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EverestHistory.com:  Erhard Loretan


Switzerland native, Erhard Loretan in considered one of the world’s top three climbers. He was born in 1959 and began climbing at the age of 11, by the time he was 15 he had climbed the east ridge of Doldenhorn (3,645m). In 1995 he reached the summit of Kangchenjunga, making him the third climber to successfully summit the world’s fourteen 8000m peaks. This accomplishment took Erhard 13 years to accomplish, at age 36 he had stood on top of the world’s highest peaks.

His quest to climb the 8000m peaks began in 1982 when he climbed Nanga Parbat. In 1993 Erhard reached the summits of Gasherbrum I and II, and Broad Peak. In 1984 he climbed Manaslu and in 1985 he climbed Annapurna I, K2 and Dhaulagiri. He reached the summit of Everest in 1986 and in 1990 climbed Cho Oyu and Shishapangma. In 1991 he climbed Makalu, Lhotse in 1994 and in 1995 finished with Kangchenjunga.

Erhard has a fast and light philosophy to climbing and believes in reaching summits without the aid of bottled oxygen. In 2002 Erhard took his seven month old son to the hospital after shaking him.  His son died and Loretan admitted to his mistake.  However, by 2003 he was climbing again on the northern face of Jannu.

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