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Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

Ski attempts on Annapurna and Lhotse

Anton Pugovkin (l.) und Vitaly Lazo (r.)

“Death Zone Freeride” – so the two Russians Vitaly Lazo and Anton Pugovkin named their ambitious project. Their goal: to scale five of the 14 eight-thousanders without bottled oxygen and ski down from the summits. In fall 2017, the two climbers achieved their first success on the 8,163-meter-high Manaslu. This fall season, part two of the project is to follow on the 8,091-meter-high Annapurna. In addition, Mount Everest, K2 and Nanga Parbat are on the Russians’ to-do list.

After some back and forth on the material transport by helicopter, Vitaly and Anton finally seem to have flown today from the Nepalese town of Pokhara to Annapurna Base Camp. The so far only successful ski descent from the summit of Annapurna was made by the Slovenian brothers Davo and Andrej Karnicar via the north side of the mountain in spring 1995, during their climb they also did not use breathing masks.

Nelson and Co. tackle the “Dream Line”

Above the Khumbu Icefall

An American ski expedition to the 8,516-meter-high Lhotse is already at an advanced stage. The route through the Khumbu Icefall has been set up and the team climbed to Camp 2 at 6,400 meters to acclimatize. Expedition leader Jim Morrison, Hilaree Nelson, Dutch Simpson and Nicholas Kalis have a ski permit from the Nepalese government that allows them to ski down the north flank of the eight-thousander. The ski descent via the so-called “Dream Line” – from the summit through the Lhotse Couloir to the Western Cwm – has so far not been completed. Hilaree Nelson, who was elected “Adventurer of the Year 2018” by the magazine “National Geographic”, is an extremely experienced ski mountaineer. In 2017, she succeeded with Morrison and Chris Figenshau the first ski descent of the 6,451-meter-high Papsura, also called “Peak of Evil”, in the Indian part of the Himalayas. In 2012, she reached the summits of Everest and Lhotse within 24 hours. By the way, nobody will tackle the highest mountain on earth this fall.


18. September 2018 | 18:01