Seven times 8,000

China The moun­tain­eering couple Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger, both members of the LOWA PRO Team, have conquered their seventh eight-thou­sander without bottled oxygen.

Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger

Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger

After two expedition-free years caused by a huge earthquake in Nepal (editor’s note: a disaster that forced them to call off their expedition on the north face of Mount Everest) and injuries, the Manaslu served as a successful comeback, ” Melle and Stitzinger say in positively summing up their lives. With the successful ascent of Manaslu on 30 September, the couple has now climbed seven eight-thou­sanders – following Cho Oyu (2000), Gash­erbrum II (2006), Nanga Parbat (2008), Dhaulagiri (2009), Broad Peak (2011) and Shisha Pangma (2013).

Manaslu is the new Everest

  • Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger in camp.

    Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger in camp.

A total of 135 mountain climbing permits for teams that were made up of an average of eight to 12 mountain climbers each – the highest number of permits ever – were issued to foreign exped­itions in the autumn of 2017 according to the Ministry of Tourism in Nepal. Numbers that you normally just see for Mount Everest. The sudden surge was caused by the temporary closure of the summits Cho Oyu and Shisha Pangma, mountains that usually surpass the Manaslu in popularity, by Tibet during the post-monsoon period. Another reason was that many tour organisers began to view Manaslu as a presumably easy alternative. But the mountain is anything but easy. It most recently made headlines in 2012 when one of the worst avalanches in the Himalayas killed 11 people. During the same year, Chinese authorities made the surprise decision to close the border to Tibet for the first time, creating a massive wave of climbers on the mountain.

Bildauswahl Sarntaler Hufeisen Alix von Melle

“The threat of avalanches was not an issue during this season.”

Alix von Melle | LOWA PRO Team

  • Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger

    Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger

A period of nice weather produced little new snow and created stable conditions on a mountain known for its difficult weather. And, most likely, for a record number of climbers.” But the unusual conditions should not be viewed as normal. In future, there will also be periods of heavy snow and the risk of avalanches on the “Mountain of the Spirit”, the meaning of the word “Manaslu”.

The shoe

“Two things matter to me most during exped­itions: warmth and comfort. You can reach the summit only if your feet stay warm and you can walk well in the shoe.”

EXPEDITION 8000 EVO RD: Feel right at home in the Himalayas – with the moun­tain­eering expedition boots developed by LOWA and extreme moun­taineer, Ralf Dujmovits. He knows what it takes to face the Arctic temper­atures and Alpine chal­lenges that arise at an elevation of more than 8,000 metres: He is the first German moun­taineer to scale all 14 eight-thou­sanders. The result of this part­nership is a boot designed to take on the most demanding exped­itions. The removable inner boot is insulated with 400 grams of comfortable Prim­aloft®.