Kurt Diemberger
Kurt Diemberger is an accomplished Austrian mountaineer
-Sports:*Mountaineering, the sport, hobby or profession of walking, hiking, trekking and climbing up mountains, also known as alpinism-University athletic teams and mascots:*Appalachian State Mountaineers, the athletic teams of Appalachian State University...

 and author of several books.


As of 2008, Kurt Diemberger is the only remaining person alive that made the first ascents on two mountains over 8,000 metres
The eight-thousanders are the fourteen independent mountains on Earth that are more than high above sea level. They are all located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges in Asia....

. In 1957, he made the first ascent of Broad Peak
Broad Peak
Broad Peak , is the 12th highest mountain on Earth, with an elevation of 8,051 meters . The literal translation of "Broad Peak" to Faichan Kangri is not accepted among the Balti people.- Geography :...

 and in 1960, the first ascent of Dhaulagiri
Dhaulagiri is Earth's seventh highest mountain at ; one of fourteen over eight thousand metres. Dhaulagiri was first climbed May 13, 1960 by a Swiss/Austrian expedition....

. Diemberger was also the last person to see Hermann Buhl
Hermann Buhl
Hermann Buhl is considered one of the best climbers of all time. He was particularly innovative in applying alpine style to Himalayan climbing...

 alive before he fell through a cornice
Cornice (climbing)
A snow cornice or simply cornice is an overhanging edge of snow on a ridge or the crest of a mountain. They form by wind blowing snow over the crest of the mountain, so they often form on the leeward sides of mountains...

 on Chogolisa
Chogolisa is a mountain in the Karakoram region of Pakistan. It lies near the Baltoro Glacier in the Concordia region which is home to some of the highest peaks of the world. Chogolisa has several peaks, the highest on the SW face rises to...

. This attempt to climb Chogolisa was illegal and subsequently Diemberger was banned from entering Pakistan for an extended period of time.

Diemberger was one of only two survivors in the 1986 K2 Disaster
1986 K2 disaster
The 1986 K2 disaster refers to a period from 6 August to 10 August 1986, when five mountaineers died on K2 in the Karakoram during a severe storm. Eight other climbers were killed in the weeks preceding, bringing the total number of deaths to 13....

. On August 4, 1986, Diemberger and Julie Tullis
Julie Tullis
Julie Tullis was a British climber and film-maker who died on the descent of K2 during a storm along with four other climbers from several expeditions during the 'Black Summer' of 1986.-Early life:...

 reached the summit of K2
K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest...

 very late in the day. Shortly after starting their descent, Tullis fell and dragged Diemberger down with her. Fortunately, they somehow stopped from going over the edge and spent the night above 8,000 metres. They managed to reach Camp IV the next day, where they were forced to share a tent with six other climbers after their tent had collapsed from hurricane force winds. Unfortunately, Tullis died later that night, possibly from high altitude cerebral edema
High altitude cerebral edema
High altitude cerebral edema is a severe form of altitude sickness. HACE is the result of swelling of brain tissue from fluid leakage and almost always begins as acute mountain sickness...

 (HACE), and only one other climber, Austrian Willi Bauer, survived the descent with Diemberger. Both climbers suffered severe frostbite
Frostbite is the medical condition where localized damage is caused to skin and other tissues due to extreme cold. Frostbite is most likely to happen in body parts farthest from the heart and those with large exposed areas...

 during the descent and had to undergo amputations to heal from the ordeal.

Diemberger is still active in the mountaineering world and works on film projects with his daughter.


Diemberger has written the following books:
  • The Endless Knot : K2, Mountain of Dreams and Destiny, 1991. Translated into English by Audrey Salkeld. ISBN 0-89886-300-7
  • Summits and secrets, 1991. Translated into English by Hugh Merrick. ISBN 0-89886-307-4
  • Spirits of the Air, 1994 ISBN 0-89886-408-9
  • K2 : Challenging the Sky, 1997 ISBN 0-89886-518-2
  • The Kurt Diemberger Omnibus, 1999 ISBN 1-898573-26-3
  • K2. Traum und Schicksal, 2001 (German) ISBN 3-7654-3755-7

External links

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