More DW Blogs DW.COM

Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

German climber dies on Shishapangma

Shishapangma (8027 m)

The sad news from the Himalayas don’t stop. On the 8000er Shishapangma in Tibet a German climber died of a high altitude cerebral edema. The expedition agency Amical alpin informed that the climber from the Bavarian region Chiemgau had belonged to a group of six members who, together with expedition leader Thomas Laemmle and their Climbing Sherpa Pasang, had reached the 8013-meter-high central summit of Shishapangma on 10th May. While descending the climber at first had shown symptoms of a high altitude pulmonary edema.

Abseiled down to 7500 metres

„An immediate treatment with emergency medicine as well as the descent initially showed little effect,” Amical said. Thomas Laemmle, a sports scientist very experienced in high altitude medicine, decided to send the other members ahead to the lower camp. He wanted to lead down the altitude-sick climber slowly, on short rope. The following night the climber also showed symptoms of a cerebral edema. Laemmle administered an emergency medicine immediately. Until next morning he was able to abseil the climber to a height of 7500 metres. But the efforts to save the mountaineer’s life were unsuccessful. „A tent and bottled oxygen were already on the way up the mountain, but on 11th May at 11:23 he died in the arms of the expedition leader”, Amical announced.

Everest ascent cancelled

Due to the rescue Thomas Laemmle also got a high altitude pulmonary edema and frostbites at his toes. „Both are not so bad – now I’ve been in a hospital in Kathmandu – but an ascent of Everest without oxygen will not be possible”, Laemmle wrote in his blog. He had already reached the main summit of Shishapangma on 30th April. Initially Laemmle wanted to climb four 8000ers within four months: after Shishapangma he planned to scale Mount Everest and afterwards in the Karakoram Gasherbrum II and Gasherbrum I. Laemmle now wants to recover and set off for the two Gasherbrums on 8th June.



16. May 2013 | 15:47