Search Results for Tag: Nilgiri South
“The ability is the measure of what you are allowed to do,” the free climbing pioneer Paul Preuss (1886-1913) wrote – freely translated – more than a hundred years ago. Hansjoerg Auer is able to do a lot and is therefore a well-deserved winner of the “Paul Preuss Award”, which is annually given to an extraordinary climber in the tradition of the legendary Austrian. “Auer belongs undoubtedly to the best climbers in the world,” said Reinhold Messner during the award ceremony at the International Mountain Summit (IMS) in Bressanone last weekend. Meanwhile, Hansjoerg Auer has set off from his native Oetztal for a new adventure. In the far east of Nepal, the Austrian, along with his countryman Alex Bluemel, wants to first climb the North Face of the almost 7,000-meter-high Gimigela Chuli East. The mountain is hidden behind the eight-thousander Kangchenjunga, the third-highest mountain on earth.
Hansjoerg, do you take failure into account?
Date20. October 2016 | 10:16
TagsAnnapurna III, Gerry Fiegl, Gimigela Chuli, Hansjoerg Auer, IMS, Messner, Nepal, Nilgiri South, North Face, Paul Preuss Award
For sure, it was an amazing highlight of alpinism, but a shadow falls across. At the end of October – as reported – the Austrians Hansjoerg Auer, Alexander Bluemel and Gerhard Fiegl first climbed the South Face of the 6,839-meter-high Nilgiri South in the Annapurna massif in Nepal. Five previous expeditions, top climbers from Japan, Czech Republic and Slovakia, had failed to climb the wall. However, the success of the Austrian trio turned into a tragedy: While descending, Gerry, manifestly suffering from high altitude sickness, fell to his death several hundred meters deep, three days after his 27th birthday – while his friends were looking on in horror. A few days later, the search for Fiegl was abandoned.
Hansjoerg Auer sustained frostbite on six toes. Meanwhile the feeling in his toes has returned and he can climb again, the 31-year-old tells me. Next spring, he wants to set off along with his compatriot David Lama to a “cool, very difficult destination”. He doesn’t yet reveal, where it will be. I’ve talked to Hansjoerg about what happened in late October.
Hansjörg, you succeeded in making the amazing first ascent of the South Face of Nilgiri South. But on the descent your teammate Gerry Fiegl fell to his death. Does this tragic end make everything else fade into the backround?
Date23. December 2015 | 14:27
TagsAccident, Alexander Bluemel, Gerry Fiegl, Hansjoerg Auer, High altitude sickeness, Nilgiri South, South face, Southwest Ridge
“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
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.
Date5. November 2015 | 11:05
TagsAccident, Alexander Bluemel, Exhaustion, Gerry Fiegl, Hansjoerg Auer, Hansjörg Auer, Nepal, Nilgiri South, rescue operation, South face
The worst fears turned into sad certainty. The Austrian climber Gerhard called “Gerry” Fiegl will not return. Reiner Gerstner, company spokesman for the outdoor sporting goods manufacturer Salewa, informed me, that the search for the missing 27-year-old was abandoned: “According to information from Nepal there is no longer any hope to find Gerry still alive.” In recent days, up to one and a half meter of fresh snow had fallen in the Annapurna region, Gerstner said. Last week on Monday, on the descent from the 6,839-meter-high Nilgiri South, Fiegl had fallen several hundred meters into depth. Previously Gerry – along with his compatriots Hansjoerg Auer and Alexander Bluemel – had first climbed the difficult South Face of the mountain where several expeditions had failed in past decades. “So an until then successful expedition came to a tragic end”, said Gerstner. “We mourn the death of a friend. Gerry was one of the best.”
Date3. November 2015 | 13:02
That’s the way we humans do: No matter how short the straws are, we clutch at them. There is a small glitter of hope that Gerhard Fiegl is still alive. Since Monday, the Austrian climber has been missing at the 6839-meter-high Nilgiri South in the Annapurna massif in Nepal. Three days after his 27th birthday, the mountain guide from the Oetztal – as reported – fell several hundred meters deep while his two team mates were looking on in horror. Hansjoerg Auer and Alexander Bluemel descended to Base Camp and immediately called for a rescue operation. But snowfall and fog prevented helicopter flights. The search for Fiegl is to be continued. Even if the probability to find him alive is low and decreases as each day passes, we should not give up. Even on the highest mountains, now and again there are stories of survival that are almost miracles.
Date30. October 2015 | 17:12
Sad news from the Austrian expedition to the South Face of the 6839-meter-high Nilgiri South in the Annapurna massif in Nepal: A spokesman of the Austrian Foreign Office confirmed to me that one of the three climbers who had started their first summit attempt last Thursday was missing. According to him, the climber slipped during the descent and fell about 800 meters deep while his two team mates were looking on in horror. The two climbers descended to Base Camp. Fog and snowfall hampered the helicopter rescue operation. The search was going on, the spokesman said. He gave no details about the climber who fell into the depth adding that they were in touch with his relatives.
Date29. October 2015 | 12:09
The push is on. The Austrian Team that tries to first climb the South Face of the 6839-meter-high Nilgiri South in the Annapurna massif in Nepal has set off for their first summit attempt. I was told this by a speaker of Hansjoerg Auer in Austria. On Wednesday Hansjoerg had tweeted that their acclimatization was coming to an end and that their first attempt was about to start. Auer is climbing along with his compatriots Alexander Bluemel and Gerhard Fiegl.
Date23. October 2015 | 14:50