This does not happen often. Within days top climbers from Slovenia and the UK opened two challenging new routes on a shapely 6000-meter-peak in the Indian Himalayas. The 6515-meter-high Hagshu is located in the district of Kishtwar in the crisis-hit region of Kashmir. The Slovenians Marko Prezelj, Luka Lindic and Ales Cesen reached the summit on 30 September, after they had climbed for the first time through the steep north face of Hagshu. Then the Britons Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden opened a new route via the previously unclimbed north east face and stood at the top of the mountain on 6 October.
Date29. October 2014 | 16:30
A ladder at the Hillary Step? This story just won’t die. Last spring, a member of the Nepalese government had given a tip to some journalists that there were considerations in Kathmandu about this subject. After this year’s General Assembly of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) at Flaggstaff in the USA a few days ago, the issue was item 1 of the final news release. “As one of the most iconic landmarks of the world, Mount Everest belongs to all of mankind”, the UIAA statement reads. “Thus, the ascent of this magnificent mountain should be reserved to those who acquired the skills and the experience needed to reach the highest point of the world.”
Date24. October 2014 | 14:15
Mountaineering is a sport. And there is – as in other sports – doping. Not the fact is surprising but the extent. “It is common practice,” German Professor Thomas Kuepper tells me. The occupational health and sport physician is working at the University Hospital Aachen. He was one of the authors of the report “Drug use and misuse in mountaineering”, which has been discussed at the General Assembly of the World Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing (UIAA) last week in Flaggstaff in the United States. Kuepper refers to an own study on Kilimanjaro: 80 percent of the summit aspirants used Diamox or Dexamethasone.
Date20. October 2014 | 15:24
Time is relative, depending on how you feel about it. Already three weeks ago? Only three weeks? This is the length of time that has passed since the avalanche on the eight-thousander Shishapangma in Tibet. On 24 September, the German ski mountaineer Sebastian Haag and the Italian Andrea Zambaldi died in an avalanche that released not far below the summit. Martin Maier, who was also swept away by the masses of snow, survived. Benedikt Boehm and the Swiss Ueli Steck were able to escape the avalanche. I call Benedict at home in Munich.
Benedict, it’s now three weeks since the avalanche on Shishapangma went down. Have you been able to come to terms with the accident?
No, not really. Immediately after the avalanche, I was involved with the rescue of Martin Maier, who had survived the avalanche as if by magic. It took two days, then we headed back home. Now I am busy again in my incredibly wonderful life that I am able to live here. As the manager of a relatively large sports brand, there are many tasks to complete, if you’ve been away for so long. That does not leave much time to come to rest. I had this time only during a couple of hours doing sports in the mountain early in the morning or late in the evening.
Date17. October 2014 | 15:53
TagsAndrea Zambaldi, Avalanche, Benedikt Boehm, Double8, Martin Maier, Sebastian Haag, Shishapangma, Ueli Steck
Ueli Steck has done his share to lift the fog that formed around the avalanche on the eight-thousander Shishapangma one and a half week ago. Benedikt Boehm and he were a little bit higher on the slope, “when suddenly a snow slab released and swept down the three climbers below us, Sebastian Haag, Andrea Zambaldi and Martin Maier”, said Ueli in Kathmandu in an interview with the Swiss newspaper “Sonntagszeitung”. “The snow slab released almost silently. It was eerie.” Maier was able to dig himself out. “He had no serious injuries, was able to descent and meet the rescue team. He is in Germany now.”
All attempts to enter the avalanche area and search for the buried climbers Haag and Zambaldi were unsuccessful. “It was too risky. We would have caused new avalanches”, Steck said. “Finally, we had to descend. In desperation you must not make mistakes that can jeopardize other people.”
Date5. October 2014 | 22:12
TagsAndrea Zambaldi, Avalanche, Benedikt Boehm, Double8 Expedition, Martin Maier, Sebastian Haag, Shishapangma, Sonntagszeitung, Ueli Steck