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First ascent of Burke Khang – without Burke

Burke Khang

The very big point was missing. The 6,942-meter-high Burke Khang was successfully first climbed – but Bill Burke, the man after whom the mountain in the Gokyo Valley near Mount Everest is named, was not at the top. According to the Nepali expedition operator Asian Trekking, the Northern Irishman Noel Hanna and the Sherpas Naga Dorje Sherpa, Pemba Tshering Sherpa and Samden Bhote reached the summit of Burke Khang on Thursday. Bill had ascended up to Camp 1 but had decided not to climb higher, it said. Bummer! He would have deserved to be among the first ascenders, just only because of his persistance. For the fourth time – after in fall 2015 and 2016 and in spring 2017 – the 75-year-old American had traveled to Burke Khang. The previous attempts had failed due to bad weather or dangerous conditions on the mountain.

Date

8. October 2017 | 12:23

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Soria abandons Dhaulagiri expedition, summit successes on Manaslu

Carlos Soria on Dhaulagiri

The probably fittest of all seniors among the high altitude climbers must still wait for his 13th eight-thousander. Because of too much snow on the mountain Carlos Soria declared his expedition on the 8,167-meter-high Dhaulagiri for finished. During the ascent of the 78-year-old Spaniard and his companions to Camp 1, some avalanches had swept down not far away from the climbers, Carlos indicated on Facebook, adding that the high risk of avalanches would continue in the upper parts of the mountain. Moreover, the fixed ropes which they had laid before had been buried by fresh snow. “Because of all these adversities, we have no choice but to abandon our Dhaulagiri expedition for this season,” said Soria. A first summit attempt had failed one and a half weeks ago at an altitude of about 7,800 meters, because Carlos and Co. had missed the right route while the fog had become stronger.

Date

26. September 2017 | 18:41

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Big rush on Manaslu

Manaslu

Once again, Manaslu turns to become the “Everest of the fall season”. The base camp at the foot of the eighth-highest mountain on earth (8,163 meters) will soon be reminiscent of the tented village at the highest of all mountains in spring. According to the newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, the Nepali Ministry of Tourism has issued at least 135 permits to foreign mountaineers o climb Manaslu. Assuming that there will be on average one local Climbing Sherpa per one climber from abroad and some latecomers, probably between 300 and 400 people – including kitchen staff – will be arguing for the best pitches in the base camp. And the normal route via the north-east flank of the mountain might become crowded.

Date

7. September 2017 | 9:35

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The fast Mingma

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa

He deserves more and more the nickname “The early starter”. While most of the others are still busy setting up their base camps in the Karakoram, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, head of the Nepalese expedition operator, Dreamers Destination, already last Sunday led a team to the 8125-meter-high summit of Nanga Parbat. The success on the ninth highest mountain on earth was the first of this summer season on the eight-thousanders in Pakistan. Also in the past spring season in Nepal and Tibet, Mingma had achieved the first 8000er summit success: On 30 April, the 31-year-old reached along with his team the summit of the 8167-meter-high Dhaulagiri. Not even two weeks later he stood with Tashi Sherpa and a client from China on the 8485-meter-high main summit of Makalu – also on this peak, Mingma was the first this spring.

Date

17. June 2017 | 21:22

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Summit attempt on the Annapurna Northwest Face is on

Annapurna

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.

Date

19. May 2017 | 16:38

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Summit, summit, summit …

Dominik Mueller on Everest

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.

Date

16. May 2017 | 14:08

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Summit success on Dhaulagiri, Sherpa protest on Everest

Dhaulagiri

The first summit success this spring on an eight-thousander is reported from Dhaulagiri, the seventh-highest mountain on earth. “We made the summit of Mt Dhaulagiri on Sunday”, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, head of the expedition operator Dreamers Destination, wrote on Facebook, “on the same day, one of the best soloist died, very sad to hear this news today. RIP Ueli (Steck).” According to Mingma, he reached the highest point on 8,167 meters along with two clients and two other Sherpas. For the 31-year-old Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Dhaulagiri was the ninth eight-thousander he has summited so far.

Date

3. May 2017 | 16:33

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Mingma Gyalje Sherpa: “Low price, low safety”

Mingma Gyalje Sherpa

“Nepalese climbers have been the shadow for foreign climbers”, says Mingma Gyalje Sherpa. “It is obvious that foreign climbers pay a lot to them for this work and I do respect it but still I feel that Nepalese climbers are not given the credit they rightfully own.” The 31-year-old is the head of the expedition operator “Dreamers Destination” and belongs to a new generation of Sherpa entrepreneurs: young, well trained, reliable and successful. Mingma is also an excellent climber. He has so far scaled eight eight-thousanders, in fall 2015 he made headlines by first climbing a difficult route via the West Face of the 6,685-meter-high Chobutse solo. One of his dreams is to climb Everest without bottled oxygen after five ascents with breathing mask. These days, he is leading a commercial expedition on Dhaugaliri. For a portrait of Mingma that was just published by the German magazine “Allmountain”, I did an interview with him of which I don’t want to deprive you.

Mingma, in the past years some western operators withdraw from Everest complaining about a price war with local operators in Nepal. Is this battle going on?

Date

27. April 2017 | 12:38

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The magic 14

Three 8000ers at a glance: Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu (from l. to r.)

It is only a number, but one that plays an important role in the world of high altitude climbers. Everyone who has scaled all 14 eight-thousanders counts in the scene – even more if he or she has managed it without bottled oxygen. The circle is still quite exclusive: According to 8000ers.com, the website of the German Himalayan chronicler Eberhard Jurgalski, 34 climbers have completed the collection, 15 of them completely without breathing mask. This list could be extended this spring.

Date

21. April 2017 | 15:30

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Transparent Everest climbers

Tibetan north side of Everest

Tibetan north side of Everest

It is not only the thin air on Everest that makes climbers pant. Meanwhile, also a race seems to have started to be the most hip in social networks. Number one in this category this spring season – taking in account the media response worldwide – are without question the two Americans Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards. They document their ascent without bottled oxygen on the Tibetan north side also via Snapchat – the image and video messaging service for smartphones and tablets, in which the messages automatically disappear after a while – and thus make couch potatoes gasp. Under #EverestNoFilter, everyone can follow Ballinger’s and Richard’s ascent via the Northeast Ridge virtually in real time and unfiltered. The two climbers want to reach the 8850-meter-high summit this weekend.

Date

20. May 2016 | 16:16

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No. 12 for “best ager” Carlos Soria

Annapurna I (l.)

Annapurna I (l.)

That was an exceptional weekend on Annapurna. According to the Nepalese newspaper “The Himalayan Times” a total of 30 climbers reached the 8091-meter-high summit. That makes 12 percent of the about 250 summit successes on Annapurna to date. The tenth highest mountain in the world is considered the most dangerous of the 14 eight-thousanders. Already 72 mountaineers have lost their lives on this mountain.

Date

2. May 2016 | 13:11

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The best ager is on the road again

Carlos Soria

Carlos Soria

If someone is a “best ager“ in mountaineering, then Carlos Soria. The Spaniard really got cracking beyond 50. At the age of 51 Carlos summited Nanga Parbat, his first eight-thousander. He is now 76 (!) years old and has scaled eleven of the world’s 14 highest mountains. This senior is simply unstoppable. If everything happens as he imagines, not later than in spring 2016 Soria could complete his collection and thus – then aged 77 – become the oldest mountaineer who stood on all 14 eight-thousanders. So far, this “record” is held by Polish climber Piotr Pustelnik, who scaled his last eight-thousander in 2010 at the age of 58. This spring, Carlos Soria set out to climb two huge mountains in Nepal: the 8091-meter-high Annapurna and, not far away, the 8167-meter-high Dhaulagiri. If he is able to summit both, only the 8027-meter-high Shishapangma in Tibet would be missing in his collection. Carlos is already in Nepal.

Date

19. February 2015 | 10:29

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