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Bad luck for Siegrist and Schild on Shiva

The 6,142-meter-high Shiva in northern India

Shiva has rough edges. On the one hand he is the god of creation for the Hindus. But he is also feared for the fact that he smashes everything to bits, if he is in a real peeve. The same applies to the 6,142 meter-high mountain of the same name in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Sometimes Shiva attracts the world’s best climbers with its steep walls and beautiful shape, then again it is unruly – as the Swiss climbers Stephan Siegrist and Jonas Schild as well as their photographer Dominic Fischer had to experience this fall. Siegrist, aged 45, and the 26-year-old Schild had actually planned to climb the North Face of the mountain. But somehow everything went wrong.

Date

13. November 2018 | 16:56

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Spectacular first ascent on Cerro Kishtwar

In the Northwest Face

In the pictures, it almost seems like they were climbing on the legendary granite walls of El Capitan – were it not for the snow and the chilled faces. In mid-October, the two Swiss Stephan Siegrist and Julian Zanker and the German Thomas Huber first climbed the central Northwest Face of the 6,150-meter-high Cerro Kishtwar in the Indian part of the crisis region Kashmir. The three top climbers needed two attempts before reaching the summit on 14 October. It was only the fourth ascent of the remote mountain. Overall, the trio spent ten days in the extremely steep, partially overhanging wall – three days on the first attempt, seven on their successful second one.

Date

10. November 2017 | 9:48

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Exciting attempt on Cerro Kishtwar

The West Face of Cerro Kishtwar (© Stefan Schlumpf)

They have been on the road for the last three weeks and are expected to have meanwhile arrived at the destination of their expedition. The Swiss climbers Stephan Siegrist and Julian Zanker and the German Thomas Huber want to tackle the still not mastered West Face of the 6155-meter-high Cerro Kishtwar. The mountain, located in the Indian part of the crisis region Kashmir, has been scaled only three times so far. In 1993, the British Mick Fowler and the American Steve Susted succeeded the first ascent via the Northwest Face. In 2011, Siegrist, his Swiss countryman Denis Burdet and the Austrian David Lama reached the summit of Cerro Kishtwar as the second rope team, after opening a new route on the edge of the West Face. The third ascent was made in 2015 by the Slovenes Marko Prezelj and Urban Novak, the American Hayden Kennedy and the Frenchman Manu Pellisier. They were awarded the Piolet d’Or, the “Oscar of the Climbers”, for their first ascend of the South Face.

Date

27. September 2017 | 16:33

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Red carpet for Jeff Lowe

Thomas Huber at the ISPO

Thomas Huber at the ISPO

Thomas Huber radiates pure joie de vivre. “I’m doing well, more than in a long time,” says the 50-year-old German top climber, as we meet at the ISPO sporting goods trade fair in Munich. On 30 December, the older of the two Huber brothers had provided another highlight of his career: Along with the Swiss climbers Stephan Siegrist and Roger Schaeli, Thomas succeeded the second ascent of the legendary route “Metanoia” in the centre of the Eiger North Face: “How can a year end better? I have just taken this flow with me,” enthuses Huber.

Date

9. February 2017 | 16:59

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Highline record on Kilimanjaro

Siegrist on the highline on Kilimanjaro

Siegrist on the highline on Kilimanjaro

“In terms of safety a 20- or 30-meter highline is comparable with climbing in the sixth or seventh grade,” Heinz Zak told me some time ago. The extreme climber, photographer and filmmaker from Austria is a slackline pioneer in Europe and a recognized expert in balancing at dizzying heights. Highlining is very popular in the climbing scene – the Swiss top climber Stephan Siegrist is also doing it from time to time. The 43-year-old has now set a new high-altitude world record in this discipline – most likely because there are not yet record lists. On Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, Stephen tensioned a 21-meter-long highline at an altitude of 5,700 meters between two rock towers above the “Arrow Glacier Camp” and balanced across the line in a height of about 150 meters above the ground. Until now the Hungarian Bence Kerekes was said to be the record holder, who had crossed a highline at about 5,300 meters in Indian Ladakh in 2015.

Date

28. July 2016 | 12:35

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Siegrist: “Adventure connected to performance”

Stephan Siegrist

Stephan Siegrist

Who says that there is nothing left to explore! During their expedition in northern India this fall, the Swiss mountaineers Stephan Siegrist, Dres Abegglen and Thomas Senf first climbed three shapely mountains, all of them almost 6,000 meters high: Bhala (also called “Spear”, 5,900 m), Tupendeo (5,700 m) and Te (translated “Crystal”, 5,900 m), each of them on challenging routes. Indian Kashmir is still regarded as an insider tip among climbers. Because of the conflict with Pakistan, the mountain area had been closed to foreign visitors for a long time, until it was reopened in 2003. “The region was simply somewhat forgotten”, Stephan Siegrist tells me. The 42-year-old top climber has become almost an expert for Kashmir in recent years.

Stephan, three first ascents during an expedition cannot be matched by many other climbers. Have you been on a roll?

The motivation was very high. We climbed the first two peaks rather quickly. It is a great advantage that the time you need to acclimatize for altitudes up to 6,000 meters is much shorter, you almost don’t need any time. And the weather conditions were great.

Date

6. November 2015 | 16:43

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Goettler: Relations with Sherpas will remain well

Last metres to the summit of Makalu

Many are familiar with the view of Makalu, without being aware of it. On pictures taken from the summit of Mount Everest in direction of the Southeast Ridge you see in the background the shapely fifth highest mountain on earth. Just a few kilometres linear distance are lying between the two 8000ers, but actually they are worlds apart. This spring the headlines concerning Everest were overturning: first the brawl in Camp 2, then the 60-year-anniversary of the first ascent. Because of this I lost sight of an expedition of four German and a Swiss climber to Makalu.

Siegrist left expedition

David Göttler, Michael Waerthl, Hans Mitterer, Daniel Bartsch and Stephan Siegrist wanted to climb the mountain in Alpine style via the challenging west pillar. Siegrist had to cancel the expedition because he got severe headaches and vision disorders,  possibly due to a skull fracture that he had a few years earlier. The other four abandoned their original plan and ascended via the normal route. Waerthl returned because of icy fingers about 200 metres below the summit. The other three climbers reached the highest point at 8485 metres.

Date

6. August 2013 | 17:43

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Siegrist: Eiger North Face is largely exhausted

Stephan Sigrist (l.) with old equipment

Hinterstoisser Traverse, Swallows Nest, Death Bivouac. When I was a boy of ten I sat on holidays in Grindelwald using my binoculars to study the Eiger North Face. I had devoured “The White Spider”, Heinrich Harrer’s well-known book. I was so fascinated that I got up at night and looked on the route for bivouac lights. On this Wednesday 75 years ago the Eiger North Face was climbed successfully for the first time. The four pioneers of 1938 are dead. The last of the German-Austrian team who died was Harrer in 2006.

I ring Stephan Siegrist up. The 40-year-old mountaineer from Switzerland has a special relationship to the Eiger North Face. He has already climbed the wall 29 times, opened two new extremely hard routes together with his compatriot Ueli Steck – and climbed on the trails of the quartet of 1938.

Stephan, 75 years ago the Germans Anderl Heckmair and Ludwig Vörg and the two Austrians Heinrich Harrer and Fritz Kasparek climbed the Eiger North Wall for the first time. What do think about their performance?

For me it’s still one of the greatest things that have ever been made in the Alps. You have to imagine that the strain was very great. They knew that many climbers before had died in the wall. And climbing it with the material of these former days was truly heroic.

Date

23. July 2013 | 19:07

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