Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: the 14x8000ers.

In 2005 Ed Viesturs became only the fifth man in the world to summit all 14, 8000ers without oxygen. In 2007, Silvio ‘Gnaro’ Mondinelli became number 6, followed by Ivan Vallejo last year as number 7, and number 14 overall (with or w/o O2) on the list.Veikka Gustafsson

This year we had a jackpot, with no less than four climbers entering the list, and two without supplementary oxygen: Denis Urubko and Veikka Gustafsson.

Even counting those using artificial oxygen, the number of people who have stood on top of all the highest mountains on earth (above 8000 meters tall) would not fill a room.

Gnaro’s quest took 14 hard years, Ed’s took 20. Done after only 11 years, Vallejo was fast. Faster even was Urubko, still requiring 9 years.

Ed and Christian Kuntner received a joint ExWeb award for the achievement – the latter post mortem: Christian died on his peak no 14, Annapurna. The number of mountaineers perished on the 8000ers while hoping for this success are staggering. This year we lost a woman, one of only five currently qualifying for the list.

If facts such as statistics, time and obituaries count for anything; then this is a human quest in a league of its own. The men and women aspiring for the experience need no numbers to know though; “I’ve been so lucky to survive this long,” Lock told Aussie home media.

Lock; one more mountain. Veikka; moving on.

Ralf Dujmovits and Andrew Lock both used oxygen albeit only on Everest. Planning to repeat Everest next year without oxygen, “I need to finish 8,000 metre climbing soon because I’ve been so lucky to survive this long,” Lock said. “That’s why I say, ‘this one more climb’ – then it’s time to hang up the boots.”

Andrew finished his project in style; he and British mate Neil Ward were the only to reach Shisha’s Main summit this fall, after climbing from the north side via a variation of Iñaki’s route.

On July 26th in a very thin year of summits, together with Japanese Kazuya Veikka Gustafsson stood at the top of Gasherbrum I, becoming the 9th climber in the world to summit all 8000ers without bottled oxygen.Australian Andrew Lock

Except for Cho Oyu, the Finn has done the first absolute ascent of all 8000ers for his country. On his record, 17 main 8000ers (repetitions on DH and 2x EV), and conquests on several continents, including first ascents on some Antarctic peaks in the 90´s.

Wrote Veikka afterwards: “Just said to Kazuya, that now this mountain has been climbed, it’s done and over. 17 years of freezing wind and glacier conditions – now that’s done and finished. It’s time to move on.”

Climbers who have reached the summit of all 14 eight-thousanders

Field 02 lists people who have peaked all 14 without bottled oxygen.

All without
O2 (order)
Name Period born at age Nationality
1 1 Reinhold Messner 1970-1986 1944 42 Flag of Italy Italian
2 Jerzy Kukuczka 1979-1987 1948 39 Flag of Poland Polish
3 2 Erhard Loretan 1982-1995 1959 36 Flag of Switzerland Swiss
4 Carlos Carsolio 1985-1996 1962 33 Flag of Mexico Mexican
5 Krzysztof Wielicki 1980-1996 1950 46 Flag of Poland Polish
6 3 Juanito Oiarzabal 1985-1999 1956 43 Flag of Spain Spanish
7 Sergio Martini 1983-2000 1949 51 Flag of Italy Italian
8 Young Seok Park 1993-2001 1963 38 Flag of South Korea Korean
9 Hong Gil Um 1988-2001 1960[6] 40 Flag of South Korea Korean
10 4 Alberto Iñurrategi 1991-2002[7] 1968 33 Flag of Spain Spanish
11 Wang Yong Han 1994-2003 1966 37 Flag of South Korea Korean
12 5[8] Ed Viesturs 1989-2005 1959 46 Flag of the United States American
13 6[9][10][11] Silvio Mondinelli 1993-2007 1958 49 Flag of Italy Italian
14 7[12] Ivan Vallejo 1997-2008 1959 49 Flag of Ecuador Ecuador
15 8 [13] Denis Urubko 2000-2009 1973 35 Flag of Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
16 Ralf Dujmovits 1990-2009 1961[14] 47 Flag of Germany German
17 9 Veikka Gustafsson 1993-2009 1968 41 Flag of Finland Finnish
18 10 Andrew Lock 1993-2009 1961 48 Flag of FinlandAustralia

* Special mentions:

– Good guys leaving too early: Tomaz, Piotr, Serguey, Martin, Oscar, Roby…
– GIII/GIV attempt and rescue.
– Nives Meroi, fame for love.
– North Pole-Greenland crossing and polar records.

Related story: StatCrunch: 8000er mountaineers with 6 summits or more, updated.

Related story: K2 & Karakoram 2009 Season´s end Chronicle.

Related story: Shisha Pangma TRUE summit report: and the winner is

Related story: GI summits – Veikka Gustafsson completes the 14x8000ers list!

Related story: Andrew Lock completes the 14×8000ers list!

* Previous story :

–   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards: Altitude Junkies and FTA – corporate compassion.

–   Best of ExplorersWeb 2009 Awards – Special mention.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Farewell to friends.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Polar adventures.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Significant climbs.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: The Oceans.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Mount Everest.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Controversies.

–   ExplorersWeb Year 2009 in Review: Technology and Space.

–   Tragedy in the Himalaya, 2009 climbing season.

Exweb Week-In-Review is sponsored by HumanEdgeTech the world’s premier supplier of expedition technology. Our team helps you find ultra light expedition tech that works globally.

e-mail or call +1 212 966 1928

* Read these stories – and more! – at

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