Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Ralf Dujmovits, Hirotaka Takeuchi, Veikka Gustafsson, and Andrew Lock summited Kangchenjunga yesterday May 14, at 4:30 pm local time. Swiss expedition leader Norbert Joos, members Christian and Markus, and Sherpa Pemba Rinjin, also reached the top. Image of Kangchenjunga's summit seen from BC, by Nathalie Steinlechner, courtesy of Nathalie / Amical (click to enlarge).
Newsflash: Kangchenjunga SUMMITS!

Posted: May 15, 2006 11:32 am EDT
(MountEverest.net) Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Ralf Dujmovits, Hirotaka Takeuchi, Veikka Gustafsson, and Andrew Lock summited Kangchenjunga yesterday May 14, at 4:30 pm local time, according to German journalist Nathalie Steinlechner, currently in BC. We are happy beyond words, said Gerlinde on the radio from the summit. Norbert Joos and two other Swiss climbers also reached the top.

The team departed C3 at 7700m on Saturdays midnight. The route involved a lot of rock climbing, more than expected, reported Ralf.

Descent in darkness

The team started descending with only two hours of light left. Without fixed ropes above C3, the team had to climb back down all the way. The last 700 vertical meters before their highest camp were down-climbed in darkness, using headlamps. Ralf suddenly fell in a glacier section luckily it was just a shallow hole and not a deep crevasse.

Ralf and Gerlinde also had to endure a snow and wind storm all night long. However, conditions have reportedly improved, so that the climbers hope to reach BC today.

Norbert Joos bags his 13th 8000er!

Swiss expedition leader Norbert Joos, members Christian and Markus, and Sherpa Pemba Rinjin, also reached the summit. Kangchenjunga is Joos 13th 800er. The Swiss mountain guide has now only Everest to go!

Portuguese Joao Garcia had to turn back before reaching the summit due to problems with altitude. He is currently acclimatizing in C3, and might attempt the summit tonight, according to Portuguese journalist Aurelio Faria. The Spanish team is also in C3, Aurelio told ExplorersWeb.

Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is now the female climber with most 8000ers summited: Nine. Kanchenjunga is Japanese Hiro's 8000er number 8.

German Ralf Dujmovits, Australian Andrew Lock and Finnish Veikka Gustafsson have bagged their 11th 8000er.

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