Mount Everest Expedition
Mount Everest  |  K2  |  Genyen  |  Jasemba  |  Gasherbrum II  |  Nanga Parbat

Shortly before the peak, where you have to pass a short ledge, I’m already very tired but I know … the summit is near, very near. Five people are approaching me. I don’t recognize them because they are wearing oxygen masks. They look like pilots of fighter planes. Two of them have a darker skin, they probably are Sherpas. They look at me as if they have never seen a man before. Probably because I’m not wearing an oxygen mask. I continue my ascent and reaching the end of the ledge, I can suddenly see it … the highest peak of the world. I must rest on my poles again and again. I am at 8830 m and only another 80 m separate me from the summit. I can see some people on the peak. Breathing gets more and more difficult. Step by step, in slow motion, I reach the summit together with my comrades at 9.30 a.m. of May 24 th 2004 . What a view!

From here I have a view of 360°, all around me. We embrace each other full of happiness. Both wonderful weather and calm underline this extraordinary moment. Such feelings are very rare in life. I am astonished … My eyes wander to the distance. Three more 8000ers are very near. I can almost touch them. A dream has come true. The long preparation and the numerous hardships have been worthwhile. Despite the height and the thin air I am very bright in my head, thank God the inner tensions and the concentration don't ease.
We take some pictures for our families, friends and sponsors as proof that we have made it. However, the not harmless descent must be handled. We have to take the scientific measurements before. After two and a half hours on Mount Everest we start climbing down ...


Val Gardena