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.
|2011||North Ridge||8611 – summit|