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David Lama after his solo first ascent of Lunag Ri: “Most intense time”

The last meters to the summit of Lunag Ri (picture taken by a drone)

“I traverse the last few metres over wind packed snow that sticks to the granite on the Nepalese side of the mountain. Even though my head is full with the impressions that I absorb every moment up here, my thoughts are somehow empty. The knowledge that I must not make any mistake is constantly present and dominates all other feelings. It results in an intense, almost exhausting concentration – a feeling I know only from other solo ascents in the mountains,” Austrian top climber David Lama writes on his website about the moment when the 28-year-old was the first to set his foot on the summit of the 6,907-metre-high Lunag Ri about a month ago (see video below). The technically difficult mountain is located in the Rolwaling Himal on the border between Nepal and Tibet, more than 35 kilometers as the crow flies northwest of Mount Everest. “Having arrived at the very front of the summit spur, I stand still. It feels strange that suddenly I have no more further to go. I sink down to my knees, tired and happy, even though I wouldn’t be able to express it that way right now. Briefly I think about Conrad. He is the only one I would have liked to share this moment with.”

Date

27. November 2018 | 13:06

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David Lama is said to have succeeded solo first ascent of Lunag Ri

David Lama

It looks as if he has made it. David Lama is said to have succeeded the first ascent of the 6,895-meter-high Lunag Ri in Nepal.  I am even a little more cautious than many other media from all over the world, because the 28-year-old top climber himself has not yet confirmed his coup. Even his office at home in Austria is still in silence. My inquiry there remained so far unanswered. The only source so far is American climber Conrad Anker, who congratulated David a few days ago on the social networks, “on your successful solo ascent and descent of Lunag Ri. Third time is a charm!“

Date

31. October 2018 | 13:46

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David Lama: Lunag Ri, third take!

David Lama

There is a proverb in German speaking countries saying: “Three times is divine”. Once again David Lama is currently tackling the still unclimbed 6895-meter-high Lunag Ri in Nepal – however, this time on his own from the very beginning. The technically difficult mountain is located in the Rolwaling Himal on the border between Nepal and Tibet, more than 35 kilometers as the crow flies northwest of Mount Everest. In 2015 and in 2016, the 28-year-old top climber from Austria had failed on the “almost seven-thousander”, both times about 300 meters below the summit – on the first attempt via the Northeast Ridge along with the experienced American climber Conrad Anker. Lama and Anker had also been team mates for the second try, but Conrad had suffered a heart attack on the mountain and had had to leave the expedition prematurely. David had then tried to reach the highest point solo over a slightly modified route – in vain. He had run out of time and strength.

Date

10. October 2018 | 16:17

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The eternal rascal

Peter Habeler

Even aged 75, he appears to be a rascal. Good-humored, always good for a joke, the laugh lines on his face – and fit as a fiddle. “Climbing is my fountain of youth,” says Peter Habeler. The Tyrolean from the Zillertal is still climbing through steep walls. Shortly before his big birthday even through the Eiger North Face, along with David Lama, in winter. “It was something very special for me,” Peter tells me as we hike below the peaks of the Geisler group in the Villnöss Valley in the South Tyrolean Dolomites. “Many years ago, I discovered David’s talent when he did his first climbing as a little boy in my alpine school in the Zillertal. I saw that he would become a great climber.” Today Lama is one of the best climbers in the world. “When I climbed behind him in the Eiger North Face and watched how easily and smoothly he mastered even the most difficult passages, I felt like I was back in time when I myself was still young,” says Peter.

Date

14. October 2017 | 0:41

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Sport climbing becomes Olympic – joy and concerns

climbing-olympicsI haven’t yet Olympic rings under my eyes. But that will surely change in the next two weeks because of the time difference between Rio de Janeiro and here. But when the next summer games are pending in four years in Tokyo, again in a different time zone, there will be an additional reason to change the daily habits: Sport climbing becomes Olympic in 2020. This was decided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “I think, it’s absolutely cool,” tells me German top climber Thomas Huber. “We have to be open to it. Sport climbing is worthy of being included in the Olympic program, because the competition has developed positively.” The IOC decision could send a signal to young people.

Date

5. August 2016 | 16:45

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Messner: “I don’t want do die in the mountains”

Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner

This man seems to be ageless. How on earth does Reinhold Messner do it? The first man who climbed all 14 eight-thousanders, responds with his motto from Tibetan: “Kalipé” – with steady feet.  Ahead of his 70th birthday on Wednesday, I called him at home in South Tyrolia.

Reinhold Messner, how will you celebrate your birthday?

It will be a private birthday party, in no way a public one. There is a time and a place. I can tell you that I have invited my friends to bivouac. For the last time, at the age of 70, I will spend the night after the party outdoor, under the stars, in the sleeping bag. Most of my friends will do the same, all the others will drive to the hotel in the valley.

Date

15. September 2014 | 15:52

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Near-record summer on K 2

K 2

K 2

I felt as if I was close to K 2 but in fact I was quite far off. After the return from our first ascent of the 7129-m-high Kokodak Dome I found out the real distance between the two mountains: 300 km as the crow flies. Not just around the corner. Because of my expedition I (and thus possibly also you as a reader of my blog) missed what was going at the second highest mountain in the world during this summer.

Date

4. September 2014 | 16:30

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David Lama’s “Mission: Possible”

David Lama

Considering his age of 23 years, David Lama has already faced a lot of criticism. “I have learned from my mistakes”, says the Austrian Climber. In 2010 his team had set dozens of new bolts for filming David’s attempt to free climb the legendary “Compressor Route” on Cerro Torre in Patagonia. Then Lama failed, but two years later he succeeded, together with his Austrian climbing mate Peter Ortner. For the summer of 2014 the two climbers are planning another “blockbuster”.

Date

7. November 2013 | 14:28

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