as climber and expedition leader that has been inspiring the following generations of extreme mountaineers. The previous evening in Chamonix, Boningtons achievements were presented, by himself and by his former British climbing mates Doug Scott (who got the Piolet d’Or Career in 2011) and Paul „Tut“ Braithwaite.

Date

11. April 2015 | 1:27

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Lunger and Moro: Goodbye Manaslu!

Letzter Aufstieg nach Lager 1

Last ascent to Camp 1

South Tyrolean climber Tamara Lunger and her Italian team partner Simone Moro have finished their expedition to the eight highest mountain on earth. They had planned to climb not only the 8167-meter high main summit of Manaslu but also in one push the 7992-meter-high Pinnacle East. “It started off as a winter expedition and is ending as a spring one only by the calendar and not because of the weather conditions. I wrote ‘ending’ because this is the final decision taken by Tamara and myself over the past few hours”, Simone wrote from base camp at 4800 meters. “We have used up all our patience, optimism,  experience and shrewdness, but for this year Manaslu remains for both of us a dream we have decided to postpone.”

Date

8. April 2015 | 16:46

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Rather far on the right side

New route through the Khumbu Icefall (on the right.) and that of 2014 (left)

New route through the Khumbu Icefall (on the right) and that of 2014 (left)

Apparently, the new route through the Khumbu Icefall is more than a little course correction. That is indicated by the images that the US guide Garrett Madison has published in his blog. Expedition members of his Madison Mountaineering team had flown over the icefall above Everest Base Camp by helicopter and had looked from the air where the so-called “Icefall Doctors” set up the route for this spring season. The images show that the route leads – seen from below – much further to the right side of the ice labyrinth than expected. Closer to Nuptse, further away from the West Shoulder of Everest, from where an ice avalanche had released on 18 April 2014 that had killed 16 Nepalis. “It appears that climbers will have to negotiate broken ice as before, and perhaps more vertical ladders”, Garrett wrote adding that there was at least one section that had four vertical ladders tied together to ascend up a very large ice cliff.

Date

8. April 2015 | 14:35

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Happy Easter

Ostern 2015I wish you all a very Happy Easter. And which mountain-egg has the “Picasso from the river Rhine” painted for you? I admit, not quite easy.

Date

5. April 2015 | 0:00

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Return to Manaslu

Tamara (l.) and Simone on Island Peak

Tamara (l.) and Simone on Island Peak

Manaslu, next attempt! The South Tyrolean Tamara Lunger and the Italian Simone Mono flew back by helicopter to the base camp at the foot of the eight highest mountain in the world. In early March, the two climbers had fled Manaslu due to heavy snowfalls and extremely high avalanche danger. It looks as if our camp was quite destroyed”, Tamara wrote in her blog.

Date

4. April 2015 | 12:57

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Jamling Tenzing Norgay: “My father would be shocked”

Jamling Tenzing Norgay

Jamling Tenzing Norgay

I owe Jamling Tenzing Norgay my first experiences in the Himalayas. I met the son of the first man who made it to the top of Everest in 2001 when he presented his book “Touching My Father’s Soul” in Germany. In 1996, Jamling had followed in his father’s footsteps by reaching himself the summit of the highest mountain on earth. Norgay’s book was the first to discuss from the Sherpas’ point of view the May 1996 disaster on Everest, in which twelve climbers had died, most of them clients of commercial expeditions. At the end of our meeting in Munich, Jamling said: “If you want to come to Nepal someday, contact me! Then I’ll help you to organize the trip.” He kept his word. In 2002, the International Year of the Mountains, I trekked to the base camp on the Nepalese side of Everest. Today Jamling Tenzing Norgay is a sought-after speaker. I asked the 48-year-old what he expects of this year’s climbing on Mount Everest.

Date

30. March 2015 | 10:37

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