Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner's interest in mountain climbing developed while she was growing up in Spital am Pyhrn, Austria.
Her greatest dream—climbing an 8,000-meter peak—came true at the age of 23, when she succeeded in climbing the fore-summit of Broad Peak in Pakistan, at a height of 8,027 meters. She then put the money she earned as a nurse into different trekking and climbing expeditions to the Himalaya.
After climbing the Nanga Parbat—her fifth 8,000-meter peak—in 2003, she decided to become a professional mountain climber.
Today, Kaltenbrunner has climbed all 14 main peaks in the 8,000-meter series.
When she reached the summit of K2 (8,611 meters), she became the first woman to scale all 8,000-meter peaks without the use of supplementary oxygen. During this episode Gerlinde shares more about her journey into mountaineering and takes us up on K2, she shares lessons learned and how she moved forward after dealing with a friends death on the mountain.
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Where her love of the mountains came from
Being inspired at 8 years old by her priest
Loving nature from a young age
Watching a lecture on K2 and being inspired at 16 years old
Going to Pakistan at 23 to climb her first 8,000m peak
Telling her parents about her mountaineering dreams
Wanting to climb without oxygen
Working as a nurse and doing as much endurance training as possible
Cycling 40km to work and back again
Spending as much time as possible in the mountains
Finding the right people to climb with
Female role models in mountaineering
How her grandmother inspired her passion
Climbing Broad Peak (8,027m) in Pakistan
Spending 6 days in Islamabad
Trying to save a life on the mountain
The importance of drinking water at high altitude
The importance of routine in high altitude climbing
Being very focused and not being able to enjoy the summit of Broad Peak
Getting addicted to the high mountains
Having a break of 4 years to save money and holiday time
Why the learning should never end
Being discriminated against and deciding to go in small teams
Changing her strategy on climbing mountains
Being more selective on who she climbed mountains with
Climbing Nanga Parbat - the ninth highest mountain in the world at 8,126 metres (26,660 ft) above sea level
Being ignored on the mountain by other climbers
Not being allowed to break t