Valandre Blog

Ralf & Gerlinde summits Denali

Ralf Dujomovits and his wife Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner have successfully summited Denali in Alaska USA.

Ralf Dujomovits is the first German high altitude to buckle up the 14 highest 8000m peaks in the world. Out of the 14 only one was climbed using supplemental oxygen: Everest his first 8000. Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner from Austria has delivered the fundamental answer of who would become the first woman to equalize Reinhold Messner’s 14 8000 meters non oxygen climbs that ended in 1986. Both Ralf and Gerlinde practice high altitude non ox climbs, in what is known as alpine style. No porters to install the camps and carry the gear needed. You are on your own confronted by the challenge. Briefly the toughest kind of mountaineering in the World.

Gerlinde finished her last 8000m peak by shooting straight up the North pillar of K2 (The savage mountain) in the spring 2012, a memorable climb published in a 26 page article in National Geographic (You can find it here ). And in 2013 she was awarded adventurer of the year by National Geographic.

Denali — also known as Mount McKinley — is a pretty hard climb despite it is only a 6.194m peak (20.320ft). Its situation in Alaska makes it a very cold mountain to climb, and its location up in the northern hemisphere makes the oxygen conditions difficult compared to Everest.

Another difficulty is that the base starts out low, leaving a 5.486m climb to accomplish up to the summit in very cold conditions (-40° C at the summit).
Ralf and Gerlinde was kind enough to send us some photos from the climb, that we naturally want to share with the community. Both of them are totally committed to mountaineering which is a passion.

Sharing the passion is what it is all about.

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Ralf & Gerlinde sur McKinley (Denali)

Cette semaine, Ralf Dujmovits et Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner sont rentrés chez eux dans la forêt noire allemande après une session d’entrainement en Norvège.

Chez Valandré nous avons profité de leur séjour en Norvège pour leur confectionner une Combi customisée à chacun. Nous y avons brodé « Team Valandré » dans le dos et  leur prénom sous le logo Valandré. Néanmoins  le plus gros du boulot était de coudre les logos de leurs sponsors… vu le nombre de sponsors.

 

Ralf et Gerlinde étaient impatients d’essayer leur nouvelle combi avant leur prochain challenge et ils nous ont envoyés une photo. Pour nous, ils ont l’air… comment dire… des Professionnelles heureux! Incroyable, nous qui avons parcouru avec Ralf 13 des 14 8000 et tous les 8000 avec Gerlinde depuis qu’ils se sont rencontrés.

 

 

Cette fois, ils ont un but différent… Comme ils ont gravit tous les 8000 de leur challenge : l’arête de Cassin de Denali (McKinley) en Alaska est leur prochain sur la liste. Ils ont donc quitté le printemps Allemand pour se confronter au rude froid d’Alaska. On peut imaginer le buzz à leur arrivée au camp de base du Denali lorsqu’ils monteront leur tente !

 


L’arête de Cassin de Denali (McKinley) en Alaska (20.320ft/6773m)

Et la grande nouvelle pour nos amis du monde c’est que Ralf et Gerlinde seront présents à l’Outdoor Retailor Show de Salt Lake City au stand de Liberty Mountain. On ne peut donc que vivement conseiller à nos amis américains de ne pas louper la chance de rencontrer ces deux grandes personnes….

 

See you all at the OR!

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RALF & GERLINDE ON DENALI


Denali and the Cassin ridge (20.320ft/6773m)

Ralf Dujmovits and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, returned from a training session in Norway this week to their home in the black forest in Germany.

During their stay in Norway we at Valandré cranked out two custom combi’s for both. We embroided “Team Valandre” across their backs using silver thread and placed their names under the Valandré logo, and sewed on their sponsor logos…..and that was the biggest job….there are so many of them.

 

Ralf and Gerlinde was kind enough to try the combi’s out before their next challenge and have today sent a photo of how it looks. To us they look….how can I put it….like happy professionals! Incredible we did 13 of the 14 8000’ers with Ralf and all Gerlinds remaining 8000 since she met Ralf.

 

 

This time they have a different aim, as they both have no 8000ers left to challenge: The Cassin Ridge on Denali in Alaska. They leave the German spring summer to challenge the rough and bitter cold in Alaska. I can imagine the buzz at the Denali BC as they set up their tent!

And the big news to our friends worldwide is, that Ralf & Gerlinde will be present at this year’s OR show in SLC at the Liberty Mountain booth. I can only recommend to our US friends not to miss the chance to meet both in person……

 

See you all at the OR!

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Mixed feelings from Everest BC

Generally this year was bad on the south side of Everest. Abnormally high temperatures in badging sunlight, radiated the Khumbu icefall and the Lhotse wall, increasing the risk of avalanches. The icefall, was and is unstable and with a very high risk as it was moving from day to day.

 Khumbu Icefall......this years tricky part on Everest
Khumbu Icefall……this years tricky part on Everest

Russel Brice (Himalayanexperience.com) decided to “pull the plug” and dismantled his BC, which once again triggered off a new controversy in the community. Russ has already tasted the sweet taste of “fatal controversy”, when David Sharp died on the Tibet side of Everest May 27th 2006. Read more about the reasons to pull the plug.

Russel is an experienced old timer now, and his judgment stands clear. If there are a major collaps in the Kumbu icefall, not only can this have fatal consequences in the BC, but it can also block the “bottled climbers”, descending from a summit attempt.

As of yesterday May 21, 3 climbers were reported dead on Everest, and two other were reported missing (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18142900). But the season is not over yet!

 Chilian climbers heading for the South Col May 17th.
Chilian climbers heading for the South Col May 17th.

Ralf Dujmovits did try his “topless” Everest attempt. Climbing without oxygen, solo from CIII, and carrying all his personal gear up to the South Col just the way it should be done. Suisse speed climber Uli  Steck, was in Ralf’s tracks and arrived later at the South Col. Together they would go for the summit next day (May 18th).

 A "Burned out" Ralf at the South Col of Everest
A “Burned out” Ralf at the South Col of Everest

During the night, Ralf realized that he had burned out, and with his experience of 27 8000, he knew his new heading: Down. It’s obvious that Ralf had not completely recovered from the sickness of sinusitis during the climb…..so a burn out at the South Col is not surprising. Uli Steck however, summited topless the 18th.

During the decent, Ralf crossed the organized expeditions heading for the summit. “Climbers” bottled up in CII, heading to become the first boy on the block, to climb Everest.

 Climbing Everest? No comments.
Climbing Everest? No comments.

Summit window is reported open from the 24 to 27 May. And the Khumbu Icefall is roasting in the sun…

 The size of a summit is not bigger than a postal stamp.
Pay $75.000 and get your place in the line!

Good luck!

http://www.ralf-dujmovits.de

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Ralf is back on Everest

Gerlinde and Ralf in CIII at 7100m

At stake: First German non ox + first couple non ox in the world!

Ralf Dujmovits finished his last 14 8000 (Lhotse) in 2009 and became the first German climber to complete this huge task. Of all of them Ralf only “missed” one summit, climbing Everest with oxygen in 1992.

Since 92, Ralf have specialized in climbing his 8000 peaks, the only way they should be faced and climbed: In Alpine style, without the use of supplemental oxygen – a question of personal engagement and a question of esthetical style. The ultimate level in alpinism.

Currently Ralf is back on Everest, to fix the problem by climbing Everest “non ox”. His plan was to go for Nuptse with his wife Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, and then go for the summit of Everest if he had any “juice” left.

Reports are now informing, that Ralf has decided to go for the Everest summit, and based upon a solid acclimatization on the mountain (3 nights in CIII), it looks like things are in place for this attempt to be successful.

We at Valandre wish him good luck!


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