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Japanese climbers land a coup on Shispare

Kazuya Hiraide (l.) and Kenro Nakajima

Put the eight-thousander glasses aside! At an insignificantly lower mountain in the west of the Karakoram in Pakistan, two Japanese climbers succeeded an extraordinary ascent on 22 August. According to the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA), Kazuya Hiraide and Kenro Nakajima climbed for the first time via the Northeast Face of the 7611-meter-high Shispare. In four days, the two Japanese climbed in Alpine style through the 2700-meter-high wall to the summit and descended via the Northeast Ridge, it said.

Date

1. September 2017 | 16:37

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Ueli Steck: “If you go too far, you are dead”

Ueli Steck at the IMS in Bressanone

Ueli Steck at the IMS in Bressanone

If “The Fast and the Furious” had been a film about climbers, Ueli Steck could have played the leading role. The Swiss is just extremely fast. The Eiger North Face in two hours and 22 minutes, the 82 four-thousanders of the Alps within 61 days, solo via the Annapurna South Face to the 8091-meter-high summit and back in 28 hours, through Shishapangma South Face within ten and a half hours – for good reason Ueli is nicknamed “The Swiss Machine”. As if he had a tuned engine inside like the cars in “The Fast and the Furious”. Just recently, Steck has returned from India. I met him at the International Mountain Summit (IMS) in Bressanone in South Tyrol and talked to him about his tendency to speed, about aging and his next plans.

Ueli, you just turned 40 years old and you were not at home. How did you spend your birthday?

Date

15. October 2016 | 1:55

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Steck and Goettler: Five questions, five answers

Ueli Steck (l.) and David Goettler

Ueli Steck (l.) and David Goettler

He couldn’t stop thinking about it. When the Swiss top climber Ueli Steck solo climbed the South Face of 8027-meter- high Shishapangma in only ten and a half hours five years ago, he discovered a possible new direct line. This spring, the 39-year-old – along with the 37-year-old German professional climber David Goettler – returned to the 2000-meter-high wall to have a try at the new route. If everything works perfectly, they plan to descend from the summit via the north side, thus traversing the eight-thousander.

Before heading off to Tibet, Ueli and David acclimatized in the Everest region in Nepal – including trail-running over extremely long distances. I sent them five questions to their Base Camp at the foot of Shishapangma South Face.

Ueli and David, the pictures which you published on Facebook in recent weeks, remind me of Speedy Gonzales or Road Runner, two cartoon characters of my childhood: continuously in high speed mode, because hunted. At the same time each of you let us know that the other is really, really fit. Honestly, who of you is actually rushing whom? Or from what are you trying to escape?

Date

1. May 2016 | 13:18

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Nanga Parbat summit attempt failed

Nothing to be gained for David Goettler (© The North Face)

Nothing to be gained for David Goettler (© The North Face)

Over and out! Once again, climbers find Nanga Parbat in winter a hard nut to crack. David Goettler and Tomek Mackiewicz have aborted their summit attempt. “Too windy, too cold, too dangerous,” twittered the Italian Emilio Previtali, who was keeping contact with the German and Polish climber by radio. “We went up, we did our best and we pushed hard”, said David. Both climbers descended. Lower on the mountain, Pawel Dunaj and Jacek Teler also decided to turn back. “They are collecting all the gears and ropes. Everyone is fine”, writes Emilio. This sounds like the definite end of both expeditions. Earlier it was said that the third summit attempt would be probably the last for this winter. Already on Friday, the Italian Simone Moro had returned to base camp due to stomach trouble. “Hard to put all my emotions into words after these days”, David Goettler wrote on Facebook, “from being sad that we had to turn around to being happy that I could take a look at the Diamir side, being above 7200 m, being now safe back in BC and being home soon!”

Date

1. March 2014 | 15:49

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Goettler and Mackiewicz at 7000 meters

David before the summit attempt

David before the summit attempt (© The North Face)

The excitement is increasing. Will there be the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat this weekend or even another failed summit attempt in the long list of unsuccessful winter climbs on this eight-thousander. A new rope team of two climbers has been formed that wants to go up to the highest point at 8125 meters on Saturday. Tomacz called “Tomek” Mackiewicz from Poland and David Goettler from Germany are spending the night in their new Camp 4 at 7000 meters. It was cold with a bit of wind, reported the Italian Emilio Previtali, who is keeping contact with the climbers by radio from basecamp. He is no longer alone there. His compatriot Simone Moro, who has climbed three eight-thousanders firstly in winter, has returned. “He feels okay, but has some stomach trouble,” Emilio writes on Twitter. “Not the right conditions to go up the mountain and be exposed to altitude for days.”

Date

28. February 2014 | 18:15

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