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Mixed balance

Northern route on Everest

Mount Everest has shown his teeth again on the past weekend – just on the day when eight climbers were on their summit push without bottled oxygen. Contrary to expectations, on Saturday wind gusts and snowfall in the summit area made the ascent difficult. The result: two summit successes without breathing mask on the north side, one on the south side. Two climbers, who used supplemental oxygen at all and reached the highest point at 8,850 meters. And three summit aspirants, who turned back because of concerns for their health.

Date

29. May 2017 | 13:47

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Dujmovits turns back on Everest at 8,500 m

Ralf Dujmovits

What a pity! Ralf Dujmovits has not been able to fulfill his dream of reaching the summit of Mount Everest without bottled oxygen. The 55-year-old turned back at an altitude of 8,500 meters. From Camp 3 at 8,300 meters, he telephoned his life partner, the Canadian climber Nancy Hansen. “He had to turn back at 8,500 m because a storm blew in: 40 kph winds with snow. He was losing feeling in his hands and feet,” Nancy wrote on Facebook. “As you can imagine, he is extremely disappointed. The weather just didn’t allow for a summit.” Ralf’s wise decision demands respect and shows that he was still in control of himself.

Date

27. May 2017 | 12:29

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Next station: Everest summit

Summit of Everest seen from the north side

Ralf Dujmovits is close to his big goal. In his eighth attempt, the 55-year-old finally wants to scale Mount Everest without bottled oxygen. Ralf is only about eight hours of ascent away from the highest point on earth at 8,850 meters – if everything goes well. Today Dujmovits, according to his life partner Nancy Hansen, reached Camp 3 on the Tibetan normal route at 8,300 meters, from where he called her by satellite phone. There had been a thunderstorm for the last hour, Ralf told the Canadian. It had taken him five hours to climb the 600 vertical meters from Camp 2. “He feels a little tired, but he sounds very alert and normal,” Nancy wrote on Facebook. “He will drink a lot now, rest a few hours, and leave for the summit at 1am Nepali time (1.15 pm Friday in Canada, 9.15 pm Friday in Germany).”

Date

26. May 2017 | 17:31

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Everest without O 2: Right on schedule

Ralf Dujmovits above Everest North Col

So far, the summit attempts of the climbers, who are currently tackling Mount Everest without bottled oxygen, are on schedule (with one exception, see below). According to his life partner Nancy Hansen, Ralf Dujmovits today reached Camp 2 on the Tibetan north side of the highest mountain on earth: “Ralf just called me from 7,700 m, where he will sleep for the night,” the Canadian climber wrote on Facebook. “It is stormy now, but the winds should come down. Tomorrow he will move up to 8,300 m. He feels good!” The 55-year-old has already – as the only German climber so far – scaled all 14 eight-thousanders. Only on Everest in 1992 he had used a breathing mask. The current attempt without bottled oxygen is his eighth and in his own words the “definitely last one” on Everest.

Date

25. May 2017 | 14:32

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Without O2: The Everest summit pushs of Dujmovits and Co. are on

Ralf Dujmovits, in the background Mount Everest

If everything works, there could be a “topless” party on the summit of Mount Everest next Saturday. Some climbers who want to scale the highest mountain on earth without breathing mask have started their summit attempts. Among those who set off from the Advanced Base Camp on the Tibetan north side was Ralf Dujmovits. The 55-year-old, so far the only German who has scaled all 14 eight-thousanders, wants to succeed in his eighth attempt climbing Everest without supplemental oxygen. In his successful attempt in fall 1992, Ralf had used a breathing mask above the South Col, due to bad weather. All other eight-thousanders he had climbed without bottled oxygen. His plan now: today North Col (7,050 m), tomorrow Camp 2 (7,700 m), on Friday Camp 3 (8,300 m) and on Saturday “hopefully towards the summit” (8,850 m), as Ralf writes to me: “I am confident, I feel good and I think that the extremely warm temperatures (probably minus 20 degrees Celsius) might help me.”

Date

24. May 2017 | 12:43

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Ueli Steck cremated at Tengboche Monastery

Tengboche Monastery

He would have liked that. At Tengboche Monastery in the Khumbu area, at almost 4,000 meters, with a view to Mount Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam, Ueli Steck’s ​​family bid farewell to the Swiss top climber during a Buddhist ceremony. The 40-year-old had fallen to death on Sunday on the 7861- meter-high Nuptse. “According to the Nepali tradition, the deceased was cremated in an impressive three-hour ceremony,” Steck’s family informed via Facebook. Uelis wife Nicole, his parents and parents-in-law took part. “The family perceived the ceremony as very solemn and impressive, sad and at the same time liberating.” The family will take a part of the ashes back to Switzerland, where a public memorial is planned for friends, acquaintances and companions. Place and time are not yet fixed. On Ueli Steck’ homepage ​​an online book of condolence was established.

Date

4. May 2017 | 23:35

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Ines Papert on Ueli Steck’s death: “It was HIS life!”

Ueli Steck a few days before his fall to death

Why did Ueli Steck choose Nuptse to acclimatize himself? This is a question I ask myself, since on Sunday the news of the death of the Swiss spread like a run-fire. A few days earlier, the 40-year-old had climbed towards the West Shoulder of Everest. That made sense. After all, he planned to climb on his Everest-Lhotse traverse via the West Ridge and the Hornbein Couloir to the highest. But Nuptse? Not exactly the classic tour to get acclimatized. What was the added value besides making additional height meters?

Reinhold Messner speculated in several interviews that Ueli might have planned to try the “great horseshoe”, the never-attempted round trip form Nuptse to Lhotse and Everest across the ridges between the mountains. I see no evidence for this after all I have heard and read. The Frenchman Yannick Graziani wrote in his blog that Ueli had asked him three days before his death, if he wanted to accompany him on Nuptse. The 43-year-old, who wants to climb Everest without bottled oxygen this spring, declined. It was really just an acclimatization trip, Yannick’s team told me on request: “Ueli never said or wrote about Nuptse or horseshoe. He was waiting for his Sherpa friend Tenji to recover from frostbite and reach together the West Shoulder.”

On Monday, I had written to some top climbers asking how they had experienced Ueli. Two other answers reached me.

Date

3. May 2017 | 13:06

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An unusual successful team

Gasherbrum I, also called Hidden Peak

Gasherbrum I, also called Hidden Peak

Things didn’t go well on the eight-thousanders in Karakorum this summer. “It was just too hot, and the conditions were too dangerous”, the German mountaineer Billi Bierling, who had tried unsuccessfully to climb Broad Peak, wrote to me. This mountain was scaled only twice this season: by the Argentine Mariano Galvan and Andrzej Bargiel from Poland, both climbed solo. Bargiel also succeeded in skiing down to the Base Camp. A Pakistani high altitude porter died in an avalanche.

All K 2 expeditions returned home without summit success. 13 climbers reached the highest point of Gasherbrum II. There was a fatality too: The Pole Olek Ostrowski disappeared on G II and was not found. On neighboring Gasherbrum I, so far – two Czechs are still on the mountain – just a team of three was successful, including a German mountaineer, born in my hometown Cologne.

Date

17. August 2015 | 16:01

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