Search Results for Tag: Huber brothers
Still crazy after all these years. This title of a song by Paul Simon could also stand above the lives of many climbers – if they have survived their daring adventures into old age. Being a little crazy – and I mean that in a positive way – is just part of the game. Alexander Huber, the younger of the two Huber brothers, will celebrate his 50th birthday this Sunday.
The list of his successes is long. Thus Alexander opened several rock climbing routes in the eleventh degree, climbed (with his two years older brother Thomas, Toni Gutsch and the US-American Conrad Anker) for the first time through the West Face of the 7,108-meter-high Latok II in the Karakoram in 1997, stood one year later without bottled oxygen on the summit of the eight-thousander Cho Oyu or climbed free solo difficult routes in the Alps such as the “Hasse-Brandler-Diretissima” through the North Face of Cima Grande (in 2002) or the “Schweizerführe” at the 3,838-meter high Grand Capucin in the Montblanc region (in 2008). Last summer, Huber and his German climbing partner Fabian Buhl opened a new 2,200-meter-long route via the South Buttress of the 6,166-meter-high Choktoi Ri in the Karakoram (see video below).
Alexander lives with his wife and three children on a farm near Berchtesgaden. I called him a few days before his big birthday.
Alexander, you are about to turn 50. Is that a day like any other for you?
Date28. December 2018 | 11:30
Tags50th birthday, Alexander Huber, Choktoi Ri, Fabian Buhl, Huber brothers, Karakoram, South Buttress
Once again, he has almost sprinted up a wall. Last August, Swiss Dani Arnold climbed the Grandes Jorasses North Face solo and without rope in the new record time of 2:04 hours. In 1938, it had taken the first climbers (led by Italian Riccardo Cassin) three days to complete the route via the Walker Spur. Since 2015, the 34-year-old is also holding the speed record for climbing the North Face of the Matterhorn (1:46 hours). Dani had made his first bang in 2011 when he broke Ueli Steck’s record in the Eiger North Face by 20 minutes and reached the summit after 2:28 hours. Steck had regained the best time in 2015 (2:22 hours).
Dani Arnold is a mountain guide and lives with his wife Denise in the canton of Uri in the 4,000-person village of Bürglen, where more than 200 inhabitants (no joke, he confirmed it to me) bear the name Arnold. I met Dani in my hometown Cologne – before his appearance as the main speaker of the Cologne Alpine Day.
Dani, how do you like the name “Usain Bolt of the classical north faces in the Alps”?
Date8. October 2018 | 16:00
TagsDani Arnold, Eiger North Face, Grandes Jorasses, Huber brothers, Matterhorn North Face, Speed record, Ueli Steck, Walker Spur, Walkerpfeiler
Actually, the tent is a place of refuge and security. And most of the time I felt safe when I lay in my tent in the mountains. But there were exceptions. For example in 2004 during my reportage trip to K2, when I woke up suddenly in the base camp at the foot of the second highest mountain on earth, because the glacier made noises under my tent floor, as if it wanted to devour me in the next moment. Ten years later, during the first ascent of the seven-thousander Kokodak Dome in western China, we pitched up Camp 1 at 5,500 meters at a quite exposed spot – and I wondered: What happens if a real storm is raging here? That’s what I remembered when I learned of the death of Italian Simone La Terra on Dhaulagiri earlier this week.
Date4. May 2018 | 14:22
TagsDhaulagiri, Doug Scott, Huber brothers, Kangchenjunga, Latok III, Manaslu, Simone La Terra, Tent, Waldemar Dominik
At the latest since today, Alex Honnold knows what is the opposite of free solo: The “Press Walk” of the International Mountain Summit. The 32-year-old can neither move freely nor is he alone. On the Plose, the home mountain of Bressanone in South Tyrol, about sixty reporters, camera men and photographers are bustling around the American top climber. “Crazy,” says the 32-year-old with a smile in his face. Since 3 June, his name resounds not only throughout insiders of the climbing scene but worldwide. On that day he pushed into a new dimension. Alex succeeded the first free solo – means climbing alone and without any rope – through the legendary 900-meter-high granite wall of El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley. He climbed via the route “Freerider”, which had been opened by Alexander Huber in 1995 and had been free climbed for the first time by Alexander and his brother Thomas in 1998. For comparison, the ascent with ropes for belaying had taken the Huber brothers more than 15 hours.
Alex Honnold does not correspond to the stereotype of an extreme climber. He wears his hair short, does not drink alcohol, does not smoke and is a vegetarian. For many years he has been living as a modern nomad, quite modest in a mobile home which he uses to drive from rock wall to rock wall. For five years, he has been supporting with his foundation environmental projects around the world. Despite his coup on the El Capitan, he does not show any airs and graces.
Already during the ascent to the mountain restaurant Rossalm, where the organizers of the IMS have scheduled a press conference with Honnold, I manage to ask Alex some questions – according to the motto “walk and talk”. 😉
Alexander and Thomas Huber as well as Tommy Caldwell compared your free solo on El Capitan with the first moon landing. How did you personally feel after having completed your project?
Date14. October 2017 | 18:07
TagsAlex Honnold, Alexaner Huber, Bressanone, El Capitan, Fitz Traverse, Free Solo, Freerider, Huber brothers, IMS 2017, International Mountain Summit, Piolet d'Or, Plose, Rossalm, Thomas Huber
Ogre has on the Huber brothers almost the same effect as the singing of the Sirens in Greek mythology: the two German top climbers can hardly escape the call of this fascinating granite giant. Time and again in their long careers Alexander and Thomas Huber have set off to the Ogre massif in the Karakoram or the nearby peaks of the Latok group. In 1999, they failed in their attempt to climb the 7,285-meter-high Ogre I. Thomas succeeded the second ascent of the mountain in 2001, along with the two Swiss Urs Stoecker and Iwan Wolf. The first ascent was made almost 40 years ago, on 13 July 1977 by the British climbers Chris Bonington and Doug Scott. The descent became a drama with a happy end: Scott broke both ankles, Bonington two ribs. Nevertheless, both of them, supported by the other team members, reached the base camp one week after their summit success – one of the great survival stories on the highest mountains in the world.
Easier doing it with friends
Yesterday Alexander Huber set off to Ogre. His team includes the two East Tyroleans Mario Walder and Christian Zenz and the Swiss Dani Arnold. With Dani (and Thomas Senf), Alexander had opened a new route through the Matterhorn North Face last March. With Mario and Christian, he had succeeded the first ascent of a route on the mountain Ritterknecht in East Greenland in summer 2016. “It’s good to be on the road with partners you know,” says Alexander Huber. His three companions are not only good, competent climbers, but also friends, says the younger of the two Huber brothers. “You have to spend a lot of time together, often moments of tension. The better the human chemistry fits, the better it is.” I talked with the 48-year-old about his expedition before he left for Pakistan.
Alexander, you are heading to Ogre, a seven-thousander in the Karakoram. What exactly are you planning?
Date24. June 2017 | 15:01
TagsAlexander Huber, Baintha Brakk, Christian Zenz, Dani Arnold, Huber brothers, Huberbuam, Karakoram, Mario Walder, Ogre, Ostpfeiler, Pakistan
A footballer would say: The ball wasn’t round. “The expedition has definitely run roughly,” Thomas Huber tells me about his trip to Latok I in Pakistan. As reported, the older of the two Huber brothers, along with German climbers Toni Gutsch and Sebastian Brutscher, had planned to tackle the north side of the 7145-meter-high granite giant in Karakoram this fall –only a few weeks after his 16-meter-fall from a rock face and a subsequent brain surgery. So the unbalance of the expedition began. “We could not get together as a team because I was so busy with my situation after the fall and the head injury,” Thomas concedes. “Nevertheless the motivation was high, and from my point of view the team fit perfectly. We maintained this euphoria, to Skardu, to Askole, to our Base Camp on the Choktoi Glacier. When we got there, everyone agreed: This is the place per se for climbing in highest perfection. But then everything ran differently.”
Date26. October 2016 | 12:03
TagsAdamson, Brutscher, Dempster, Gutsch, Huber brothers, Karakorum, Latok I North Face, Ogre, Pakistan, Thomas Huber
Incredible – that describes Thomas Huber’s current life quite aptly. No wonder that the 49-year-old German top climber uses this word very often when we talk on the phone. Thomas was, as he himself says, “incredibly lucky” when he survived his 16-meter-fall from a rock face on 5 July. He recovered so “incredibly fast” that he – as initially planned before his fall – will shortly go “with incredible joy” on expedition to Pakistan. Truly incredible! The aim of the travel is the north side of the 7,145-meter-high granite giant Latok I in the Karakoram. Huber’s team includes Toni Gutsch – who, in 1997, first climbed the West Face of Latok II (7108 m) along with the Huber brothers and US climber Conrad Anker – and Sebastian Brutscher.
Date13. August 2016 | 9:17
TagsBrutscher, Donini, Fall, Gutsch, Huber brothers, Huberbuam, Latok I, Lowe, North Face, North Ridge, Thomas Huber
Approximately 1.8 seconds. That was the time it took when Thomas Huber fell 16 meters deep from a rock face on the Brendlberg in the Berchtesgaden region in Bavaria – now two weeks ago. As previously reported, the 49-year-old German top climber, the older of the two Huber brothers, landed on soft forest floor. As it turned out later, Thomas suffered a skull fracture and had to undergo surgery immediately. The doctor’s reassuring prognosis afterwards: no permanent damage. Meanwhile, Thomas has left the hospital and is recovering at home. I have phoned him.
Thomas, first things first: How are you?
Date19. July 2016 | 23:24
TagsBrendlberg, Climbing, Fall, Huber brothers, Interview, Latok I, Scull fracture, Thomas Huber, Watzmannflimmern
“I already feel a lot better again,” Thomas Huber writes to me from the hospital in the Bavarian town of Traunstein. If that’s not good news! After all, the 49-year-old German top climber – as reported yesterday – had fallen twelve meters deep from a rock face on the Brendlberg near the village of Scheffau. According to the German website bgland24.de, the accident happened when Huber was abseiling. Thomas was standing on a small ledge, unclipped from the belay to take another rope, when he lost his balance. This could have ended in catastrophe. Probably owing only to “1000 guardian angels” (Thomas) and his instinct, nothing worse happened to him.
Date9. July 2016 | 17:19
The Huber brothers will continue to go on joint expeditions, but probably not to Latok I. Whereas Thomas Huber raved about the still unclimbed North Face of the 7,145-meter-high granite mountain in the Karakoram when I met him three weeks ago, his younger brother Alexander seems to have definitely written off the project due to their experiences last summer. I talked to the 46-year-old climber at the Alpine Trade Fair in Innsbruck last week.
Alexander, on Latok III, during your acclimatization for climbing the North Face of Latok I, you were are almost blown out of the wall by the blast wave of an ice avalanche. Your brother told me that never before it had been so close. Have you felt like he did?
It was definitely close. We had noticed the serac and therefore placed our camp far away from it. We were lucky that we had dug out a small platform to position the tents perfectly. The small snow edge of this platform has saved our lives. Otherwise we would have been blown away. In this respect, our risk management worked. But it was much, much closer than I ever imagined. And that’s shocking.
Date13. November 2015 | 11:04
TagsAlexander Huber, Huber brothers, Huberbuam, Karakorum, Karakorum Highway, Latok I North Face, Latok III, Pakistan, Panmah Kangri
“I’m retired, but not tired or unhappy”, says Karl, called “Charly” Gabl. “You should not slow down from hundred to one. As on the road, that would be fatal.” Four years ago, the Austrian meteorologist retired, but the 68-year-old weatherman is still advising many professional climbers during their expeditions in the Himalayas or Karakoram. “I’m doing this voluntarily. For example last summer, I advised the Huber brothers on Latok I where they did not succeed due to the warm weather and were almost killed by an ice avalanche”, Gabl told me when I met him at the Alpine Trade Fair in Innsbruck last weekend.
Date12. November 2015 | 9:36
TagsAlpine Trade Fair Innsbruck, Austrian Council for Alpine Safety, Avalanche, Charly Gabl, Huber brothers, Meteorologist, Nepal, Nilgiri South, Saribung