Almanac

Born on this day

1969 Wilco Dekker, Dutch climber, who ascended Everest in 2019.


First ascents on this day

1985 Doab (6045 m) by an Indo-British party.


Gone on this day

2003 Vladimir Pestrikov, Ukrainian climber, who ascended Lhotse and Dhaulagiri I in 2002, died on Gasherbrum I, aged 39.


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Welcome to 8000ers.com

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

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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did not correctly translate the English word “legacy” used in the original press release, but wrongly translated it to “outdated” (in German), and that is far from what it was meant.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 8000ers.com 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 8000ers.com. 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 8000ers.com’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.

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.

 

 
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