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Auer: “Everything else becomes unimportant”

Route of the Austrian climbers on Nilgiri South

Route of the Austrian climbers on Nilgiri South

Anyone who has ever climbed a very high mountain knows about the dangers during the descent. Not the dangers of the mountain itself, but of your own body. Suddenly all adrenaline is used up, you feel the pain that you have pushed away during the ascent, you are exhausted, only want to get down quickly and run into danger of losing your concentration. It’s not for nothing that many accidents happen on descent – like on the 6,839-meter-high Nilgiri South in Nepal, where the Austrian Gerhard Fiegl fell several hundred meters into depth on Monday of last week and has been missing since then. As reported, the search for the 27-year-old was meanwhile abandoned.
According to the other two team members, Hansjoerg Auer and Alexander Bluemel, the trio earlier had “successfully reached the summit after climbing through the more than 1,500 meter high South Face”. It was the first climb via the difficult wall where several other expeditions had failed in the past few decades. At the summit they noticed that their friend Gerry was “very exhausted”, Hansjoerg and Alex say. Was it symptoms of High Altitude Sickness? Fiegl’s rapid drop in performance might indicate this. At that altitude, oxygen is pressed into the longs with around 40 percent less pressure than at sea level.


5. November 2015 | 11:05



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