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with Stefan Nestler

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.

Still all the fingers and toes

Top of Everest (from the Northeast Ridge)

Dujmovits is the only German so far, who has summited all 14 eight-thousanders. Only on Everest in fall 1992, he had used a breathing mask above the South Col due to bad weather. Ralf has always felt this was a flaw in his climbing career which he was so keen to eliminate. But this eighth attempt should be his “definitively last one”, he said. Today he slightly missed his sporting goal, but he has remained true to his principle: It is more important to come down healthy again. With a certain amount of pride, Ralf points out that he still has all his fingers and toes after more than three decades of expeditions to the eight-thousanders – not to mention the fact that he has survived all his adventures, in contrast to some of his companions.

Richards used bottled oxygen

The Americans Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards today reached the 8,850- meter-high summit, also climbing via the northern route. Cory used bottled oxygen, because he did not feel well, but wanted to continue to support his friend Adrian. Richards had reached the summit without breathing mask in 2016, Ballinger had to turn around at that time.

Latorre completes his fourteen 8000ers

South side of Mount Everest

From the south side, the Spaniard Ferran Latorre and the Austrian Hans Wenzl reached the summit, according to Spanish media reports. Latorre said after his return to the South Col, he finally had used bottled oxygen: “It was too hard.” It is not yet known if Wenzl was also using a breathing mask. With his success on Everest, Latorre has completed his eight-thousander collection. The other 13 peaks he had reached without supplemental oxygen.

Graziani and Sangay turned around

The Frenchman Yannick Graziani and the Sherpa Dawa Sangay turned back on 8,500 meters. “Too much snow, too much wind, you freeze on the spot. Too risky without oxygen,” Yannick said. Still, there is no information as to whether the Frenchwoman Elisabeth Revol has reached the summit. She also wanted to climb to the top of the highest mountain on earth without breathing mask today. This spring Elisabeth had already reached the fore-summit of the eight-thousander Makalu, and afterwards had summited Lhotse.

P.S.: I will be offline for the rest of Saturday and can’t deliver further updates. (3 pm CEST)

Update 28 May: Yesterday the Austrian Hans Wenzl was the only climber on the south side who reached the summit without bottled oxygen. Ferran Latorre had used a breathing mask far up. They both spent the night on the South Col and descended today. Elisabeth Revol turned back yesterday because of the adverse weather conditions “not far from the summit”, as she writes. On the north side, Kilian Jornet reached the summit without supplemental O2 for the second time within a week. Ralf Dujmovits yesterday descended all the way down from his turning point at 8,500 m to the Advanced Base Camp, today he went down to the Chinese Base Camp. Yesterday also Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards reached the ABC after their summit success.


27. May 2017 | 12:29