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Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner - first woman to scale all 14, 8,000-meter peaks without supplementary oxygen


Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

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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Show notes

  • 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