Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner on Shisha Pangma last spring. Kaltenbrunner summited G2 after an exhausting struggle with deep snow and extreme low temperatures, which turned back all other climbers - except for an Italian couple who summited along with her. Image courtesy of Amical Alpin (click to enlarge).
To make sure he was bagging the real top, Mario Panzeri called from the ridge to another Himalayan knight: Italian Gnaro Mondinelli (pic). "Go left after the ridge and see three peaks, the third one is the top," Silvio Mondinelli told him, Montagna reports.
Edurne, happy at her arrival in BC from the summit of Nanga Parbat. I am really glad for Gerlinde, I wish her all the best for her next goal, she said when she got news on Gerlinde's summit. Image courtesy of El Correo Digital.
Gerlinde and Edurne, the new Queens of high Alpinism

Posted: Jul 22, 2005 11:35 am EDT
The brand new queens of Himalaya, Edurne Pasabán and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, wont be climbing Broad Peak (their 9th 8000er) together with Gnaro this season.

Gerlinde is back in Base camp from the summit of Gasherbrum 2 with frostbite to her toes, reported her home team. Her feet are so bloated, that Gerlinde doesnt even dare to walk up the Gondogoro La pass: She will head to Askole all the way along the Baltoro glacier and plans to fly home on the 29th of July.<cutoff>

Silvio Mondinelli, who had considered attempting Broad Peak together with Gerlinde, is going home as well, as his climbing permit is coming to an end. Silvio Gnaro Mondinelli summited Nanga as a member of Edurnes team. Focused on completing the 14, 8000ers, he had expected to attempt also Broad Peak this season. However, he has run out of time for that one.

<b>Edurne on Gerlinde: Happy for her</b>

Edurne has yet to make up her mind about what to do next. Journalists and team-mates have been asking if she will give BP a quick try, but she said that she wanted to rest in BC before thinking on future climbs.

Edurne got the news in BC of Gerlinde summiting G2 and thus equaling her summit record. Pasabán seemed truly happy for Kaltenbrunner. I am really glad for her, I wish her all the best for her next goal, she said.

July 20th, Edurne summited Nanga and became the woman with most 8000er summits in the world. An instant hit in her homeland, she is featured on the front pages also in mainstream media, crowned the Queen of the mountains Her reign was short though.

<b>A race kills skill and fun</b>

Only 24 hours later, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner equaled Edurnes number of summits from the top of G2. Kaltenbrunner summited after an exhausting struggle with deep snow and low temperatures, which turned back all other climbers - except for an Italian couple who summited along with her.

The girls have often stressed that they climb - <i>to climb</i> - and not to set records. Both fear that a race will kill the fun: This stuff about the 8000ers race is getting on my nerves, vented Edurne in Nangas BC right before the summit push. Gerlinde in turn prefers difficult routes, no oxygen and small groups. Such climbs take time.

Eventually, just as with the men on the list; who got there first will become less important. Arriving will matter, and style. The important standing in the current "race" is instead that out of the only 12 climbers in the 14, 8000ers world count, at least 2 women are now closing in on the guys.

<i>Edurne Pasabán has summited Everest, Lhotse, GI, GII, Cho Oyu, Makalu, K2, and Nanga Parbat.

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner has summited Cho Oyu, Makalu, Manaslu, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna, Gasherbrum I, Shisha Pangma (she completed the traverse in alpine style earlier this year), and Gasherbrum 2.

Silvio Mondinelli has climbed 10 8000ers. To complete the list, he needs to summit Broad Peak, Shisha Pangma, Lhotse and Annapurna (which he attempted last spring for the second time, the climb ending in a tragic way when his friend Chistian Kuntner died in his arms).</i>

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