It is one of this year’s most spectacular successes on the highest mountains in the world: The two Slovenians Ales Cesen (36 years old) and Luka Strazar (29) and the British Tom Livingstone (27) managed the only second ascent of the 7,145-meter-high, extremely difficult Latok I in the Karakoram – the first ascent from the north side at all. Since the legendary first attempt in 1978 by the Americans Jeff and George Henry Lowe, Michael Kennedy and Jim Donini via the North Ridge, who were forced back by a storm about 150 meters below the summit, this task had been a too hard nut to crack for about 30 expeditions. ”The ridge itself remains a challenge for the future,” said Tom Livingstone modestly in an interview with the British Mountaineering Council (BMC).
Date22. August 2018 | 22:47
TagsAles Cesen, Alexander Huber, Fabian Buhl, Karakoram, Latok I, Luka Strazar, North Face, North Ridge, Rainer Treppte, Simon Gietl, Thomas Huber, Tom Livingstone, Yannick Boissenot
The weather conditions in the Karakoram remain difficult. German David Göttler and Italian Herve Barmasse had to give up their attempt on the almost-eight-thousander Gasherbrum IV. The two had originally planned to first climb the Southwest Face of the 7,932-meter-high mountain in the Karakoram for the first time. “For now, G IV must remain a dream climb,” writes David on Facebook. “Sad and frustrated we have been forced back to Base Camp by unpredicted snowfall. (The) Avalanche danger is too high.” Also the Spaniards Oriol Baro, Roger Cararach, Iker Madoz and Marc Toralles abandoned their summit attempt because of the bad weather and returned from Camp 2 at 6,500 meters. They had planned to reach the summit via the still unclimbed South Pillar.
Date2. August 2018 | 16:15
TagsAdam Bielecki, Boris Dedeshko, David Göttler, Felix Berg, Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II, Gasherbrum IV, Gianpaolo Corona, Herve Barmasse, Iker Madoz, Jacek Czech, Luis Stitzinger, Marc Toralles, Oriol Baro, Roger Cararach
Thomas Huber is sitting on packed expedition barrels. “I’m really looking forward to the expedition,” says the 51-year-old. The older of the two Huber brothers is leaving for Pakistan this Saturday. Thomas wants to tackle the northern side of the 7,145-meter-high Latok I – together with 33-year-old South Tyrolean Simon Gietl and climbing old hand Rainer Treppte, aged 59, who comes from Saxony and has been living in the Allgäu region for a long time. “I have already climbed with them,” says Huber about his two climbing partners. Last spring, the trio succeeded in repeating for the first time the difficult “La Strada” route on the Cima Grande in the Dolomites, which the Poles Piotr Edelman and Jan Fialkowski had mastered for the first time in 1988. “We harmonize very well as a team, and we have every chance to tackle such a goal as Latok I,” says Thomas Huber. I also talked to him about the drama on this seven-thousander in the Karakoram that had kept us in suspense for days.
Thomas, yesterday we got the relieving message that the Russian climber Alexander Gukov was rescued from the North Ridge of Latok I. How did you experience this dramatic story?
Date1. August 2018 | 19:57
TagsAlexander Gukov, Karakoram, Latok I, North Face, North Ridge, Pakistan, Rainer Treppte, Rescue, Sergey Glazunov, Simon Gietl, Thomas Huber
“It was very, very cool and intense,” Hansjörg Auer tells me. After his successful solo project in the Hunza region in northern Pakistan, the Austrian top climber is back in his native Ötztal. As reported before, the 34-year-old had first climbed the approximately 1,000-meter-high West Face of the rarely attempted 7157-meter-high Lupghar Sar West – solo. First Hansjörg climbed from the base camp to a bivouac site at the foot of the wall at about 6,200 meters. From there he left on 7 July at 5 am and climbed up to the summit in six and a half hours. At 8 pm, Auer was back at the base camp.
Hansjörg, you said in advance that you wanted to know what it’s like to be alone in the wall of a very high mountain. How did you experience it?
Date25. July 2018 | 13:42
According to his own words, Luis Stitzinger has reached the 8,080-meter-high summit of Gasherbrum I in the Karakoram yesterday (Wednesday). He was on his descent, the 49-year-old German climber informed via Facebook today. For Luis, it is his eighth eight-thousander success after Cho Oyu (in 2000), Gasherbrum II (in 2006), Nanga Parbat (in 2008), Dhaulagiri (in 2009), Broad Peak (in 2011), Shisha Pangma (in 2013) and Manaslu (in 2017). He climbed all of them without bottled oxygen, six of them together with his wife Alix von Melle.
Date19. July 2018 | 13:20
TagsAmical Alpin, Death, Gasherbrum I, Gipfelerfolg, Karakoram, Luis Stitzinger, Pemba Sherpa, Saser Kangri IV, Summit success, Urdok Kangri II
For me, drones come right after leaf blowers. I find the noise generated by the increasingly popular flying machines extremely annoying. Drones sound like mutated giant bumblebees. Torture for my ears. But even I have to admit: On the eight-thousander Broad Peak in the Karakoram in Pakistan, a drone and the guy who flew it did a great job. Eight days ago, on 9 July, the 64-year-old Briton Rick Allen set off alone for a summit attempt. His teammates stayed in Camp 3 at 7,000 meters. When Rick didn’t return, they sounded the alarm because they feared Allen might have been injured or even died. Sandy Allan, who had already descended to base camp due to strong winds in the summit area, contacted the Polish Bargiel brothers in the nearby K2 Base Camp. Andrzej Bargiel is planning to ski the second highest mountain in the world from the summit to base camp for the first time this summer. His brother Bartek is filming the project – also using a drone.
Date17. July 2018 | 14:19
TagsAdam Bielecki, Andrzej Bargiel, Bartek Bargiel, Dan Mazur, Drone, Felix Berg, Furtenbach Adventures, Gasherbrum II, Rescue, Rettung, Rick Allen, Sandy Allan, Summit Climb
Third death of the summer season in the Karakoram: The Italian news agency ANSA reports that Maurizio Giordano died today after he had been hit by an ice chunk on the 7,925-meter-high Gasherbrum IV. The accident occurred at 6,300 meters when the 32-year-old and his team mates Marco Majori, Marco Farina and Daniele Bernasconi were on their descent from Camp 2. The four members of the Italian army expedition wanted to be the first to repeat the route via the Northeast Ridge opened by their compatriots Walter Bonatti and Carlo Mauri, who had first climbed Gasherbrum IV 60 years ago.
Date11. July 2018 | 14:14
TagsAdam Bielecki, Carlo Mauri, David Göttler, Death, Felix Berg, Gasherbrum IV, Herve Barmasse, Jacek Czech, Maurizio Giordano, Walter Bonatti
This summer’s first summit success on an eight-thousander in Pakistan has been reported. The Pakistani expedition operator “Summit Karakoram” informed that South Korean Kim Mi-gon, Taiwanese Lu Chung-han and Sanu Sherpa from Nepal had reached the 8125-meter-high summit of Nanga Parbat on Monday. The 45-year-old Kim thus completed his collection of the 14 eight-thousanders, it said.
Date10. July 2018 | 22:50
TagsKim Mi-gon, Lu Chung-han, Nanga Parbat, Pakistan, Sanu Sherpa, Summit Karakoram, Summit success
This is a real milestone. The Austrian Hansjörg Auer says, he succeeded the first ascent of a big wall of a seven-thousander in the Karakoram – solo. “I climbed the West Face of Lupghar Sar West for the first time. I took a line on the left side and finished my route up the steep Northwest Ridge with very loose rock to the top at 7,157 meters,” the 34-year-old extreme climber wrote on Instagram. Hansjörg had set off to Pakistan in mid-June for his solo project. His originally planned climbing partner and friend Alexander Blümel had to call off due to health problems.
Date9. July 2018 | 19:03
A short snowfall break in the Karakoram – or, as Felix Berg describes it from Gasherbrum II with a twinkle in his eye “a small good-weather disturbance”. Time for the climbers to stuck their noses into the wind and to reconsider their plans. Dominik Müller, head and expedition leader of the German operator Amical alpin has decided to strike the tents on the 8,051-meter-high Broad Peak and to return home. “All the equipment from Camp 1 was recovered,” Dominik writes on Facebook today. “Just now it’s snowing again, and during our ascent there were some avalanches!” The porters have been ordered for Sunday.
Date5. July 2018 | 16:30
TagsAlex Gavan, Amical Alpin, Andrzej Bargiel, Broad Peak, David Göttler, Dominik Müller, Expeditions, Felix Berg, Gasherbrum II, Herve Barmasse, Janusz Golab, Karakoram, Luis Stitzinger, Nanga Parbat, Tunc Findik, Urdok Kangri II
An Austrian climber was killed in an avalanche accident on the 7,338-meter-high Ultar Sar in the Karakoram. Christian Huber died on Friday when the snow masses hit the tent he and his team-mates Bruce Normand and Timothy Miller had pitched on a ridge at an altitude of 5,800 meters. The two uninjured British and the body of Huber were taken from the mountain this Sunday by a rescue helicopter of the Pakistani army. An army spokesman said it was a “daring mission”. The first emergency call had been received on Saturday morning. Bad weather had prevented the helicopter from taking off earlier.
Date1. July 2018 | 20:38
TagsAvalanche, Bruce Normand, Christian Huber, Helicopter, Karakoram, Pakistan, Rescue, Timothy Miller, Ultar Sar
Summer in the Karakorum? At the moment it feels more like winter, at least in terms of precipitation. For days Mother Holle has been shaking out her mattress over Pakistan’s highest mountains. “Snowfall all day long”, writes Dominik Müller, head and expedition leader of the German operator Amical alpin at the foot of the eight-thousander Broad Peak. “Our base camp is slowly turning into a winter landscape. Avalanches barrel down from the slopes every hour!” The Austrian expedition leader Lukas Furtenbach, from Broad Peak too, takes the same lime: “Tough weather conditions this year”. The situation on the other eight-thousanders in Pakistan is not different. No matter if from the neighbouring K 2, Gasherbrum I and II or Nanga Parbat – the same messages everywhere: Lots of snow, high avalanche risk.
Date29. June 2018 | 22:13
TagsAmical Alpin, Broad Peak, Dominik Müller, Furtenbach Adventures, Karakoram, Lukas Furtenbach, Mike Horn, Nanga Parbat, Pakistan, snowfall, weather forecast
“I expect for sure some intensive moments,” says Hansjörg Auer. The 34-year-old extreme climber from Austria set off to Pakistan last weekend for a solo project. Hansjörg will tackle the West Face of the 7,181-meter-high Lupghar Sar West. “For me, it will be a special kind of project to see if I can carry out the next step of my climbing career,” Hansjörg said in a video published on Facebook before his departure.
Date20. June 2018 | 18:30
TagsHans and Sepp Gloggner, Hansjörg Auer, Hunza region, Lupghar Sar West, Pakistan, Solo, West Face
The spring season on Nepal’s highest mountains has segued almost seamlessly into the summer season on Pakistan’s eight-thousanders. The first expedition teams have reached the base camps. The South African adventurer Mike Horn arrived on the Diamir side of Nanga Parbat a week ago. In the meantime, the 51-year-old and his teammates have already climbed up to 5,900 meters. Maya Sherpa is tackling the 8125-meter-high mountain too. In May, the 40-year-old Sherpani had had to turn back on Kangchenjunga at about 8,500 metres. Less than 100 meters of altitude difference had been missing to the summit. With the Romanian Alex Gavan and the Turkish Tunc Findik, two other well-known climbers have set off for Nanga Parbat. The 36-year-old Gavan, who failed on Dhaulagiri in spring, has so far scaled six eight-thousanders. For the 46-year-old Findik, Turkey’s most successful high-altitude climber, Nanga Parbat would be his twelfth of the 14 eight-thousanders if successful.
Date13. June 2018 | 15:46
TagsAdam Bielecki, Alex Gavan, Alix von Melle, Andrzej Bargiel, Broad Peak, Felix Berg, Gasherbrum, Jacek Czech, K 2, Luis Stitzinger, Maya Sherpa, Mike Horn, Nanga Parbat, Tunc Findik, Urdok Kangri II
The good news first: The finished spring season in the Himalayas has shown that coordinated rescue operations for climbers in serious trouble are also possible in Tibet. For example, the Chinese authorities even allowed the use of Nepalese rescue helicopters in the case of the Bulgarian Boyan Petrov, missing on the eight-thousander Shishapangma. At the same time, a team consisting of three Sherpas and three Chinese climbers, was searching for Boyan directly on the mountain’s slopes. Unfortunately in vain. But the cooperation between Nepalese and Tibetan rescuers could have set standards for the future. Also on the 8,188-meter high Cho Oyu, a three-person Chinese-Tibetan rescue team was deployed immediately after an emergency call. Now for the bad news: As with Petrov, there was no happy ending in this case too. And the world hasn’t heard about it either –till today.
Date7. June 2018 | 15:55
TagsAtanas Skatov, Billi Bierling, Boyan Petrov, Cho Oyu, CTMA, Death, Felix Berg, Himalayan Database, Rescue, Rettung, Rishi Bhandari, Satori, South Korean, Todesfall