Dear friends and visitors of my homepage

Soon I will be off on a new adventure – this time it will take me to the Tierra del Fuego in Chile. 

                                    Monte Sarmiento

Ralf Gantzhorn, Rainer Pircher, Ralf and I are attempting Monte Sarmiento - the White Mountain of the Tierra del Fuego. The Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan just below Cape Horn. It rises abruptly from the east shore of the Magdalena Channel and marks the western border of the Cordillera Darwin. The magnificent Monte Sarmiento is situated in between the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel.

The region is named after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who was surprised by the many beach fires the aborigines were building as a means of keeping warm and for cooking. The climate would be pleasant if it were not for the icy winds coming from the South Pole. I am very excited to go to this remote corner of our planet, which is completely new to me. 

I will leave on 1st March and will probably be gone for six weeks. I will be in touch as soon as I get the chance.

In the meantime I hope that you will all have a great end of the winter and a wonderful, joyful and healthy start into spring 2014.

Warmest Regards


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(Deutsch) TV Hinweis

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Denali Expedition | Final Report | 1st June 2013

Climbing the West Rib / Part II

After many happy days in Alaska we are now back home in Germany.

With a lot of luck and support we are very pleased that we were able to come back safe and sound from our West Rib expedition.

It was as late as 11.30pm when the sun went down and stopped shining on our tent, which we had pitched on the so-called ‘balcony’ at 16,800 ft. The night had been completely calm, however, the wind started blowing when we were getting ready in the morning.

Visibility decreased and when we began our climb it started to snow. A few times, we were in thick cloud but often cleared again. We once had to wait for about half an hour as we had lost our sense of direction in the fog and visibility was so bad that we were contemplating going down.

However, luck together with a good gut feeling helped us find the route and right at the moment when we were coming out of the 60°-steep gully, the clouds opened up. On the summit plateau, the so-called Football Field at 19,700ft, we could see the tracks going up the West Buttress Route. This was the route we had climbed to the summit a few days ago. As the storm and visibility did not improve, we decided turn back and do without the last 200m to the summit.

At about 5,000m the weather started to improve offering us an amazing view of Mt Foraker and Mt Hunter while we were descending the West Buttress. At about 8pm we reached the 14,000-Camp safe and sound, and happy!

In hindsight, not climbing the Cassin Ridge was certainly the right decision. On our second day in the ridge, we would have got caught in the bad weather that we were experiencing in the upper part of the West Rib. In the Cassin Ridge, we certainly would not have been able to make any progress.

The next day we packed our stuff, loaded our two sledges and rucksacks and descended the remaining 20km and 2,000 metres of altitude via the normal route. I can’t even remember how many times the sledges were slamming into our heels or were overtaking us. When we got to base camp we were rewarded with the Tetra Pack wine, which we had left there three weeks ago. We quickly defrosted it and it still tasted great.

Back in Talkeetna, Tom and Lisa of ‘Talkeetna Air Taxi’ invited us to their little hut in the wilderness. After having dreamt about this for a long time, I was finally able to go climbing in the gigantic and magnificent Alaskan Range on Denali. I am sure I will go back there one day…

I wish you all a great and relaxed summer.

Warm Regards

Gerlinde and Ralf

© TEXT G. Kaltenbrunner; TRANSLATION: Billi Bierling

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