German 54-year-old mountaineer Luis Stitzinger who has been missing since 25th May on Mt. Kanchenjunga, has been found dead. According to his expedition organizer, Stitzinger was found on the slopes of the death zone, above 8,000 meters.
Chairman of Seven Summit Treks, Mingma Sherpa, on Tuesday, 31st May, said that the dead body of a German mountaineer found in the death zone of Kanchenjunga is being brought down to the lower base camp.
Lost Communication at 8,500 Meters
The 54-year-old German mountaineer who set out to conquer the ‘Third tallest mountain in the world’ lost communication with his expedition team at around 8,500-meter altitude at around 9 p.m.
After reaching the summit without supplemental oxygen on 25th May, on his descent to the base camp, Luis Stitzinger went out of contact. The expedition team to the summit on 25th May included fellow climbers and expedition guides Adrian Laza, Vibeke Andrea Sefland, He Jing Druelle, Vadim Pirmin, Flower Waganlu Wayta, Chhepal Sherpa, Nuri Sherpa, Ang Tenji Sherpa, Pema Sherpa, and Chhiring Bhote.
According to the available details, the 54-year-old German mountaineer and skier was the last climber on the summit of the world’s third-tallest peak without a breathing mask. The expedition team reached the summit point of the 8,586 meters tall mountain at around 5 p.m. on 25th May.
The expedition team communicated with Stitzinger for the last time at around 9 p.m. During the last communication, the German mountaineer radioed that he planned to descend to Base Camp 4 in the dark.
Stitzinger was also carrying skis with him during the expedition, the team is not quite sure whether the extreme mountaineer/ski guide was using the skis on his descent to Camp 4 in the dark or not.
Intensive Search on Slopes of Mt. Kanchenjunga
Although the Seven Summit Treks did make the announcement for an intensive search of the 54-year-old mountain and ski guide on Sunday, 21st May. The helicopter rescue mission wasn’t possible due to the unfavorable and harsh weather conditions in the region.
A team of five Sherpa climbers was involved in the search and rescue mission for the missing Luis Stitzinger.
Another fellow German mountaineer, Billi Bierling who was in contact with the 54-year-old stated that Stitzinger was a very skilled and careful mountaineer. Bierling hinted that the exhaustion of the expedition might have caught up to the famous mountaineer.
Stitzinger had been standing alone at the summit of the Third-tallest mountain, the last time the expedition had sight on him.
It wasn’t the first attempt at the conquest of Kanchenjunga for the German ski and mountain guide, earlier in mid-May he had set out on an expedition to scale the third-tallest peak. However, as he entered the wrong gully in the upper part of the mountain, he missed the summit point of Mt. Kanchenjunga.
During the descent after his first attempt, Stitzinger had reported to his experienced mountaineer wife that the slope from 8,000 meters of the mountain to the base camp was not a problem for ski descending.
Skied on Slopes of Seven 8,000ers
The certified mountain and ski guide was also known as the ‘big mountain skier’. Famous for his extreme love for adventures, Luis Stitzinger was an avid mountain skier, he had already skied on seven mountains with more than 8,000 meters elevation.
Stitzinger skied on the slopes of 8,000-ers like Nanga Parbat (8,125 m), Gasherbrum II (8,035 m), K2 (8,611 m), Broad Peak (8,051 m), the northern part of Pik Lenin, Shisha Pangma (8,027 m) and Manaslu (8,163 m). He was often accompanied by his wife Alix Von Melle, a fellow mountaineer on his expeditions.
Stitzinger and Melle also published a book titled ‘Passion for Life: Climbing the Highest Mountains in the World Together’ which entails the couple’s adventures on the snowy slopes.
Born on 16th December 1968 in Füssen, the certified Geman mountain and ski guide always had a connection with alluring snowy peaks. Even as a child, he felt at home in the mountains, his extreme ascends to the tallest mountains in the world and his descent sliding on his skis, set Stitzinger apart from other fellow mountaineering enthusiasts.
Luis Stitzinger’s Body Found at 8,400 Meters
The 5-member Sherpa rescue team worked tirelessly to locate the missing German mountaineer who unresponsive since his descent at 8,500 meters. But, sadly the team found the dead body of the renowned experienced mountaineer in the death zone at an elevation of 8,400 meters.
Giving updates on the rescue team, Minga Sherpa, Seven Summit Treks chairman, said the team had arrived at the altitude of around 7,400 meters carrying the body of the German mountaineer on Monday, 30th May.
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The mountaineering community mourns the death of the inspirational ski and mountain guide. Pursuing his passion on the slopes that made him feel at home, he successfully scaled several mountain peaks all around the globe and even reached the summits of a few without using supplemental oxygen.
Stitzinger has conquered the mountain peaks like K2, Nang Parbat, Kukuczka, Benedikt Böhm, Shishapangma, Gasherbrum II, Lenin Peak. Mount Everest, and Mansalu among others. The German mountaineer’s legacy as one the most exceptionally skilled, daring, and an enthusiast who fell in love with mountains will be always remembered and cherished by the mountaineering community.