Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is the first woman to stand atop all of Earth’s eight-thousand meter peaks without using supplemental oxygen to get there. On August 23, 2011, Austria’s exceptional alpinist reached the top of 8611 meter high K2 via the seldom attempted and extremely challenging North Pillar.She was accompanied on the expedition by her husband Ralf Dujmovits, Tommi Heinrich of Argentina, Darek Zaluski of Poland, and Vassily Pivtsov and Maxut Zumayev of Kazakhstan. Darek, Vassiliy and Maxut also reached the summit of K2.
DLR’s Earth Observation Center (EOC) supported the expedition’s preparations to ascend the mountain situated on the border between China and Pakistan by providing high-resolution satellite images. That made it possible for Kaltenbrunner und Dujmovits to gain important insights in advance about the mountain’s rarely climbed North Pillar.
Stefan Dech, director of the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) at EOC, expressed his happiness about this success when he heard the news: "Everyone at DLR most heartily congratulates Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and the entire team for this outstanding achievement in sports. Gerlinde demonstrated what can be accomplished when a team with a great goal in mind is endowed with the necessary professionalism, patience and perseverance. For us at DLR it was a special pleasure and honor to support this exceptional expedition."
Meanwhile, DLR has again recorded K2 with the World-View-2 satellite in cooperation with its partner European Space Imaging (EUSI). With this new data set DLR will be able to further optimize its elevation model of the mountain and close the data gaps for the southeast ridge caused by cloud cover in previous recordings