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Nelson and Morrison succeed historic ski descent from Lhotse

Jim Morrison im Lhotse Couloir

This much is certain, 2018 will go down in history as a very special year for ski mountaineers. After all, two of the “last” major ski problems on the world’s highest mountains have been solved. Last July, the Pole Andrzej Bargiel succeeded in the Karakoram in Pakistan – as reported – the first complete ski descent from the 8,611 meter high summit of K2, the second highest mountain in the world. And now Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison cracked another hard nut. On the 8516-meter-high Lhotse, the fourth highest of all mountains, the two Americans skied down the so-called “Dream Line”: from the summit through the narrow, 45 to 50 degrees steep Lhotse Couloir down to Camp 2 in the Western Qwm at 6,400 meters. “We did it,” Jim writes about a photo of his ski tips that he posted on Instagram today: “Ski tips about to make the first turn ever off the summit of Lhotse. Almost 28,000’ the summit was sugar snow and extra steep. A few careful turns and a hop got me into the couloir to complete a dream I’ve been working towards for a lifetime.”

Date

4. October 2018 | 18:37

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Ski attempts on Annapurna and Lhotse

Anton Pugovkin (l.) und Vitaly Lazo (r.)

“Death Zone Freeride” – so the two Russians Vitaly Lazo and Anton Pugovkin named their ambitious project. Their goal: to scale five of the 14 eight-thousanders without bottled oxygen and ski down from the summits. In fall 2017, the two climbers achieved their first success on the 8,163-meter-high Manaslu. This fall season, part two of the project is to follow on the 8,091-meter-high Annapurna. In addition, Mount Everest, K2 and Nanga Parbat are on the Russians’ to-do list.

After some back and forth on the material transport by helicopter, Vitaly and Anton finally seem to have flown today from the Nepalese town of Pokhara to Annapurna Base Camp. The so far only successful ski descent from the summit of Annapurna was made by the Slovenian brothers Davo and Andrej Karnicar via the north side of the mountain in spring 1995, during their climb they also did not use breathing masks.

Date

18. September 2018 | 18:01

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First complete ski run from K2

Andrzej Bargiel after his return to base camp

The Pole Andrzej Bargiel has written K2 history. According to his own words, the 30-year-old succeeded yesterday the first complete ski descent from the second highest mountain in the world. In doing so, he snapped up the “Holy Grail”, which had previously caused the failure of some of the best ski mountaineers in the world – such as Hans Kammerlander from South Tyrol in 2001. After reaching the summit at 8,611 metres on Sunday, Andrzej skied down in one go to the base camp on a combination of several routes, his sponsor from Austria informed: “From the summit, he descended along the shoulder towards the Cesen route (also known as the Basque route), passing below huge seracs, then via the extremely difficult Messner traverse, and via the arête on the Kukuczka-Piotrowski route (which was opened by the two Poles in 1986). Next, he had to face some snow fields full of crevasses. He managed to overcome all the difficulties and achieved his dream, achieving the impossible in the process.”

Date

23. July 2018 | 17:18

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Everest ski permit – a farce!

Puzzling ski permit

You would normally not come up with this. If you climb Mount Everest and at some point want to put on your skis, you need a special permit. The 20-year-old American Matt Moniz and his mentor, the 49-year-old Argentine Willie Benegas, had to experience this. Citing sources at the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism, the newspaper “Himalayan Times” reports that the two climbers are now threatened with being deprived of their permission to climb Everest and Lhotse this spring. However, everything had started so well. “After ten years dreaming about it, it happened! Managed to ski from Camp 3 (on) Everest (at) 7,200 meters to Camp 2 (at) 6.400m,” said Benegas. “Not much difficulty but definitely good eyes needed to read the terrain, catching an ice patch would be a bad thing to happen!”  Matt and Willie did not suspect that they had scated on their descent on thin bureaucratic ice.

Date

9. May 2018 | 10:23

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Karnicar abandons his K2 ski expedition

Karnicar strikes his tent on K 2

The Slovenian Davo Karnicar, known for his spectacular ski runs from the highest mountains in the world, has aborted his expedition on K2. The 52-year-old justified his decision with a minor back injury, which he had suffered already at the beginning of the expedition. The injury did not allow him to jump with his skies on the slope to change the direction, said Karnicar. Previously, he had skied down on trial from Camp 1 to the Base Camp. “K2 is too demanding for improvisation and for doing things by halves,” said Davo. Karnicar also pointed out that the key section of the South Face was currently snow-free and therefore a complete ski descent from the summit to the Base Camp, as he had planned, was not possible. The Slovene wanted to ski down the Cesen route.

Date

7. July 2017 | 16:33

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Mothers’ meeting on Makalu

First view on Makalu (© Adrian Ballinger/Facebook)

First view on Makalu (© Adrian Ballinger/Facebook)

“We walked into base camp, dropped our packs, threw on our down jackets, and looked up. Makalu chose that moment to expose her summit”, Adrian Ballinger wrote on Instagram after yesterday’s arrival at the foot of the fourth highest mountain on earth. “Awe is the only word to describe the feeling.” Ballinger is leading a team of US climbers that is remarkable in several respects. First, it is even the only expedition on this eight-thousander in Nepal this fall. Second, the team will try to realize the first ski descent from the 8,485-meter-high summit. And third, three of the five expedition members are women, two of them mothers, and that’s not just commonplace in high-altitude mountaineering.

Date

30. August 2015 | 10:17

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