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Thomas Lämmle successful on Makalu

Thomas Lämmle on top of Makalu

Persistence pays off. The German high altitude climber Thomas Lämmle reached, as he wrote on Facebook yesterday, on last Sunday the 8,485 meter high summit of Makalu, the fifth highest mountain on earth. The 52-year-old from the city of Waldburg in Baden-Württemberg climbed without bottled oxygen and Sherpa support. Last year, Thomas had returned empty-handed from Makalu after four summit attempts, all of which had failed due to bad weather. Now, according to his own words, he also wants to tackle Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world, “before the snowfall – means May 21st”. Makalu was Lämmle’s sixth eight-thousander after Cho Oyu (in 2003), Gasherbrum II (in 2005 and 2013), Manaslu (in 2008), Shishapangma (in 2013) and Mount Everest (in 2016).

Five summit successes on Kangchenjunga

West, Main, Central and South Summit of Kangchenjunga (from left to right)

From Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain of the world, this spring’s first summit successes on this eight-thousander were reported. According to confirmed information, five climbers reached the highest point at 8,586 meters on 16 May, including Australian-New Zealand climber Chris Jensen Burke. It was already her tenth eight-thousander success. Chris reports an extraordinary feat: Pemba Gelje Sherpa from the operator “Expedition Base” climbed in a single push from the base camp to the highest point. The day before, he had accompanied a client from Camp 3 down to BC, wrote Chris.

German summiteer

Among the summiteers was also the German Herbert Hellmuth. For the 49-year-old from the town of Bamberg it was his third eight-thousander success after Manaslu (in 2011) and Mount Everest (in 2013). In 2015 on K2, he had to turn around at 7,000 meters.

Two more deaths


Meanwhile, no day passes by on Mount Everest without dozens of summit successes. However, there is also sad news. A Sherpa who had reached the highest point on Monday with a team of the operator “Seven Summit Treks”, but had stayed behind on the descent, has since been missing. There is no hope of finding him alive. In addition, yesterday a Russian climber died in Camp 2 at 6,400 meters from the consequences of high altitude sickness. He had tried to climb Lhotse without bottled oxygen and had turned back 100 meters below the summit.

Soria’s first Dhaulagiri summit attempt failed

Carlos Soria

On Dhaulagiri, the 79-year-old Spaniard Carlos Soria and his comrades abandoned their first summit attempt. They had spent the previous night in Camp 3 at 7,250 meters. The wind was too strong, the expedition team said. The climbers are returning to the base camp. It is already Carlos’ ninth attempt on Dhaulagiri. Besides this mountain, he lacks only Shishapangma in his eight-thousander collection.

Update: Early this morning the news was spread on Facebook that also Maya Sherpa had reached the summit of Kangchenjunga. After having read it on several platforms, I included it in this summary. Obviously too hasty. Chris Jensen Burke wrote to me from the base camp that on 16 May, definitely only five climbers had reached the summit and that there had been no more ascents since then. Currently a summit attempt of the expedition operator “Asian Trekking” was on, wrote Chris: “Reports that Maya Sherpa summited are not correct.” I then removed the information about Maya’s supposed summit success from the report.


18. May 2018 | 11:53