Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner summits K2 and claims history

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner has made the summit of K2 to not only claim a cherished dream of climbing the mountain but also become the first woman to have climbed all 14 8000m mountains without oxygen.

It has been 13 years since she first made the summit of her first 8000m mountain Cho Oyu. It was not till she was 32 and had climbed the difficult Nanga Parbat that she decided to be a professional mountaineer.

Climbing on K2 she has seen some tragedies. In 2009 she was watching Michele Fait ski down a lower section on K2 when he fell and died. A year later she was climbing with Fait’s 2009 climbing and skiing partner Fredrik Ericsson on the bottleneck when on summit day he fell past her and died. This death had a big impact on her throughout the year.

The successful summits of the 8000m mountains are below:

Summit number Date 8000m Mountain Height Oxygen
1 May 6, 1998 Cho Oyu 8201 No oxygen
2 May 14, 2001 Makalu 8485 No oxygen
3 May 10, 2002 Manaslu 8163 No oxygen
4 June 20, 2003 Nanga Parbat 8126 No oxygen
5 May 28, 2004 Annapurna 8091 No oxygen
6 July 25, 2004 Gasherbrum I 8068 No oxygen
7 May 7, 2005 Shishapangma 8013 No oxygen
8 July 21, 2005 Gasherbrum II 8034 No oxygen
9 May 14, 2006 Kangchenjunga 8586 No oxygen
10 July 12, 2007 Broad Peak 8051 No oxygen
11 May 1, 2008 Dhaulagiri 8167 No oxygen
12 May 20, 2009 Lhotse 8516 No oxygen
13 May 23, 2010 Mount Everest 8848 No oxygen
14 August 23, 2011 K2 8611 No oxygen

Kaltenbrunner attempted K2 in four different years finally being successful in 2011. Before the successful attempt on the north ridge of K2 she had attempted unsuccessfully the Cesen route on the Pakistan side. Below is a table showing the attempts on K2 by Kaltenbrunner.

Year Route Height
2007 Cesen 8100
2009 Cesen 8300
2010 Cesen 8300
2011 North Ridge 8611 – summit

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