Mountaineering encompasses many facets: There are modern all-rounders who shine on rock and ice, with big wall and free solo projects alike, high-altitude mountaineers* who have climbed the highest peaks in the world in record time or as the first or have developed their own style. At the same time, the line between (ice) climbers, mountaineers and ski mountaineers is narrow. Whether Reinhold Messner or South Tyrolean Tamara Lunger: there is room on the mountain for everyone today. What unites the mountain enthusiasts is their passion for the mountains. And an awareness of the issue of sustainability. After all, anyone who climbs the mountain with difficulty and marvels at the beauty of nature also wants to protect it. Quite a few are now true climate ambassadors all over the world. ISPO.com shows you the alpinists you need to know and follow. Thrills and wet hands, but also summit euphoria included.
Impossible? There is no such thing for Nirmal Purja, also known as Nims or Nimsdai. Behind the winter ascent of K2, which seemed impossible for a long time, the former elite soldier put a hook in 2021. And under the project name "Mission Possible", the Nepal-born climber ascended all eight-thousanders in 6 months and 6 days, setting multiple records and simultaneously drawing attention to the Nepalese mountaineering community. For comparison, the fastest time to date to climb all the peaks in the Death Zone was over 7 years. As "14 Peaks", Nim's record-breaking expedition is also available on Netflix. And what seemingly impossible projects he tackles in the future, you get first on social media with.
He is probably the most famous climber in the world. The first to climb Reinhold Messner and partner Peter Habeler climbed Mount Everest without the aid of bottled oxygen. He later became the first person to climb the world's highest mountain solo. Messner is also the first person who could hit the top of all fourteen eight-thousanders - completely without bottled oxygen.
On Instagram, the old master gives insights into his life today: in projects as a speaker, filmmaker or founder of the Messner Mountain Museum. And he reflects on his own achievements and successes and those of today's world leaders in extreme mountaineering.
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner can be seen as the female equivalent of Reinhold Messner. The Austrian was the first woman in the world to climb all eight-thousanders. Thus, she was not the first woman to succeed in climbing all the peaks in the death zone, but the first to do so without the aid of oxygen and high altitude porters. Many see this as the real alpinistic challenge and more significant sporting achievement.
On her rather small and personal social media presence, one can stay up to date with the now 51-year-old and follow her on her tours, expeditions and travels. Who wants to follow in her footsteps, gets here also when there are guided tours by her or she appears at events as an exceptional athlete and speaker.
Andrzej Bargiel not only climbs the most dangerous and difficult mountains at an insane pace, but usually has his skis with him. He not only conquered the infamous K2, but in 2018 became the first person ever to ski down the 8611-meter-high and thus second-highest peak in the world without taking off his skis.
Bargiel also won the "Snow Leopard" award for climbing the five highest peaks in the former Soviet Union.
On his socials, the Pole currently shows solidarity with Ukraine and puts up a statement against the war.
Tamara Lunger describes herself as "Soul Mountaineer", her great love is for the mountains. But this should not hide her great achievements, where she can definitely keep up with the men: She was on expedition in Siberia, where it gets up to minus 70 degrees cold, paragliding in India and already stood on the summit of Nanga Parbat and K2, which is also called "Savage Mountain" applies.
On her Instagram profile, however, Lunger also shows what it means to be a woman on the mountain. Likewise, she deals there openly with the tragedies that she has already experienced on the mountain. While attempting a winter ascent of K2, she lost two good friends and members of her rope team. On Instagram, she processes her grief, but also shows personal insights into how it is to be on the road as a woman on the highest peaks.
David Göttler is one of the best extreme mountaineers in Germany. The pro alpinist and trained mountain guide is best known for his climbs with light weight, in small teams and without oxygen, because it is mainly in this area that he sees the further development of high-altitude mountaineering. Thus, among other things, Göttler was on light, albeit technically extremely challenging mission with Kilian Jornet in the Himalayas.
On his profile, the Munich native provides insights into his life between Chamonix and Spain, training routines and paragliding flights, as well as his expeditions in the Himalayas to the highest peaks in the world. Tips on motivation and dealing with failed projects, Göttler also gives in the ISPO.com Interview.
Colin Hayley is best known for his speed records in extremely technical routes in North and South America. He already crossed the Torres de Paine in Patagonia twice, once in under 24 hours with Free Solo ace Alex Honnold.
In addition, the US-American has first climbed some of the most spectacular routes in Alaska and set speed records there. On social media, he gives insights into ice and big wall climbs, where you can get wet hands just scrolling through.
The four-time world champion in ice climbing and multiple World Cup winner also has some exciting stories to offer on Instagram. The Saxony-born professional alpinist now lives in Berchtesgaden, but shows impressions of climbs and expeditions around the globe on her profile, together with mountaineer husband Luka Lindič. While Papert often left male competitors behind in her competitive days, the exceptional athlete still sets the tone for first ascents on tricky and previously unclimbed routes. She is always looking for new challenges, trains hard for it and is often with friends like Caro North in the Outdoors.
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