Gerlinde and Ralf - straight from K2 to 'das aktuelle Sportstudio' (English subtitle)

Uploaded by Valandregear on 05.09.2011

Our two guests, who we are welcoming now, have climbed K2
A warm welcom to Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Ralf Dujmovits
warm welcome
Please sit down....
... It is great to have you here but I bet you are still pretty tired after the long trip
Well, we are still a bit tired as we have only just arrived and I think we still need a bit of a rest.
And then we are bringing you back to K2!
You are probably thinking that you have just travelled 10,000km to get away from it
and now the mountain is following you again. Or has it become your friend?
Yes, it is my friend and I am happy to see it again – even though it is a bit small.
Ralf, what is it like for you? We have to say
that Gerlinde has just managed to become the first woman
to climb all 14 8,000ers without the use of supplementary oxygen.
You are also the first German to climb all 14 8,000ers
In 1992, I climbed Mount Everest with supplementary oxygen
the others I climbed without
and it is still my dream to climb Everest without oxygen.
Where is the big difference?
When we were preparing for this interview, we were wondering
why it was such a big deal to use a bit of supplementary oxygen
when push comes to shove. But you see this issue very critically
When I started climbing these high mountains it was clear to me
that I wanted to do it without using supplementary oxygen and without high altitude porters.
Climbing an 8,000m peak with supplementary oxygen is like climbing a 6,500m peak.
It is a big difference but at the end of the day, everybody has to decide for himself or herself
but it was very important to me to do it without O2
One of the big differences between using oxygen and not using oxygen
is that your body gets extremely cold without it,
As you expire the warm air faster as you breath meaning that you are more susceptible to frostbite.
You have just mentioned the cold. How cold does it get up there?
It depends. We had temperatures between minus 25 and minus 35 degrees
and of course, when it's windy it feels much colder.
You have brought some pictures and, like you just said
it feels much colder with the wind chill.
Here you can really hear the wind howling. How cold was it inside the tent?
This was in our bivouac at about 8,300m, and it was about minus 28 degrees.
I have to admit, it was pretty cold.
Inside the tent !?? How can you sleep there?
No, we could not really sleep there. We just tried to relax a bit.
There were four of us in a two-man tent and it was pretty cramped.
You just try to pass the hours by mentally relaxing and preparing your mind for the upcoming climb.
However, it was very tough.
I'd like to add that the oxygen content at 8,000m is less than one third from down at sea level or here in the studio.
You have to imagine putting a glass over a candle and just giving it a little bit of air every once in a while
to prevent the flame from going out.
It is the same with our bodies. Every part of your body screams and wants to go down.
And wanting to continue to climb, even though you are spending a night up there without sleeping bag,
like Gerlinde and the other three climbers did
demands huge mental strength.
Looking at the model, where did you climb?
We arrived on the north side of K2. We had to walk for about 10km across the K2 glacier to reach our base camp at 4,600m.
After that, we reached our Camp I and continued up a very steep couloirs to the North Pillar,
which we followed all the way.
We stayed for two nights at 8,000m in order to fix some rope
and descended again due to deteriorating weather.
When Gerlinde and the other three climbers were on their summit attempt they started here,
continued up through very deep snow and bivouacked at 8,300m
before they got to the summit ridge
and finally reached the summit.
How do you actually prove that you reached the top?
I guess there is no photographer just passing by to take a picture.
In this case, we were able to photograph each other
and we had perfect weather and we knew that we had reached the highest point
- it just did not go any higher.
On other mountains it happens that you see a higher point in the background.
Is it true that some of these summits are sacred and reserved for the Gods?
Yes, there are some mountains that are sacred
and should not be touched on the top,
especially in Nepal.
You have been married since 2007 but you are also a good team on the mountain.
How do you make decisions? Do you always agree?
In case of K2, Ralf decided to go down due to avalanche danger.
It had snowed a lot and the fact that I reached the top of K2 in 1994
made my risk assessment a little bit different.
And you let your wife go up?
Of course, I would have liked Gerlinde to go down with me
but I felt that she really wanted to carry on. I trusted her and knew that she would make the right decision for herself.
I cannot say that it would have been too dangerous for everyone but it just was not right for me, and so I went down.
Gerlinde had a different feeling and I had to trust her, which I did as I let her go.
And it turned out to be fine.
We talked about it a lot beforehand and we decided that if one person wanted to go down,
given that he or she is feeling ok, the other person could go on.
It is important to discuss these things beforehand,
as it would be too stressful to talk about it in precarious situations.
How far would you generally go to protect the other person's life?
Would you risk your own life? Or are these questions you had better not ask?
In a situation, where the other person is not feeling well,
we would do anything to rescue the other person or get them down.
However, as long as the other person is feeling fine, it is ok.
And I knew that Gerlinde was with other strong climbers and it was ok.
I have to admit that I was hoping for Ralf to come with us,
however, we respect our decisions and in the end I was happy that Ralf stuck to his decision.
And the fact that we were in constant radio contact
made me feel as if we were climbing together
I was able to talk to our friend and meteorologist Charlie Gabl in Innsbruck,
pass on the weather forecast
and watch them with my binoculars and give some advice.
Considering all these aspects, it was probably
not a bad thing that we went different ways.
It was quite a big team behind you.
We met someone else who is always following what you do. Have a look.
-Gerlinde Grusse dich Gott-.
With all my heart, I want to congratulate on your amazing success.
I was speechless when I first heard about it.
I were momentarily completely gone – I were for 4/5 minutes so profoundly taken by joy
and the only thing I could do was to pray and hope
that you would get back into base camp safely.
You can imagine and believe that I am very proud of you.
I wish you all the best for the future.
That was Erich Tischler - and you know him really well.
He is the man who actually started all this.
That's true. When I was a little girl I would go to church very early as I was an altar girl.
When the weather was nice, our priest, Erich Tischler would take us to the mountains after the church service.
It was he who showed us the nature and brought us cloaser to the mountains
and I am very grateful to him for that.
He also married you two.
Yes, it was in 2007 and it was very special. He was 75 years old when he married us
and it was incredible to know that it was he, who got her climbing
and in the end also got the two of us together.
Nowadays, climbing has become a bit of a high tech sports.
I was wondering what you ate up there
and you were kind enough to bring some things from the mountains.
This is Pasta Bolognese. Everyone knows it.
However, it is so hard I guess you could beat someone up with it.
It’s extremely light.
You just have to rip it open and add some hot water
I have to say that the hot water in the mountains, does not come from
a 1800 WATT water boiler close the zip lock and we are used to put it inside your sleeping bag.
There are some other things. Is this the original down suit that you used? What's so special about it?
Yes this is it. This down suit is incredibly warm, even though it is very cold up there. It is a great protection against frostbite.
I think it is important that it is a one-piece suit. At the back there is a zipper for when you have to go to the toilet.
It is pretty perfect for the conditions up there.
It reminds me of an astronaut - also the boots. Do you take any luxury items with you - something you really need, like a cuddly toy?
I don't have a cuddly toy but my luxury item is my toothbrush. My male colleagues often don't take one but I just can't do without it!
You don't take a toothbrush?
Well, I sometimes forget it. In this case, we share Gerlinde's, which she cut down to the minimum to save some weight.
Medical kit - what's inside it?
That's our emergency medical kit, which only contains the absolute essentials. It contains medication for cerebral or pulmonary oedema, some eye medication and a strong painkiller. This is a very reduced medical kit.
It's probably good to have a trained nurse with you. Do you often end up being the doctor up there?
Usually yes, however, on K2 we had no medical problems whatsoever. On other expeditions my training as a nurse has helped me a lot.
We talked about the four-man tent in the film. No, I mean the two-man tent.
This is a two-man tent and it weighs about 1.2kg. The four climbers bivouacked in there together.
Let’s try to fit four people in - do we have some daring candidates. Yes, try and climb in. What about you?
Do you have time? Well, good luck. While you are trying to fit in we can continue with our kitchen experience. Pasta Bolognese.
You just have to stir it properly and now we would need another daring candidate.
Robert Harting (??) is unfortunately not here, however, he said on his website that he eats everything as long as it is a lot. I would also like to try it.
Be careful, it is very hot. At 8,000m the boiling point is a lot lower- at about 70 or 75 degrees.
It tastes better than it looks but I would not want to eat it all the time though. Would you like to try??!
I have another spoon.
Who wanted to try?
You can keep it...You are welcome to eat it up!
Bon Appetite!
Well, what we are doing for fun is a serious business up on the mountain. You have to carry your own food and drink. No, drinks you don't have to carry - you melt water for it.
We melt snow or, in better cases, ice and try to drink about 5litres per day.
As far as food is concerned we are normally not very hungry up there. However we need calories.
This was my first expedition where I tried this sort of food and I could actually eat it. It tastes surprisingly good.
Otherwise we eat baby porridge and dried fruit.
Let's have a look how our team is doing inside the tent.
They are not four. Is it hot?
Imagine minus 28 degrees for two nights…
.....I bet the four of you, that you will really get to know each other!!
If you want to you can stay there....
- but be aware, we are about to switch off the light.