In 2011, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner solidified her mountaineering legacy by becoming the first woman to bag all fourteen 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen. She followed that up in 2012 by completing the hardest line of the season from Everest Base Camp: the rarely attempted Scott Route up 25,790-foot Nuptse, first ascended in 1979 by a team of British climbers. In May, the 41-year-old Austrian joined German David Göttler on the brutally exposed, avalanche-prone line, tackling it in four days. It was just the third successful attempt up the route, which ascends a 5,791-foot wall, and they did it without the aid of oxygen or high-altitude porters. They were also just the 19th and 20th people to reach Nuptse’s main summit. This summer, Kaltenbrunner sets her sights on Denali, most likely via the difficult Cassin Ridge route and the highly technical Moose’s Tooth. “It’s been a dream for me to climb in Alaska,” she says. “I’m very much looking forward to it.”
Open a World of Adventure
Our Dispatch email delivers the stories you can’t afford to miss.