Legendary Italian mountaineer Hans Kammerlander (60) returned to Manaslu along with the North Tyrolean alpinist Stephan Keck (44) this autumn, leaving the traumatic experience of 1991 behind. Kammerlander has climbed twelve of the fourteen 8000m peaks without supplementary oxygen.
Kammerlander lost his two close teammates, Friedl Mutschlechner and Karl Großrubatscher, on Manaslu back in 1991. Earlier In 2001, after returning from a successful expedition to K2, he announced in a press meeting, "I will not go for Manaslu, the last one to complete my 14 eight thousands". Recently he announced on his blog that he would continue to ascend Manaslu. "I have decided to go back to Manaslu again. That mountain where, on a tragic and fateful day, I lost two good friends in 1991. I am of the opinion today that I have waited so much too long. Perhaps, however, the time is now really ready for it. Together with my North Tyrolean friend and partner Stefan Keck, a stranger colleague from Stans, I will start an expedition to the Manaslu in early October. We are accompanied by an Austrian film team, which has been reconstructing important phases of my life for several weeks. This documentary feature film will then be released in autumn 2018..." he wrote. Previously he made the ascent via North side of Manaslu but this time he would prefer the South Face route to climb.
His first eight was with another legendary climber Reinhold Messner. In 1984, with Messner he was the first climber to traverse two 8000m peaks (Gasherbrum II and I) before descending back to Base Camp. Since 1996, he is the Guinness World Record holder for the fastest ascent of Everestwithout supplemental oxygen (16h 45min) and fastest ascent from Everest North Base Camp. In 1990 he made the first ski descent from the summit of Nanga Parbat. In 1996 he failed to complete the first ski descent from the summit of Everest also. He had to remove his skis and climb down from 300m below the summit, skiing down from 7700m via North Face. In 2001 he abandoned his first ski descent from the summit of K2 after seeing a Korean climber fall to his death. In 1996 Kammerlander climbed Shishapangma. However he reached the central summit (8008m), not the main summit of 8027m.
In an interview with Stefan Nestler he said "If I reach the summit of Manaslu, I – for me personally – would have completed the 14 eight-thousanders. Because the (8008 meters high) Central Summit of Shishapangma indeed is an eight-thousander. At that time Shishapangma was my training summit for Everest. I really blew it. I climbed directly to the Central Summit, saw a few prayer flags on an ice axe and didn’t cross via the ridge to the Main Summit, which is a few meters higher. I am not interested in it, the number 14 was never an issue for me. In case of success at that time I had the chance to become the fourth climber on all 14 eight-thousanders. I am interested in other stories, trying something new, not only being listed."
After so many years Kammerlander wants to finish his journey by summiting Manaslu.
Kammerlanders' all eight thousanders' attempts are as follows -
Cho Oyu - 1983
Gasherbrum II - 1984
Gasherbrum I - 1984
Annapurna - 1985
Dhaulagiri - 1985
Makalu - 1986
Lhotse - 1986
Nanga Parbat - 1990
Manaslu - 1991 (Failed)
Broad Peak - 1994
Shisha Pangma central summit- 1996 (19m lower than the actual summit of 8027m)
Everest - 1996
Kangchenjunga - 1998
K2 - 2001
Photo Courtesy: kammerlander.com