She made it, and she made it her way!
"Today at 12:00 CET Gerlinde reached the summit of Gasherbrum II, together with two Italian climbers," reported Amical's crew from Germany to ExWeb. "She climbed in very hard conditions."
"The last 200 m took them 5 1/2 h to get through deep snow - sometimes up to the chest!"
Last night a group of 19 climbers from Italy, Spain and Korea left from higher camp towards the summit. However, conditions were so tough, that most of them eventually surrendered and turned around. Finally, only Gerlinde and the two Italians were left to deal with the deep snow.
Gerlinde has thus achieved her 8th 8000er, equaling Edurne's record (she summited Nanga Parbat yesterday) and also Wanda Rutkiewicz's.
Interestingly, both Pasabán arnd Kaltenbrunner were considering Broad Peak next. Details are yet to come, but a duel situation seems to be on, something none of the women actually ever wanted.
No woman has ever scaled all 14, 8000ers. The world now has not one, but two, candidates.
Gerlindes motto seems to be If you want something well done, better do it yourself. While many big teams on the mountain are waiting for the snow to settle (and perhaps someone to make a trail), Gerlinde set off from C1 on Monday, and broke trail up to the very summit, along with a few other.
An avalanche on the way to C3 stopped her for 24 hours, but afterwards she resumed the climb in deep snow.
Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, has summited Cho Oyu, Makalu, Manaslu, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna, Gasherbrum I, and Shisha Pangma (she completed the traverse in alpine style earlier this year). Advocate of alpine style, currently summited her eighth 8000er, Gerlinde is considered one of - if not the - top female high altitude climbers. She has also summited Shisha Pangma Central and Broad Peak foresummit.
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