Expedition: K2
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner
Photograph by Darek Zaluski
Gerlinde near Camp III with numerous unnamed 6,000- to 7,000-meter (20,000- to 23,000-foot) peaks in the background.

Born on December 13, 1970, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner's interest in mountain climbing developed at a very young age. Reverend Dr. Erich Tischler—a youth group leader in her hometown of Spital am Pyhrn, Upper Austria—introduced her to climbing, taking Kaltenbrunner along on numerous tours of the mountains surrounding her hometown. At the age of 13, Kaltenbrunner ventured on her first climbing tours at the local "Sturzhahn," which sparked her enthusiasm for climbing and paved the road to alpinism. During the following years, she never skipped an opportunity to go climbing. Ski, ice, and climbing tours became her main fields of interest, which she enjoyed while completing her nurse training in Upper Austria and Vienna.

Kaltenbrunner's greatest dream—climbing an 8,000-meter peak—was realized at the age of 23, when she succeeded in summiting the 8,027-meter (26,335-foot) Broad Peak in Pakistan. In ensuing years, she began to pour all of the money she earned as a nurse into different trekking and climbing expeditions in the Himalayas. After climbing Nanga Parbat—her fifth 8,000-meter peak—in 2003, Kaltenbrunner finally decided to become a professional mountaineer. Today, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner has climbed thirteen main peaks in the 8,000-meter series as well as two fore summits higher than 8,000 meters.

Her passion, however, extends beyond the high mountains of the Himalaya and Karakorum ranges to encompass the people, cultures, and religions of this enchanting region. In between major expeditions, Kaltenbrunner enjoys climbing, ice climbing, and ski touring in her native Alps.

Climbing Expeditions

2010, July-August: K2, Pakistan (via Cesen Route to 8,300 meters)
2010, April-May: Everest, Tibet (via Northeast Ridge to summit—8,848 meters)
2009, July-August: K2, Pakistan (via Cesen Route to 8,300 meters)
2009, May: Lhotse, Nepal (to summit—8,516 meters)
2008, May: Dhaulagiri I, Nepal (to summit—8,167 meters)
2007, July-August: K2, Pakistan (via Cesen Route to 8,100 meters)
2007, July-August: Broad Peak, Pakistan (to summit—8,051 meters)
2007, April-May: Dhaulagiri I, Nepal (abandoned at 7,400 meters)
2006, May: Lhotse, Nepal (abandoned at 8,400 meters)
2006, April-May: Kangchenjunga, Nepal (via Southwest Ridge to summit—8,586 meters)
2005, June-July: Gasherbrum II, Pakistan (via Southwest Ridge to summit—8,034 meters)
2005, May-June: Everest, Tibet (climb abandoned due to rescue)
2005, May: Shisha Pangma, Tibet(via South Face to summit—8,027 meters)
2004, July: Gasherbrum I, Pakistan (via Japanese Couloir to summit—8,080 meters)
2004, May: Annapurna I, Nepal (via French Route to summit—8,091 meters)
2004, April: Xifeng Peak, Tibet (to summit—7,221 meters)
2003, June: Nanga Parbat, Pakistan (via Diamir Route to summit—8,125 meters)
2003, April-May: Kangchenjunga, Nepal (via North Ridge to 7,200 meters)
2002, April-May: Manaslu, Nepal (to summit—8,163 meters)
2001, April-May: Makalu, Nepal (to summit—8,485 meters)
2000, April-May: Shisha Pangma, Tibet (to Central Summit—8,008 meters)
1999, June: Alpamayo, Peru (via Ferrari Route to summit—5,947 meters)
1998, April-May: Cho Oyu, Nepal/Tibet (to summit—8,188 meters)
1997, October: Ama Dablam, Nepal (via Southwest Ridge to summit—6,858 meters)
1995, May: Muztagh Ata, China (to 6,600 meters)
1994, June-July: Broad Peak, Pakistan (to False Summit—8,027 meters)