Hats off! Billi Bierling scaled Broad Peak today, Sunday – without bottled oxygen. According to her sister, she returned safely from her summit push after 25 hours – to Camp 3 at about 7,200 meters.
For the 52-year-old German mountaineer and journalist, who is en route with the Swiss expedition operator “Kobler & Partner“, it was the sixth eight-thousander success and the third after Manaslu in 2011 and Cho Oyu in 2016 that she managed without breathing mask. Billi had already attempted Broad Peak in 2015. Camp 3 was the last stop at that time, due to the high danger of avalanches.
First German women on Makalu
Billi scaled Mount Everest in 2009, Lhotse as well as Manaslu in 2011 and Makalu in 2014. Bierling shares the honour of having been the first German woman to stand on Makalu with Heidi Sand, who was on the summit on the same day. With six eight-thousanders, Billi only needs one more to catch up with the most successful German high-altitude mountaineer to date, Alix von Melle.
Most climbers who frequently go to Nepal know Billi Bierling as the long-time assistant of the legendary Himalayan chronicler Elizabeth Hawley and after Hawley’s death at the beginning of 2018 as head of the mountaineering chronicle “The Himalayan Database“. Also our paths crossed for the first time in Kathmandu, before an expedition. Since then she has often provided me with first-hand information – always friendly, helpful and competent. That’s why I’m particularly happy about her summit success on Broad Peak. Bravo, Billi!
Update 15 July: Billi has confirmed her summit success without bottled oxygen. “I am so happy as I never thought I’d do it!,” she posted on Twitter.