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Rockfall on Spantik

Spantik (the normal route

It was close, damn close. “We were very, very lucky,” writes Patrick z’Brun to me. The mountain guide was part of a Swiss team that escaped a tragedy by a hair’s breadth on the 7,027-meter-high Spantik in the Karakoram this summer. The day after their arrival, the climbers were just setting up their base camp. “Suddenly someone shouted ‘Rock, rock’,” reports Patrick. A large boulder rushed through a couloir directly towards the base camp. Nearly 200 meters ahead of the camp, the boulder divided into two pieces without them changing direction: “Two kitchen tents and a sleeping tent were sheer shaved off. The two rocks rushed past two climbers by a hair’s breadth.” According to Patrick’s words, an expedition member just managed to save himself by jumping behind a small wall on which the kitchen tent had stood. An eight-second video of the incident documents how lucky the group was:

Date

19. September 2018 | 17:25

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“Good-weather disturbance” in the Karakoram

A lot of snow on Gasherbrum II

A short snowfall break in the Karakoram – or, as Felix Berg describes it from Gasherbrum II with a twinkle in his eye “a small good-weather disturbance”. Time for the climbers to stuck their noses into the wind and to reconsider their plans. Dominik Müller, head and expedition leader of the German operator Amical alpin has decided to strike the tents on the 8,051-meter-high Broad Peak and to return home. “All the equipment from Camp 1 was recovered,” Dominik writes on Facebook today. “Just now it’s snowing again, and during our ascent there were some avalanches!” The porters have been ordered for Sunday.

Date

5. July 2018 | 16:30

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Snow is slowing down climbers in Pakistan

Broad Peak Base Camp in deep snow

Summer in the Karakorum? At the moment it feels more like winter, at least in terms of precipitation. For days Mother Holle has been shaking out her mattress over Pakistan’s highest mountains. “Snowfall all day long”, writes Dominik Müller, head and expedition leader of the German operator Amical alpin at the foot of the eight-thousander Broad Peak. “Our base camp is slowly turning into a winter landscape. Avalanches barrel down from the slopes every hour!” The Austrian expedition leader Lukas Furtenbach, from Broad Peak too, takes the same lime: “Tough weather conditions this year”. The situation on the other eight-thousanders in Pakistan is not different. No matter if from the neighbouring K 2, Gasherbrum I and II or Nanga Parbat – the same messages everywhere: Lots of snow, high avalanche risk.

Date

29. June 2018 | 22:13

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Dominik Mueller: “Concentrated competence at base camp”

Dominik Mueller

Dominik Mueller

The Everest climbers are in the starting blocks. In four weeks, the majority of them will travel to Nepal or Tibet. The final decision of the Nepalese government, whether and, if so, how exactly the permits of the prematurely terminated spring season 2014 are valid for 2015, is still to be made. Dominik Mueller, head of the German operator Amical alpin, doesn’t have to worry about that.  The 43-year-old leads an expedition to the Tibetan north side of Everest. His team will include not only “normal” clients but also three top-class mountaineering professionals from Germany. Ralf Dujmovits, so far the only German who climbed all eight-thousanders, wants to scale Everest without bottled oxygen – together with the Canadian Nancy Hansen. Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger plan to do the same. The German couple has so far climbed six eight-thousanders. Dominik Müller worked as an expedition leader on six of the 14 highest mountains. He reached the summit of Cho Oyo twice. “During the other expeditions, I had to put aside my personal interests being the leader”, Dominik told me. This time on Everest this could be different.

Date

6. March 2015 | 17:18

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Discussions about new Everest route

Dangerous Khumbu Icefall

Dangerous Khumbu Icefall

No matter how likely something seems to be, things may turn out quite differently. For many years, most climbers on the Nepalese side of Everest thought that the route through the Khumbu Icefall, which led – seen from below – along the left hand side directly below the West Shoulder, was safe. Until 18 April 2014 when a huge ice avalanche released and killed 16 Nepalis. The Sherpas revolted, the season was over before it had begun. This spring, the route is to be relocated further away from the West Shoulder, about 40 meters to the centre of the Icefall. Ang Dorjee Sherpa, president of the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Commitee (SPCC), which is responsible for the route, said to the Himalayan Times, he expected that the clients need three to four hours more to reach Camp 1. Although the new route is not as risky as the old one, it is more difficult, says Ang Dorjee. Not all are convinced that this is the last word.

Date

19. February 2015 | 18:24

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