Atop the world

Austrian mountaineer reached peak of K2 after husband turned back to base camp

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner (R) and her husband Ralf Dujmovits. (REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar)

Gerlinde Kaltenbrenner has reached heights that few other women – or men – can match. The Austrian mountain climber has scaled 14 of the world’s highest peaks, the mountains known as “eight thousanders” for their heights of 8,000 meters (26, 247 feet) and higher. Kaltenbrunner, 45, has been climbing since she was 13, and said she has no plans of slowing down.

“If you have the mountains in your heart, you’ll never hang up your crampons,” she told the New York Post this week ahead of a speaking engagement at New York University. “I still have other places I’d like to go.”

In 2011, Kaltenbenner was making her seventh attempt at scaling K2, the deadly mountain on the border between China and Pakistan, when her husband and climbing partner decided to turn back to base camp. She said goodbye and forged ahead, making it to the top of the peak without help from porters or supplemental oxygen. What keeps her coming back, she said, are the “beautiful, magical” places on the top of each mountain.

Read the full story at The New York Post.


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