Nobody Can Rule True Alpinism
Monday, 09 October 2023 09:27

German press did not correctly translate the English word “legacy” used in the original press release, but wrongly translated it to “outdated” (in German), and that is far from what it was meant. The wrong translation appeared later in the international press too. Well, actually it should have been clear that neither nor Guinness wanted - or could - delete those titles.

We would like also stress that Guinness did not determine the, from our point of view, necessary changes, but only They were well thought through proposals, how to handle the obviously Past-Future-Dilemma. Guinness just collect and publish claimed records confirmed by us.

That's just some parts of the German-speaking press - which didn't read anything about the’s detailed statement - but immediately sensed a scandal and straight published it without fact-checking. Honestly, nobody has taken away any well-deserved title or importance from Jerzy Kukuczka, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, or from Reinhold Messner either. There wasn't a word about that in the press release either.

The detailed research information, published in the form of tables and detailed pdf documents was meant to show the results of years-long, accurate, collectively shared study.

We were and we are convinced that the results of our investigations are correct and should simply be published out of respect for the self-sacrificing work of the researchers over the years, which also includes experienced alpinists, involved in the process.

The “Historical Recognition Table” was actually intended to be as a “friendly bridge connecting and separating two eras”. We are convinced that it will remain the most important historical table in the history of 14 8,000-meter mountain climbers, and that it should be the respectful final table. It is valid forever and based on tolerance zones  up to 190m (Annapurna I C0).

Lots of the climbers of the past believed to be on the highest point of the 8,000m peaks. Those ascents were historically accepted and we did not want to change them, we wanted only to classify them based on our research work.

With the appearance of the Nirmal Purja phenomenon, that earlier era should be considered historically ended, as an Alpine historical legacy. In fact, today's quick collection of all 14x8,000m peaks has nearly nothing to do with the summentioned era, for evident reasons. To be mentioned that one of the goals of this chart at the time of its 2022 publication was to seek for help from the community in order to fill all the blanks listed as “no evidence” (which don’t forcibly mean no summit!).

The former "new" table is actually only a transitional table in which the results of the passionate researchers are shown out of respect, but they also have a retrospective historical value and are very informative for several perspectives in the future.

The third table is designed for current and future quick summit collectors, the team being fully aware of the radical differences existing between this new era’s sport-like practices and the traditional exploration alpinism for which style first of all matters. Considering the absence of feedback from alpine institutions since 2021, it’s based on some simple rules widely recognized and accepted for years now, and already executed by many climbers. The simplest of those is: the summit is the summit.

These climbers will have to climb to the true summit since they know already where it is due to our work. Incidentally, the Nepalese outfitters have been informed of this by a team member since 2019 and since then, they are sticking to it.

The fact that Edmund Viesturs was the first person to actually climb the 14 8000 to the highest point in the last era is worth at least a mention and should also be honored. The fact that he thereby obliterates the old record is just the fantasy of superficial journalists, which so many have fallen for. A transfer to the third, new table for mountaineers of the old elite, because they want to complete the right peaks, forms the connection and upcoming acceptance of this historical separation of eras.

Finally, I would like to conclude that everything was well-intentioned and without any intent of rewrite history or cancel historical climbs; it was maybe not communicated in the best way but also misinterpreted and summarized ambiguously by some. A more detailed report is still being worked on with all aspects and perspectives, and it would be helpful if you now look closely at the three tables by also reading the headings realizing that from a chronicler’s point of view, the whole research was a gigantic past-future dilemma occurring in an unprecedented context of change for climbing the highest peaks in Himalaya and Karakorum.

The tables are created according to our latest status.

Legacy Table

Transition Table
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.


70 Years Nanga Parbat First Ascent
Monday, 19 June 2023 12:14

On 3rd July the first ascent of Nanga Parbat is 70 years ago. To accompany this celebration all chronicle tables are updated. This is to enjoy the climbing community and for private use only. Hopefully it will be honored in one or another way. The donate button is up right.

ascents, fatalities, routes, nations

Shisha Pangma, 26th April 2023
Sunday, 30 April 2023 12:20

It was a historical day for the mountaineers and mountain lovers, who care about true summits, but had a bitter sweet note besides. It could have been a nice competion between Naoko Watanabe from Japan and Dong Hong-Juan from China, but for some reasons Naoko could not manage to receive permit. Now Dong Hong-Juan is the first woman to have ascended all true summits of the 14 8000ers.

Anyway, Naoko Watanabe was the woman who finished the true summits for Japan as the first nation to do so when she ascended the true summit of Dhaulagiri I in 2021.

With the ascents of Kristin Harila and Dong Hong-Juan the female climbers finished the 14 for their nations as well.

If Harila also ascend Cho Oyu soon, she will be the second woman to ascend the 14 true summits and the fastest person to do so as well. Sophie Lavaud might also finish in summer with Nanga Parbat.

All relevant tables are updated.

female, nations female, total table


Summary of Research
Friday, 08 July 2022 19:36

Back in 1981 when I started my research I was sure about one thing: most mountaineers had strong ethics and honesty when they reported their ascents. For example, it was very common among first ascenders to claim the ascent only when they stood on the highest reachable point of the mountain and could prove it in many different ways, such as photographs, views of certain surrounds etc. Several times it was found out later that the first ascenders inadvertently failed to reach the true summit and subsequently a later expedition was successful and thus became the true first ascensionists of the mountain. For the 8000er collectors it was nearly the same situation - remember all mistaken claims and later corrections, especially on Broad Peak and Shisha Pangma?


When I found that some climbers were stopping quite a distance from the true top of Annapurna I back in 2012, I asked Rodolphe Popier to check the summit photos because he is fastidious about identifying all the features in summit areas. It seems he can identify every rock from all directions. Then he compared and compared and we needed help to confirm what he found out. The DLR helped us with detailed digital data from the whole Annapurna I ridge. Next, we realized that many summit claimants actually stopped even farther from the true summit than we realized - around 65m to the West and between 80m and 190m to the East. We were shocked - what could we do? We also found out that Messner obviously stopped at the ridge junction. OK, in the New York Times Article in May 2021 he was a little upset and said that, “…if anybody thinks that what I did was BS, I can live with it. If it was just 5 meter below on this long ridge.…” No BS at all, with so many great climbing achievements and significant expeditions he surely remains one of the best mountaineers ever, but as all humans can do, he obviously made a mistake. Yes, it was only 5 meters in altitude, but 65 meters in distance. He should remember Gasherbrum IV, when Robert Schauer and Voytek Kurtyka climbed the formidable west face, but did not go to the true top. The phenomenal ascent of this route is still among the most remembered performances in Himalayan climbing. While Schauer and Kurtyka reported the missing summit Messner thought he was on top. But the results are the same. Formidable new route, but no summit, by intention or by error, it appears as not finished.  Also, I’m afraid, but the most of the Annapurna South Face heroes belong to the same category, straight from 1970. Many entered the summit ridge at the South Face Exit and went just a few meters upwards then stopped down to C1 about 100 m distant from the true summit. C1 is obviously looking as THE summit from South Face Exit. But how can this be a genuine ascent of a mountain? Then the point C0 is 190 m distant from the summit and visible in most photos. There is a sad case back in 2011, when a Korean expedition including Kim Chang-Ho stopped at this point by accident and Abele Blanc’s expedition followed them to this very distant point. Kim made a fantastic journey to Everest, rowing from the Gulf of Bengal, then biking, trekking and finally topping Everest as the first Korean without bottled oxygen - after 100 Koreans used it before him. His companion, who wanted to be the second Korean to do that, died on the way down. Kim Chang-Ho himself passed away in 2018, so he can not correct his error on Annapurna I. At the same place as Messner Mingma Gyalje stopped at RJ in 2015, his clients even stayed below on the NW shelf and Mingma Gyalje posted a photo where he labeled the true summit as lower as the point where he stood. He also gave us very hard times when he tried to cheat on Broad Peak. Now he is the one who created the new traverse to the true top of Manaslu.


There have also been problems on Dhaulagiri I, where the points mistakenly stopped at are between 60m and 140 m from the true summit. So, when Nives Meroi and Romano Benet on descent in 2005 found out they missed the summit by far at the «Metal Pole Area» they also reported it to Miss Hawley as no summit. So they went back in 2006 and this time made the very top. Now it came out that Erhard Loretan, following the tremendous first winter ascent of the east face (and only to date), was also only at the «Metal Pole Area» back in 1985, 140 meters distant to from top - another shock for us. Poor Erhard, who had a hard life and death now needs to be another unfortunate deletion from the 14x8000 list. I wanted to run away and forget all my work, this made me very sad, but if Miss Hawley had known this back then, she would also not have accepted it and now we have to correct it as independent and reliable chroniclers. In March 2008, just seven weeks before the launch of this website the late Iñaki Ochoa de Olza said in an interview: «I am dead sure that at least half of the claims have only reached the fore summit. And some of them got not even there, like the Korean & Sherpas in 2005, which still hold in Liz Hawley´s lists as summiters. Jesus! It's really not all that difficult: the summit is where everything goes down in any and every other direction.» Back then I was kind of angry with him, because I thought to be sure, that he had to be wrong and all of them went to the true summit. Now we all know better; he was completely right. Many stopped at the West Rocky Foresummit (WRFS), 60 metres distant to the highest point and claimed the full ascent. There are two examples that I do not understand at all. In 2017 Parvaneh Kazemi went to the true summit and was filmed by Adele Pennington. What? Only Parvaneh Kazemi felt the «honest mountaineer mind» and continued to the true top. Why Adele did not follow her? Yes, she was surely exhausted, but also she probably thought it does not matter, it will count the same. No, this would be unfair and Adele and all the others, who stopped on this wrong place, should be deleted from all summit lists. A more prominent case is Nirmal Purja. During his big 2019 journey he also stopped, for whatever reason, at the WRFS and later also at the ridge point on Manaslu and he knew it well, because we spoke about it months earlier. He still claimed all 14 after Shisha Pangma and still does so. Nearly secretly he «corrected» it in autumn 2021, when he went to the true summits of both mountains. The six months, six days record must be deleted as well, but he still will own other records.


On Manaslu it is between 35 and 50 meters on and below the summit ridge and for some even about 90m or 100 m, depending at which of the lower Foresummits they stopped. I think it is wrong to name the point where over 2000 «ascents» stopped, a «Foresummit». It is just a point on the summit ridge where the ridge changes direction, so that the summit is invisible from this point. But anyway, I’m still very surprised about the fact, that in 1956 the Japanese first ascenders found and reached the true summit and made fine historical photos. In 1974 the first women, again from Japan, found the true summit as well, with confirming photos. And after the first women it lasted more than 47 years that again women were on the true top. Already in 2019 we published a confirming photo from the 1984 Polish expedition where one can see the ridge from the wrong point across a Foresummit; a col and a tiny tip of the true summit, but it was widely ignored. In September 2021 Jackson Groves published drone photos of the whole summit area and now you see the «non-summits» and the impressively sharp true summit, and so I have a question: Is it fair to treat all the wrong summit claimants the same as the ones who cracked the key ridge and finished the ascent proper? I am sure, if Miss Hawley would have known all this she would have never accepted any of these incomplete ascents.  Two climbers already have stated that they will go back. Fredrik Sträng from Sweden deleted his ascents for Dhaulagiri I and Manaslu himself and the young Pakistani Sheroze Kashif does not count his Manaslu ascent as well, because he later wants to go to the true top. Now, if all climbers, who now know that they were on a ridge point only would plan to go back to correct their false summits, this would be just normal for honest mountaineers. For example, Alberto Iñurrategi could team up with Carlos Soria, who also stopped too early on Manaslu.

Since some time I have started making changes to the entries in the Almanac. I noted RP (Ridge Point) and M (Main) on Manaslu, because we could confirm most of the ascents on this mountain, but for Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri I the changes in the almanac must wait, until we know more. Helpful for us would be a support from all the national Alpine Clubs. I think, they have the duty to ask their national climbers for evidence from their climbs to finish this whole research. This should be, because most of the climbers do not want to accept the corrections, because they think, their reputation will go down. I think, this would be courage to just tell the truth, all other achievements and the state of a national hero will remain for sure, especially when they all work together to correct their errors. In the mean time since 2019 when we published the three PDFs nearly all climbers went to the true tops of Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri I, just Manaslu had to wait for Jackson Groves.

So last autumn 29 climbers were noted on the true summit of Manaslu for the first time after 9 years and for the first time in autumn after 45 years. What the Himalayan Database decided to do now is not helpful at all. They noted the ones who stopped at the RP last autumn with no ascent number and with 8156 m height (instead of 8163 m for the true – the only - summit), what seems fair, but is not. Since several years the former Lower Foresummits finishers noted as 8125 m, surely more than 90 meters distance from the top and also have no ascent number and are now in the same category as the ones on the upper false summit last autumn. And all the more than 2300 « ascents » on a how ever distant place in the upper ridge area still have 8163 m noted and an ascent number. So, all known false summits downgraded to 8156 with no ascent number would be the only fair method.

Miss Dong Hong-Juan already corrected all her false summits and needs only Shisha Pangma to be the first woman on all Main-8000ers. Only Nives Meroi is also near to the 14 with just Manaslu to correct. I hope there will be cooperation between female and male climbers, who have to correct one or more 8000ers. Two tables will be posted to know, who has to correct what, one with women down to three 8000ers and one total with all 14 8k claimants plus the ones who claim to be short of finishing. Also, the nations tables show which countries need to go back to one or more summits. Some are uncleared, so far just eleven of the 24 nations who were known to have finished are confirmed on all true summits. In the women table only Japan has finished with Naoko Watanabe on Dhaulagiri I in 2021. It would be a kind of a wish that Edurne and Gerlinde would correct their ascents together.

What about the future now with all this knowledge and still a lot to confirm? It seems a new era is already going. Several already corrected their errors and went to the true summits, for example Dong Hong-Juan. And there will be many new «firsts», nationals, female, without bottled oxygen and else.


Finally, here is an overview about the current state of our research starting with Manaslu. From the 14 8K claimants only Messner, Loretan, Wielicki, Viesturs, Gustafsson, Urubko and since last autumn Mingma David and Nirmal Purja are confirmed on the true summit of Manaslu. Messner described in his Manaslu book the last key part very well in detail and wrote that he never saw a summit like this, one half light rock and the other half dark rock. So, 50 years ago Messner was very correct. Wielicki was on true top in 1984 when he climbed a new route by the S ridge/SE face, but on his second ascent from the normal route he failed the summit as well. There are still possibilities for Park Young-Seok and Fausto de Stefani. We did not see any summit photos or descriptions from them so far. All others are confirmed not on the summit and, if they are still alive and fit, they should go back, maybe some together, to correct the wrong claim. It looks even worse for female climbers. After the Japanese women in 1974 no other woman summited proper before the last autumn, when women from Nepal, China, Canada, USA, Iran and Qatar stood on the true summit. The Qatari woman, Sheikha Asmaa Al Thani, is now the first woman on true top of Manaslu not using bottled oxygen. So far no woman from Europe has been on true summit of this mountain. In the accompanying tables you can see all current results, individual and national. Dhaulagiri I still needs a lot more research, better said help from the climbers and Alpine organisations to have the full picture. We still need evidence for about 52 % of the summit claims, with 24 % each for correct and not correct. For Annapurna I we still need evidence for 21 %, about 53 % is correct and about 26 % not. Just some days ago Rodolphe was able to confirm the Dhaulagiri I ascents of Ed Viesturs and Veikka Gustafsson. So finally there are two mountaineers, who found all 14 true summits before Nirmal Purja, who finished last autumn. In the tables all our current knowledge is noted. It would be fine, if the climbing community would help to confirm or correct all notes in the «no evidence » columns.

The tables: 14 8K claimants, 14 8K Nations, 8K women, 8K nations women

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