Luis Stitzinger found dead on Kangchenjunga

Luis Stitzinger
Luis Stitzinger (1968-2023)

All hope was in vain, now it is sad certainty. Luis Stitzinger, one of the most successful high-altitude climbers in Germany, is dead. A Sherpa search team of the Nepalese expedition operator Seven Summit Treks (SST) found 54-year-old on Kangchenjunga lifeless at an altitude of about 8,400 meters, SST chairman Mingma Sherpa told the Kathmandu-based newspaper The Himalayan Times. The climber’s body is now being brought down, he added. This information was also confirmed to me by mountaineer Alix von Melle, Stitzinger’s wife.

Luis had reached the summit of the third highest mountain on earth at 8,586 meters last Thursday at around 5 p.m. local time without bottled oxygen, the last of a number of climbers to reach the top that day. Around 9 p.m., he had sent another radio message. It was Luis’ last sign of life. He had been missing since then. As reported, a search team with bottled oxygen had ascended from base camp yesterday. According to Mingma, it consisted of five Sherpas.

Luis will be missed

R.I.P., Luis

Kangchenjunga was the tenth eight-thousander that Stitzinger climbed. Previously, he had scaled Cho Oyu (in 2000), Gasherbrum II (in 2006), Nanga Parbat (in 2008), Dhaulagiri (in 2009), Broad Peak (in 2011), Shishapangma (in 2013), Manaslu (in 2017) and Gasherbrum I (in 2018): all without bottled oxygen, six eight-thousanders together with his wife Alix.

Only on his two summit successes on Mount Everest (in 2019 via the Tibetan north side and in 2022 via the Nepalese south side) had Luis used breathing masks because he had guided clients. On Kangchenjunga, he was on his own account. According to Alix, Luis’ dream was to climb the summit without bottled oxygen and, if possible, follow it up with a ski descent. He apparently survived the summit success by only a few hours.

Stitzinger was a great person, an exceedingly strong climber and a prudent mountain guide. Luis will be missed.

One Reply to “Luis Stitzinger found dead on Kangchenjunga”

  1. Se ha ido sin duda una gran persona…
    Fue un placer conocerte alli en el Kanchenjunga Luis. Te recordaremos!

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