Hansjörg Auer talks about Nilgiri South

From October 22 to October 26 Hansjörg Auer, Alex Blümel and Gerry Fiegl successfully made the first ascent of the South Face of Nilgiri South (6839m). Certainly one of the most important Himalayan ascents this season, unfortunately overshadowed by the tragic loss of one of the three alpinists.

Nilgiri is located in the Annapurna massif in Nepal. Comprised of the North, Central and South Summit, the South Face rises directly from the glacier starting from 5400m up to 6839m.? The Expedition started on October 5 and following a tricky and steep approach to Basecamp, the team immediately started the process of acclimatization. After spending two nights up in advanced basecamp at a height around 5300m, the conditions allowed for an immediate first attempt of the peak. Hansjörg, Alex and Gerry climbed a line on the right side of the face, via the previous unclimbed Nilgiri Spire (6780m) and then by traversing up and down on the spectacular and exposed ridge, they reached the summit of Nilgiri South at 11am on October 25. It was the first ascent of this face and only the second ascent of the South Summit itself since the Japanese FA in 1978. “Out of his eyes shined the brightest light when we all reached the summit together. What happened next was one of the darkest moments in my life.” – Hansjörg Auer The team’s descent via the previously unclimbed Southwest Ridge was more technical and difficult than they had expected and at approximately 2pm on the 26th of October Gerry Fiegl sadly took a fall from which he did not survive. The team are devastated by their loss but wish to celebrate the successes of their friend and fellow alpinist. It is probably one of the most important Himalayan ascents of this season, unfortunately though overshadowed by the tragic loss of Gerry. "He stood on the summit of his biggest and most difficult climb - and I´m thanksful about that and I will never forget is shining eyes on that moment." – Hansjörg Auer Facts: Nilgiri South, Southface
Hansjörg Auer, Alex Blümel, Gerry Fiegl
October 22 to October 26, 2015
Route rating: M5, ice 90°