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Summit attempts on Gasherbrum IV abandoned

Gasherbrum Iv

The weather conditions in the Karakoram remain difficult. German David Göttler and Italian Herve Barmasse had to give up their attempt on the almost-eight-thousander Gasherbrum IV. The two had originally planned to first climb the Southwest Face of the 7,932-meter-high mountain in the Karakoram for the first time. “For now, G IV must remain a dream climb,” writes David on Facebook. “Sad and frustrated we have been forced back to Base Camp by unpredicted snowfall. (The) Avalanche danger is too high.” Also the Spaniards Oriol Baro, Roger Cararach, Iker Madoz and Marc Toralles abandoned their summit attempt because of the bad weather and returned from Camp 2 at 6,500 meters. They had planned to reach the summit via the still unclimbed South Pillar.

Date

2. August 2018 | 16:15

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A drone for rescue and more summit successes in the Karakoram

Broad Peak

For me, drones come right after leaf blowers. I find the noise generated by the increasingly popular flying machines extremely annoying. Drones sound like mutated giant bumblebees. Torture for my ears. But even I have to admit: On the eight-thousander Broad Peak in the Karakoram in Pakistan, a drone and the guy who flew it did a great job. Eight days ago, on 9 July, the 64-year-old Briton Rick Allen set off alone for a summit attempt. His teammates stayed in Camp 3 at 7,000 meters. When Rick didn’t return, they sounded the alarm because they feared Allen might have been injured or even died. Sandy Allan, who had already descended to base camp due to strong winds in the summit area, contacted the Polish Bargiel brothers in the nearby K2 Base Camp. Andrzej Bargiel is planning to ski the second highest mountain in the world from the summit to base camp for the first time this summer. His brother Bartek is filming the project – also using a drone.

Date

17. July 2018 | 14:19

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Italian climber dies on Gasherbrum IV

Maurizio Giordano (1986-2018), R.I.P.

Third death of the summer season in the Karakoram: The Italian news agency ANSA reports that Maurizio Giordano died today after he had been hit by an ice chunk on the 7,925-meter-high Gasherbrum IV. The accident occurred at 6,300 meters when the 32-year-old and his team mates Marco Majori, Marco Farina and Daniele Bernasconi were on their descent from Camp 2. The four members of the Italian army expedition wanted to be the first to repeat the route via the Northeast Ridge opened by their compatriots Walter Bonatti and Carlo Mauri, who had first climbed Gasherbrum IV 60 years ago.

Date

11. July 2018 | 14:14

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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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8000er season in Pakistan is on

Nanga Parbat

The spring season on Nepal’s highest mountains has segued almost seamlessly into the summer season on Pakistan’s eight-thousanders. The first expedition teams have reached the base camps. The South African adventurer Mike Horn arrived on the Diamir side of Nanga Parbat a week ago. In the meantime, the 51-year-old and his teammates have already climbed up to 5,900 meters. Maya Sherpa is tackling the 8125-meter-high mountain too. In May, the 40-year-old Sherpani had had to turn back on Kangchenjunga at about 8,500 metres. Less than 100 meters of altitude difference had been missing to the summit. With the Romanian Alex Gavan and the Turkish Tunc Findik, two other well-known climbers have set off for Nanga Parbat. The 36-year-old Gavan, who failed on Dhaulagiri in spring, has so far scaled six eight-thousanders.  For the 46-year-old Findik, Turkey’s most successful high-altitude climber, Nanga Parbat would be his twelfth of the 14 eight-thousanders if successful.

Date

13. June 2018 | 15:46

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Death on Cho Oyu

Upper slopes on Cho Oyu

The good news first: The finished spring season in the Himalayas has shown that coordinated rescue operations for climbers in serious trouble are also possible in Tibet. For example, the Chinese authorities even allowed the use of Nepalese rescue helicopters in the case of the Bulgarian Boyan Petrov, missing on the eight-thousander Shishapangma. At the same time, a team consisting of three Sherpas and three Chinese climbers, was searching for Boyan directly on the mountain’s slopes. Unfortunately in vain. But the cooperation between Nepalese and Tibetan rescuers could have set standards for the future. Also on the 8,188-meter high Cho Oyu, a three-person Chinese-Tibetan rescue team was deployed immediately after an emergency call. Now for the bad news: As with Petrov, there was no happy ending in this case too. And the world hasn’t heard about it either –till today.

Date

7. June 2018 | 15:55

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Double amputee from China on top of Everest

Xia auf der Everest-Südseite

In the fifth attempt, Xia Boyu made it. As Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, expedition leader and head of the Nepalese operator “Imagine Trek and Expedition”, wrote on Facebook, the 69-year-old Chinese was among 14 members of his team, who today reached the summit of Mount Everest at 8,850 meters. Among the summiteers was also Nima Jangmu Sherpa, the first Nepali woman to scale Everest and neighboring Lhotse in one season. She had also been part of the Mingma-led team that had succeeded the first eight-thousander summit success of the spring season on 29 April on Lhotse.

Date

14. May 2018 | 13:14

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Felix Berg: “Extremely spontaneous expedition”

Summit of Annapurna I

Unpredictability is an essential part of adventure. And the more ambitious a mountain project, the greater is the uncertainty as to whether it really ends with a success. Thus the Italians Tamara Lunger and Simone Moro, who had planned to traverse the four summits of the Kangchenjunga massif without bottled oxygen, had to turn back without having reached a single summit. Two attempts ended at 7,200 meters, because Simone suffered from stomach ache. The German Thomas Laemmle returned empty-handed from Makalu, after four (!) failed summit attempts without supplemental oxygen and Sherpa support, always forced back by bad weather. And on the Northwest Face of Annapurna, the 33-year-old Pole Adam Bielecki, the 63-year-old Briton Rick Allen and the 36-year-old German Felix Berg had to capitulate halfway. “It was completely the right decision to turn around,” Felix tells me. “On the day of our descent, there was heavy snowfall. It would not have been possible with the weather.”

Date

2. June 2017 | 7:56

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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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Annapurna Northwest Face instead of Cho Oyu North Face

Annapurna Northwest Face

Time for plan B. Since China has not issued visa for Tibet this spring for climbers who have been staying in Pakistan for more than a month at a time during the past three years, the Canadian Louis Rousseau, the Briton Rick Allen, the Pole Adam Bielecki and the German Felix Berg had to re-plan. The team was surprised by the new Chinese regulation in Kathmandu. In 2015/16 Bielecki had tried unsuccessfully a winter ascent of Nanga Parbat, Felix Berg had climbed Mustagh Tower in the Karakoram in summer 2016. So the previous plan to open a new route through the North Face of Cho Oyu, located in Tibet, became impossible. The quartet was looking for an alternative destination in Nepal and found it.

Date

14. April 2017 | 18:40

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Rousseau and Co. tackle Cho Oyu North Face

Cho Oyu North Face

There is still potential for climbing highlights even on the “top sellers” among the eight-thousanders. This applies not only to Mount Everest (up to now more than 7500 summit successes), but also to the second most climbed eight-thousander, Cho Oyu (more than 3500 summit successes). This spring, an international team of four, led by Louis Rousseau, plans to open a new route through the North Face of the sixth highest mountain on earth, in Alpine style. For the 40-year-old Canadian, it’s a comeback on the eight-thousanders after a break of five years. In 2012, Rousseau had been searching on Gasherbrum I for his longtime climbing partner Gerfried Göschl from Austria, who had remained missing after a winter attempt on the mountain in Pakistan. In 2011, Rousseau had scaled Gasherbrum II, his third eight-thousander after Broad Peak (in 2007) and Nanga Parbat (new route along with Göschl in 2009).

Date

13. April 2017 | 16:09

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