Almanac

Born on this day

1993 Pemba Tashi, Nepalese Sherpa climber, who ascended Everest four times (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021), Lhotse in 2019 and Gasherbrum I in 2023.


Gone on this day

2010 Kurt Albert, German free climber ("Father of Red Point climbing") and allrounder (for example: Big walls in Pakistan and Patagonia), died after a fall in the Alps, aged 56.


First ascent on this day

2005 Kalurong (6674 m) by a Japanese party.


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The site for all information about the mountains above 8000 metres
and for many mountains below!

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8000ers Firsts New Table
Saturday, 16 September 2023 15:02

The new rules for 8000 m mountains collectors will be published after this weekend. Here is an overview with the most important records concerning first achievements in several categories. Reinhold Messner still owns several of them and nobody can take them away anymore.

Table

 
The Second Fourteen
Tuesday, 01 August 2023 12:11


The « first 14 » on this planet, the mountains above 8000 m in altitude, have largely fed the news of the Himalayan mountaineering history. From the golden age of their first ascents in the 1950s to the recent link-up in 92 days, focus has evolved from pioneer climbing to High Altitude Sports Competition confined to crowded normal routes. If there are still possibilities for new routes or significant repetitions in alpine style on the 8000ers, it’s worth taking a step back from this sole 8000ers paradigm and compare it with the « second 14 », the highest 7000ers on the planet.

The « second 14 » are lonely places with rare visits and some with no attempts for decades. With the same geographic criteria at stake for the 8000ers, the « true » mountains with more than 7 % Orometrical Dominance (independence), the 14 highest mountains below 8000 meters are Gyachung Kang, Annapurna II, Gasherbrum IV, Himalchuli, Disteghil Sar, Ngadi Chuli, Kunyang Chhish, Masherbrum, Nanda Devi, Chomo Lönzo, Batura Sar, Rakaposhi, Namcha Barwa and Kanjut Sar. Two well-known peaks are not included because of a lack of independence : Gasherbrum III (4.47 %) and Nuptse (3.88 %).

There are a lot of historical achievements noted in the climbing history of the « second 14 ». On 4th February 2008 German climber Philipp Kunz accompanied by Nepalese Sherpa climbers Lhakpa Thinduk, Temba Nurbu and the late Lhakpa Ongyal ascended the first and so far only one of them in winter, Annapurna II.

In 2014 there was one attempt on the formidable NE Face of Masherbrum by the late David Lama and Hansjörg Auer with Peter Ortner. The last first ascent of a new route of one of them was on 2nd July 2019, when Kazuya Hiraide and Kenro Nakajima from Japan ascended the South Face/SE Ridge of Rakaposhi. This mountain was also climbed again in 2021 by French climbers Patrick Wagnon and Hélias Millerioux by the first ascent route in alpine style and also by Czech climbers Petr Macek and Jakub Vlček and Pakistani climber Wajid Ullah Nagri. And just this season Sergey Nilov and Dmitry Golovchenko from Russia attempted a new route on Gasherbrum IV, which sadly resulted in a tragedy, when Dmitry Golovchenko did not survive the attempt.

Only three mountaineers climbed two of them, Zygmunt Andrzej Heinrich (Poland) ascended Kunyang Chhish and Batura Sar, Timothy Macartney-Snape (Australia) Annapurna II and Gasherbrum IV and Masafumi Teramoto (Japan) Nanda Devi and Kanjut Sar.

And only two of them were climbed by women so far. The first one was in 1979 on Rakaposhi, when the Polish lady climbers Anna Czerwińska and Krystyna Palmowska were successful. In 1981 then Indian lady climbers Chandra Prabha Aitwal, Harshvanti Bisht and Rekha Sharma ascended Nanda Devi and since then, more than 40 years, no woman was interested to ascend one of these iconic mountains.

All relevant data about these mountains can be found in four tables.

1)   Geographic table with different first ascents

2)   Nation statistics table with Japan in the lead with ascents of 9 of them

3)   Three mountaineers with two of them

4)   Different routes table with dates and nation info

 

 
MANASLU One Year After
Friday, 07 July 2023 19:08

Today, one year ago, we published the results of 10 years of research by a small team. This work also checked hundreds of summit photos and a whole lot of expedition reports from the world’s 8th highest mountain, Manaslu. As has now become known, there were over 2000 summit claims on Manaslu from climbers who were not actually on the summit. The most popular stopping-point for most of these climbers is not even a Foresummit, it is just a point on a ridge where it changes direction. It is probably the largest collective error in mountaineering history and raises several questions as to why so many seemed to believe they were on the summit but they were not. Questions of knowledge, preparation, experience and motivation. Maybe the 1975 Alpine Journal report from the first ascent by an ‘all-women’ team from Japan might help point us toward some understanding. Back in May 1974, a Nepali porter wanted to stop at the wrong point, but the Japanese women knew that the route must continue because they knew the shape of the true summit from the 1956 Japanese first ascentionists, who supplied fine photos. So the women and the Sherpa pushed on and reached the true summit, confirmed with photos. So when the first ascent team in 1956 found the true summit, and the first all-women’s team in 1974 found the true summit - and Messner’s 1972 team as well - then modern teams citing a lack of knowledge, or GPS data, or photos, or whatever, do not have a strong excuse for failing to continue to the summit of Manaslu. In the post-monsoon season of 2022 the researchers noted that of the 161 total season ascents of Manaslu, 55 were done as ‘corrections’ by climbers who had previously stopped short on the summit ridge, sometimes more than once. In autumn 2021 already four climbers and in January 2023 one more climber corrected. All in all there were 46 Sherpa climbers, three Bhutia and one Gurung who corrected their earlier false summits. Also 10 other climbers returned to correct their mistake, since Mingma Gyalje found a way to the true top in the post-monsoon season of 2021. There were 12 nations who corrected the false summits of earlier climbers. The women’s table shows all nations who finally corrected earlier wrong summits and those who ascended the true summit in their first attempt.

 

 
Nanga Parbat, 26th June 2023
Monday, 26 June 2023 10:20

Today Sophie Lavaud was among the summiters of Nanga Parbat and so she finished the 14 true summits of the 8000ers. Congratulations! Tables are updated.

 
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