To the limit on Lunag Ri
David is back from Lunag Ri, the unclimbed 6905 meters high mountain in Nepal. In 2015 he had come close to the summit with his American climbing partner Conrad Anker.
A few thoughts on: the last bits to 100%
Someone who wants to make a dream come reality can’t be preoccupied with efficiency. For me as well, these occasions call for 100 % effort.
Annapurna III – One of a kind
The 3000 meter southeast pillar of Annapurna III saw its first major by fair means attempt already back in 1981, when the Brits Nick Colton and Tim Leach got to about 1000 meters from the summit. Without a doubt, they were part of the vanguard of the then young alpine style movement in the Himalayas.
A few thoughts on: Trends
Trends are not only occurring in fashion and industry, they also play an important role in mountaineering. Some of them define the course of history. The history of mountaineering shows that trends have often heavily influenced the protagonists’ style at the time. Whether I like it or not, I am continuously confronted with new trends. What concerns me is how they change my personal approach to the mountains.
Close, but no cigar: Lunag Ri (6907m)
When my parents and I arrived in Phaplu, my Dad’s home village, it marked my first return to Nepal in 15 years. Mostly because of the earthquake in April and May, much had changed: Even the house in which my Dad had grown up, which was inhabited by only my uncle, had been partly destroyed.
A few thoughts on: Risk
In the mountains, risk is always present. The question is: What undertakings are worth taking a risk?
Avaatara – A journey back, and a journey to Lebanon
It has been quite a while since I had been as motivated to sport climb as I was last spring. Even though I began climbing at crags, my focus has been directed towards mountaineering for several years now. But last spring, rock climbing projects at home, in the US and elsewhere got me psyched again. One of the more outstanding projects led me to the Baatara Gorge in Lebanon.
A few thoughts on: Friendship
In Werner Herzog’s film ‘Gasherbrum – Der leuchtende Berg [The Shining Mountain]’ Reinhold Messner openly admits that he does not consider Hans Kammerlander a friend. For him, other criteria were more important when choosing partners.
The common thread
“You know, David, according to our original plan, we’d be in Alaska now, freezing our butts off,” Conrad muses, while we enjoy the mild temps of the desert on a ledge high above the canyon floor of Zion.
A few thoughts on:Failure
No one starts their alpine career on the headwall of Cerro Torre; yet that is what I had in mind for myself. Spoilt from success in competition climbing, in 2009 I declared the 3,000 m granite spire my next challenge.
Laufen für alle, die es selbst nicht können
Am 3. Mai wird zeitgleich in über 40 Ländern der Wings for Life WorldRun stattfinden. Aus mir ist auch seit dem letzten Jahr kein passionierter Läufer geworden, aber es ist mir auch heuer wieder ein Anliegen beim World Run dabei zu sein. Wie schon letztes Jahr möchte ich Gleichgesinnten die Möglichkeit bieten mit mir nach Verona zu fahren.
Rusty Bolts and the Sugar Loaf
My whole 2014 revolved around Cerro Torre, the film release in March, film festivals around the world, and then coming back to Patagonia at the end of the year.
A Weighty Experiment
Immediately, you feel unwelcome. The walls rise all around us. Avalanches triggered by seracs are noisy reminders of what is at stake. As the initial snow steepens at about 5000 meters, we start to gradually lose confidence.
Masherbrum, the second round
It’s on! Waiting for the last few weeks was hard… since Peter and I had been in Pakistan last year to have a look at the massive northeast face of Masherbrum (7821m ) , this mountain had captivated us. We were impressed and the project spooked around in our mind, relentlessly.
Wings for Life WorldRun Verona
On May 4th, the ´Wings for Life World Run´ takes place in 34 countries simultaneously.
Cerro Torre – A snowball’s chance in hell
This mountain was going to change my life. That was not clear to me when I first saw the wrinkly photo of the headwall.
Patagonia - gone with the wind
It was that time of the year again: In the beginning of January, I made the now usual trip down south again, to El Chalten, Patagonia. Since 2009, when I visited the area for the first time, the reasons for the trip have changed a bit, but the flair, and the South American lightness of being have stayed the same.
Masherbrum – just look – don't touch
The Masherbrum northeast face rings a bell among most mountaineers. The bell they hear has the sound of an alarm. The Russians may get a tinnitus when they just hear the name, Masherbrum. They tried the northeast face a couple years ago, but turned around before the actual climbing really starts. They did not return.
Drawing aces – First ascent on the Moose's Tooth
The cards were played and we had drawn aces. Finally, I collapsed into prone paralysis. Just before unconsciousness, the memorable words of French climber Jean Afanasieff came to mind: “This is the fucking life, no?”
Beyond Goodand Evil
I was in Chamonix last week with Peter Ortner to attend the Piolets d’Or award ceremony. We’d been invited because the Jury had decided to award a ‘special mention’ to us for the first free ascent of Cerro Torre and to Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk for their first ‘by fair means ascent’ during the Piolets d’Or ceremony 2013.