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.

Bookmark and Share

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!


FOLLOW EVENTS LIVE

Bookmark and Share

Hirotaka Takeuchi – Dhaulagiri 2012

Hiro… “Flat out”

May 15th: In the community, Japanese climbers have always been known and are highly respected, for the routes they managed to open. Pushing the limits into unimaginable dimensions. Take and his Japanese team, have now entered a new ground breaking dimension at the Dhaulagiri BC, by test flying a counter rotated electrical helicopter at 4600m altitude.

 

 

A remarkable performance getting it airborne in this thin air, that even the NHK film crew had to get the event on video! At this point it seems evident, that Hirotaka Takeushi will tempt a first time ever: To become the first Japanese having completed the 14 8000, and to air lift a counter rotated electrical helicopter from the summit of his final 14 8000.

 

 

We at Valandre hope to become witness to such an event in a summit video: Mr Hirotaka Takeuchi launches a counter rotated electrical helicopter from the summit of his final 14 8000 from 8167m/26.795ft.

PLEASE – PLEASE HIRO…….do it!

 

Japanese “Pas de deux”…

May 11th: Take and Kenro, has set up their C2 camp at 6600m. Weather conditions are un-usably “hot”, so the long climb from C1 to C2 was very tiring for both. According to their report, the camp was set up in a record time of 30min, but as everybody knows, Japanese climbers select good and reliant equipment…

 

Ventilator ON……….

May 4th: Ok… Take’s moving in to get it over, and become the first Japanese on the 14 8000.

 

Wonderfull Kathmandou

May 2th: Hirotaka sends us a Japanese post card from Kathmandu! But – You are a Pro Hiro….time to go to work dude!

 

A day at the “Hard Rock Caffe”……….

April 28th: Once having summited ImjaTse peak, Hiro and Kenro went back into the valley. Obviously they are having fun together, so they mixed up a new video of their climb, adding rhythm and music…….. After posting it, they went into town and “Disco danced” all night!

 

Prime rehearsal before Dhaulagiri

April 24th: Hirotaka is currently training on ImjaTse in the Himalayas, better known as Island Peak (6,189 m (20,305 ft)), as part of the acclimatization process before attacking his last 8000m peak: Dhaulagiri (8167m). Hiro had a tuff way to the 14 8000, with some serious situations. On Everest 2005, Hiro had a cerebral edema, but Ralf and Gerlinde got him down alive. And on Gasherbrum in 2007, Hiro was hit by an avalanche with broken backbone and was rescued by helicopter. We are now many in the world, who are waiting for Hiro to complete his 14 8000 this spring.

 

Where to go training on a sunny day?: Just shoot straight
up the Imja Tse (6,189 m (20,305 ft)).

Hirotaka Takeuchi is an experienced Japanese high altitude climber, with currently 13 8000 peaks successfully behind him. Now facing this ultimate challenge, Hiro has joined with Kenro Nakasima (Climber + cameraman), both are attacking Dhaulagiri, in alpine style without supplemental oxygen.

Shortly, Hiro will summit his last 8000 and will become the first Japanese having accomplished this. We wish you good luck Hiro… time to step into the crampons… and GO!


Takeuchi’s “listing”:

1 ) 22.05.1995 Makalu 8485m (Oxygen)

2 ) 17.05.1996 Everest 8848m (Oxygen)

3 ) 14.08.1996 K2 8611m 8611m (Oxygen)

4 ) 30.06.2001 Nanga Parbat 8125m (with Ralf Dujmovits)

5 ) 28.05.2004 Annapurna 8091m (with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner & RalfDujmovits)

6 ) 25.07.2004 Gasherbrum I 8080m (with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner & Ralf Dujmovits)

7 ) 07.05.2005 Shisha Pangma 8027m (with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner & Ralf Dujmovits)

8 ) 14.05.2006 Kanchenjunga 8586m (with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner & Ralf Dujmovits)

9) 19.05.2007 Manaslu 8163m (with Ralf Dujomovits)

10 ) 08.07.2008 Gasherbrum II 8034m

11 ) 31.07.2008 Broad Peak 8051m

12 ) 20.05.2009 Lhotse 8516m (with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner & Ralf Dujmovits)

13 ) 30.09.2011 Cho Oyu 8188m

 


Bookmark and Share

The day that K2 surrendered to Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner

The day that K2 surrendered to Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner

K2 is, as we all know, a mountain that has haunted climbers since the first expedition attempts. “The savage mountain”, has always resisted as if no man was allowed to enter it’s domain. Human tragedy is deeply rooted in it’s image, forcing climbers to take every little event into serious consideration: You just do not fool around with the BIG SCARY BROWNIE.

In the April issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 2012, a brilliant article describes the International Amical Alpin climb of this big pile of rock and ice. Rightly they based the assent from the North side (North pillar), properly offering more stable conditions.

Naturally one could look at this climb, as the last in the line of Gerlindes 14 non ox climbs. It is, but it’s also a bit more: This climb represent a human manifestation of outmost will, determination, faith and profound trust. Confronted by this, K2 opened up the closed door and offered 15min to Gerlinde alone on top. No wind, Sun down light from a clear blue sky and surrounded below by all the 8000 she had formerly climbed in the area. An alpine blessing on her final 8000.

READ THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC K2 ARTICLE HERE

Once again K2 has spoken……but this time using a sweet language.

 

Bookmark and Share

Meet the Kaiser and his highly respectable Kaiserin

Mr Ralf Dujmovits & Mrs Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner | ISPO WINTER 2012

Old friendships are important, so I had the pleasure to meet with Ralf Dujmovits who introduced me to his new wife Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner at the 2012 winter ISPO show in Munich. Ralf reached his last 8000m peak (Lhotse) in 2009 and became the first German on the 14 8000 and number 16 in the line:

1989 — Nuptse NW ridge
1996 — Nuptse Northpillar
1990 — Dhaulagiri
1992 — Mt Everest (supplemental oxygen)
1993 — Baruntse
1994 — K2
1995 — Cho Oyu
1998 — Cho Oyu
1996 — Shisha Pangma
1997 — Shisha Pangma
1999 — Broad Peak
2000 — Gasherbrum II
2001 — Nanga Parbat
2009 — Lhotse

Ralf is a strong and dedicated DAV Guide, and his record contains numerous successful expeditions, guiding clients to a 8000m summit. A true pillar in German High Altitude climbing, and a great man.

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is a Austrian climber, out of the “old school”, extremely attached and sensitive to the notion of “The mountain”. August 2011 Gerlinde and Ralf engaged a climb of the Japanese route of the North Pillar of K2. Here Gerlinde summited her final 8000m peak and became the first woman to complete the 8000m without supplemental oxygen:

1998 — Cho Oyu,
2001 — Makalu,
2002 — Manaslu,
2003 — Nanga Parbat,
2004 — Annapurna I,
2004 — Gasherbrum I,
2005 — Shisha Pangma,
2005 — Gasherbrum II,
2006 — Kangchenjunga,
2007 — Broad Peak,
2008 — Dhaulagiri,
2009 — Lhotse,
2010 — Mount Everest,
2011 — K2.

A full report of the K2 climb 2011, will be published in a 32 page report in NATIONAL GEOGRAFIC, translated and published worldwide, and due to appear in April 2012.

Bookmark and Share