Hiro has experienced a lot on Everest. „It is a very special mountain for me”, Hirotaka Takeuchi wrote to me, after I had asked him for his statements on the 60-year-jubilee of the first ascent. „I learned a lot from climbing Mt. Everest, and all those lessons and experiences were very important and helpful to me to climb all the fourteen 8,000 m peaks. Thus, I think Mt. Everest was a great learning place forme.” In one of the ‘classrooms’ the Japanese climber had been close to lose his life.
Date2. April 2013 | 16:15
Mount Sherpa. That would be a better suited name for the highest mountain of the world, which instead was named after Sir George Everest, a Surveyor-General of India in the 19th century. The history of Mount Everest is also a history of the Sherpas. The „eastern people” who had fled from Tibet to Nepal in earlier times were engaged for the early British expeditions in the 1920s. One of the two climbers who scaled Everest first in 1953 was a Sherpa: Tenzing Norgay. At the latest since commercial climbing was established on Everest sherpas have become indispensable. Without their support most of the clients wouldn’t have any chance to reach the summit. Due to this important role sherpas have an excellent reputation all over the world, many have achieved modest prosperity. Sherpas are also working as successful entrepreneurs, doctors or pilots. They know that these achievements are due to Everest. „As a Nepali, Mount Everest is my identity to the world. As a Sherpa, Mount Everest is the reason we have education, health care and prosperity”, Dawa Steven Sherpa wrote to me. „As a mountaineer, Mount Everest is the playground where I learned to explore myself, my limitations and my abilities as a person.”
Date27. March 2013 | 12:35
Tags60-years-jubilee, climate change, Dawa Steven Sherpa, Eco Everest expeditions, Mount Everest, Nepal, WWF
Perhaps I have exaggerated. Following my request to send her comments on Mount Everest 60 years after the first ascent Elizabeth Hawley replied: „Your questions seem to anthropomorphize Everest, and I don’t see it that way at all.” The world’s preeminent chronicler of Himalayan mountaineering is already 89 years old. For more than half a century the Amercian, living in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, has been documenting expeditions to high Himalayan mountains. It’s an unwritten law that you haven’t been on the summit until Miss Hawley has confirmed that you really have been on the top.
Date20. March 2013 | 17:10
Not only formerly French actor Gerard Depardieu has become a Russian, but also Denis Urubko. The 39 years old climber wrote me that he had left Kazakhstan and had now a passport of Russia. This spring Denis – together with his new countryman Alexei Bolotov – wants to climb Mount Everest on a new route (look here) via the southwest face. Urubko has already climbed all fourteen 8000ers without supplementary oxygen. Together with his friend Simone Moro from Italy Denis succeeded the first winter ascents of Makalu(2009) and Gasherbrum II (2011). In 2010 Denis and Kazakh Boris Dedeshko were awarded with the Piolet d’Or, the ‘Oscar’ of mountaineering, for their new route via the south face of Cho Oyu. I asked Urubko about his new plan on Everest.
Date16. March 2013 | 22:49
The first winter ascent of Broad Peak, but a total of three missing climbers who have been declared dead. That is the result of the five winter expeditions in Pakistan. As always, it’s worth having a look to the details. All the four groups on Nanga Parbat were small teams with a maximum of three climbers. Tomasz Mackiewicz from Poland made the greatest progress, reaching 7400 meters, finally climbing alone. The others got stuck in the deep snow, in icy cold conditions. For me the solo project of Joel Wischnewski remains mystifying.
Date13. March 2013 | 18:51
TagsBerbeka, Bielecki, Broad Peak, Karakorum, Kowalski, Mackiewicz, Malek, missed climbers, Nanga Parbat, Winterbesteigung, Wischnewski
End of February. It’s still quiet at the foot of Mount Everest. The calm before the storm. Or should I say before the rush? There will be again hundreds of climbers who turn the basecamp on the Nepalese south side into a small town, with helicopter base, mini-hospital and wireless internet connection. It’s time to call my friend Chomolungma on his mobile phone – before she is stressed out.
Namasté, Chomo! Stefan speaking.
Oh no, you again.
Take it easy!I haven’t woken you up from your hibernation, have I?
Look at your calendar! Pre-season. I’m still on vacation.
Date27. February 2013 | 17:10
Bernd Kullmann has a unique place in the annals of Mount Everest. When he stood on the summit on 8850 meters on October 17,1978, he wore an original Levi’s blue jeans. „I wasn’t only the first, but probably the only one, who ever did it”. Kullmann, now aged 58 years, said, at that time it was common to wear knickerbockers in the Alps. „We as young people wanted to provoke. We climbed the north face of Eiger in Jeans. So I found it logical to use Jeans on Everest too.” Above Camp 3 at about 7000 meters Kullmann covered his jeans with padded overtrousers. „We had not enough money for down garments. I didn’t even have long johns beneath.” Kullmann wore his jeans for all seven weeks they spent on Everest – with consequences: „In Kathmandu I could put it literally in the corner of my hotel room.” Kullmann didn’t dispose his durable trousers even then. „Later it was washed and I used it again. Jeans were simply my favourite garments.”
Date21. February 2013 | 18:35
In sports the second is often seen as the first looser. On May 17,2010 Edurne Pasaban from Spain finished the climbing of all fourteen 8000ers. But up to now it’s not clear whether she was the first or second woman who achieved this. Oh Eun-Sun completed the 8000ers three weeks earlier, but it remains disputed, whether the Korean really reached the summit of Kangchenjunga. When I talked to Edurne at the trade fair ISPO in Munich, I felt that the 39 years old climber is in harmony with the world around her, with the mountains and herself:
Edurne, you completed the fourteen 8000ers in 2010. Have you been in the Himalayas since then?
I came back to Everest in 2011. Everest was my first 8000er in 2001, I used (supplementary) oxygen for the summit. So after I had finished all 8000ers I wanted to try Everest without oxygen. But we didn’t make the summit.
Date18. February 2013 | 17:17
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is still dreaming of Mount Everest. The 42 years old Austrian has not yet given up her plan to climb through the north face to the summit on 8850 meters via the so-called „supercoloir“-route, although she failed twice. In 2005 and 2010 the conditions on the wall hadn’t allowed to climb this route. „In my eyes Mount Everest is still a beautiful mountain, especially from the North, when you stand directly at the foot of the north face”, Gerlinde said (you can read and hear her statements on both Everest-60-pinboards on the right side of the blog). „Nevertheless I won’t return to Everest in the near future.”
Date14. February 2013 | 16:30
Ralf Dujmovits is up to every Himalayan trick. For the last 25 years Germany’s most successful high altitude climber has been on the way on the highest mountains of the world. For him Mount Everest (the first ascent of the mountain 60 years ago will be celebrated in May) is an old acquaintance. In 1992 Ralf stood on the summit, 8850 meters high, in bad weather conditions. Above the South Col he used supplementary oxygen. It was the only one of the fourteen 8000-meter-peaks Ralf climbed with an oxygen-mask. The mountaineer from Bühl in the south of Germany feels this fact as a flaw that he wants to eliminate. In 2005, 2010 and 2012 Ralf tried to climb Everest without supplementary oxygen, three times he failed. But still he is flirting with another attempt. So it’s not surprising that Ralf talked about climbing „by fair means” – when I asked him for his statements for my Everest-60-pinboards (you can read and hear his words on the right side of the blog).
Date13. February 2013 | 16:15
Mount Everest is celebrating a 60-years-jubilee. Not concerning his real age. Chomolungma counts millions of years, not decades. 60 years ago on the 29th May Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first to set their feet on the the highest point of the earth. Since 1953 Mount Everest has been climbed more than 6000 times, about 4500 times in the last ten years.
Date7. February 2013 | 13:25
Auf dieser Pinnwand sammle ich anlässlich des 60-Jahr-Jubiläums der Everest-Erstbesteigung Äußerungen von Bergfreunden: Was wünschen sie dem höchsten Berg der Erde für die Zukunft wünschen? (On this pinboard on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first climbing of Everest I collect statements of mountain lovers: What do they wish the highest mountain on earth for the future?)
Date7. February 2013 | 13:13
Auf dieser Pinnwand sammle ich anlässlich des 60-Jahr-Jubiläums der Everest-Erstbesteigung Äußerungen von Bergfreunden: Wie sehen sie den höchsten Berg der Erde heute? (On this pinboard on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first climbing of Everest I collect statements of mountain lovers: How do they think now about the highest mountain on earth? )
Date7. February 2013 | 13:10
In spring 2012 Russell Brice put the brakes on. The probably most experienced operator of commercial expeditions to Mount Everest cancelled his expedition, because he considered the conditions in the Khumbu icefall and on the Lhotse face as too hazardous. „The danger is certainly past my parameters“, Brice said. Russell has been leading expeditions to the Himalayas since 1974. For this spring his agency Himalayan Experience offers Everest South Side again. I asked the 60 years old New Zealander per email:
Date1. February 2013 | 16:30