Lhotse for Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Ralf Dujmovits
It's summit time in the Himalaya, summits with a truly important specific weight. On 20/05/2009 Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner from Austria reached the summit of Lhotse, her 12th 8000m peak, together Ralf Dujmovits and David Gottlie from Germany and Hiro Takeuchi from Japan.
At present there are no great details about the ascent, apart from the fact that after a nerve wracking 14 day wait the four mountaineers finally left Base Camp on 17 May. Fighting against the intense cold they reached the summit at 11.00am on Wednesday 20 May and confirmed their success back at Camp 4 at 7850m later that day. On Thursday all four reached the safety of Base Camp, according to Gerlinde "tired but over the moon."
As mentioned above, with the summit of Lhotse the 1970 Austrian born mountaineer has now climbed twelve 8000m peaks, all without supplementary oxygen. For her husband Ralf Dujmovits the summit marks the end of a long journey, or rather, the 14 highest mountains in the world. In truth Dujmovits, the first German to complete the grand tour, has announced that he will accompany Gerlinde up Everest next year, seeing that in 1992 he had reached the highest point on earth with the help of supplementary oxygen.
Whilst on the theme of female summits: Edurne Pasaban descended to Kanchenjunga Base Camp late on Wednesday after having reached the summit on 18 May. According to the official expedition website, the Spanish mountaineer - who reached Camp 4 after the summit with extreme difficulty and the help of her companions - reached Base Camp exhausted and with signs of frostbite. Shortly after 6.00am on Thursday morning a helicopter flew her to Kathmandu, where she took a flight back to Spain. While we wish her a fast road to recovery, we suggest you look at this video which shows Pasaban's final difficult steps to the summit. Note that the final meter remains untouched: climbers do not ascend this, out of respect for the mountain Gods.