Stars of BFF 2017: Peter Habeler (Austria)

Peter Habeler (Austria) – mountaineer, climber – Presentation day of Banskofilmfest`2017 – 26 November, 12:00h, Big Hall, Culture center “Nikola Vapcarov”, Bansko.


Peter Habeler (born 22 July 1942) is an Austrian mountaineer.  He developed an interest in mountain climbing at age six.




Peter Habeler



Beginning the mid 60’s he and climbing partner Reinhold Messner assaulted the mountaineering world with an impressive series of climbs. Together they made the first ascent of Yerupaja Chico in South America (1969), and the North face of Eiger in a record 10 hours (1974), following that was Hidden Peak via a new route (1975).  The most notable event was the first ascent without supplemental oxygen of Mount Everest on 8 May 1978 together with Messner, which was previously thought to be impossible. A year after his climb on Everest he published Lonely Victory in 1979.



Other eight-thousands  (mountains over 8,000 meters) that Habeler has summited are Cho Oyu, Nanga Parbat, Kangchenjunga and Gasherbrum I.  He has also climbed Yerupaja Chico  (6089 m) in South America. The ascent of Gasherbrum I was made with Messner in 1975, Alpine-style in three days, and is seen by some as ushering in a new era of alpine style ascents of eight-thousanders, in contrast to the “siege” tactics which had largely prevailed to this time. It was the first time an eight-thousander had been climbed Alpine-style. Habeler attempted to climb Everest again in 2000 but failed to do so due to fluid in his lungs.

Habeler became a skiing instructor at age twenty one and founded the Peter Habeler Ski and Mountaineering School in his hometown of Mayrhofen, Austria.  The school is now run by his son, though Habeler still teaches on occasion.

At age 74, he repeated an ascent on The Eiger’s north face with David Lama. It is fitting therefore that the other day Habeler chose Lama as his climbing partner. for the record, this was Lama’s first time up the Heckmair route. We can only imagine their handshake on the summit. Imagine Habeler’s joy at repeating the route, 43 years after that groundbreaking ascent. It was, most certainly, a beautiful moment. Hut ab, chapeau, to the “grand seigneur” of mountaineering.



Peter Habeler was e guest on Banskofilmfest 2013.




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