End of February. It’s still quiet at the foot of Mount Everest. The calm before the storm. Or should I say before the rush? There will be again hundreds of climbers who turn the basecamp on the Nepalese south side into a small town, with helicopter base, mini-hospital and wireless internet connection. It’s time to call my friend Chomolungma on his mobile phone – before she is stressed out.
Namasté, Chomo! Stefan speaking.
Oh no, you again.
Take it easy!I haven’t woken you up from your hibernation, have I?
Look at your calendar! Pre-season. I’m still on vacation.
Date27. February 2013 | 17:10
Bernd Kullmann has a unique place in the annals of Mount Everest. When he stood on the summit on 8850 meters on October 17,1978, he wore an original Levi’s blue jeans. „I wasn’t only the first, but probably the only one, who ever did it”. Kullmann, now aged 58 years, said, at that time it was common to wear knickerbockers in the Alps. „We as young people wanted to provoke. We climbed the north face of Eiger in Jeans. So I found it logical to use Jeans on Everest too.” Above Camp 3 at about 7000 meters Kullmann covered his jeans with padded overtrousers. „We had not enough money for down garments. I didn’t even have long johns beneath.” Kullmann wore his jeans for all seven weeks they spent on Everest – with consequences: „In Kathmandu I could put it literally in the corner of my hotel room.” Kullmann didn’t dispose his durable trousers even then. „Later it was washed and I used it again. Jeans were simply my favourite garments.”
Date21. February 2013 | 18:35
In sports the second is often seen as the first looser. On May 17,2010 Edurne Pasaban from Spain finished the climbing of all fourteen 8000ers. But up to now it’s not clear whether she was the first or second woman who achieved this. Oh Eun-Sun completed the 8000ers three weeks earlier, but it remains disputed, whether the Korean really reached the summit of Kangchenjunga. When I talked to Edurne at the trade fair ISPO in Munich, I felt that the 39 years old climber is in harmony with the world around her, with the mountains and herself:
Edurne, you completed the fourteen 8000ers in 2010. Have you been in the Himalayas since then?
I came back to Everest in 2011. Everest was my first 8000er in 2001, I used (supplementary) oxygen for the summit. So after I had finished all 8000ers I wanted to try Everest without oxygen. But we didn’t make the summit.
Date18. February 2013 | 17:17
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is still dreaming of Mount Everest. The 42 years old Austrian has not yet given up her plan to climb through the north face to the summit on 8850 meters via the so-called „supercoloir“-route, although she failed twice. In 2005 and 2010 the conditions on the wall hadn’t allowed to climb this route. „In my eyes Mount Everest is still a beautiful mountain, especially from the North, when you stand directly at the foot of the north face”, Gerlinde said (you can read and hear her statements on both Everest-60-pinboards on the right side of the blog). „Nevertheless I won’t return to Everest in the near future.”
Date14. February 2013 | 16:30
Ralf Dujmovits is up to every Himalayan trick. For the last 25 years Germany’s most successful high altitude climber has been on the way on the highest mountains of the world. For him Mount Everest (the first ascent of the mountain 60 years ago will be celebrated in May) is an old acquaintance. In 1992 Ralf stood on the summit, 8850 meters high, in bad weather conditions. Above the South Col he used supplementary oxygen. It was the only one of the fourteen 8000-meter-peaks Ralf climbed with an oxygen-mask. The mountaineer from Bühl in the south of Germany feels this fact as a flaw that he wants to eliminate. In 2005, 2010 and 2012 Ralf tried to climb Everest without supplementary oxygen, three times he failed. But still he is flirting with another attempt. So it’s not surprising that Ralf talked about climbing „by fair means” – when I asked him for his statements for my Everest-60-pinboards (you can read and hear his words on the right side of the blog).
Date13. February 2013 | 16:15
Mount Everest is celebrating a 60-years-jubilee. Not concerning his real age. Chomolungma counts millions of years, not decades. 60 years ago on the 29th May Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first to set their feet on the the highest point of the earth. Since 1953 Mount Everest has been climbed more than 6000 times, about 4500 times in the last ten years.
Date7. February 2013 | 13:25
Auf dieser Pinnwand sammle ich anlässlich des 60-Jahr-Jubiläums der Everest-Erstbesteigung Äußerungen von Bergfreunden: Was wünschen sie dem höchsten Berg der Erde für die Zukunft wünschen? (On this pinboard on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first climbing of Everest I collect statements of mountain lovers: What do they wish the highest mountain on earth for the future?)
Date7. February 2013 | 13:13
Auf dieser Pinnwand sammle ich anlässlich des 60-Jahr-Jubiläums der Everest-Erstbesteigung Äußerungen von Bergfreunden: Wie sehen sie den höchsten Berg der Erde heute? (On this pinboard on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first climbing of Everest I collect statements of mountain lovers: How do they think now about the highest mountain on earth? )
Date7. February 2013 | 13:10
In spring 2012 Russell Brice put the brakes on. The probably most experienced operator of commercial expeditions to Mount Everest cancelled his expedition, because he considered the conditions in the Khumbu icefall and on the Lhotse face as too hazardous. „The danger is certainly past my parameters“, Brice said. Russell has been leading expeditions to the Himalayas since 1974. For this spring his agency Himalayan Experience offers Everest South Side again. I asked the 60 years old New Zealander per email:
Date1. February 2013 | 16:30