NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts and National Geographic Live are pleased to present Austrian mountaineer Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the first woman to scale the earth's 14 highest mountain peaks without the use of supplementary oxygen, in an adventure-packed multimedia presentation.
Kaltenbrunner's primary goal for her 2011 K2 climb, featured in National Geographic magazine in April 2012, was to climb K2 from the remote Chinese side, along the most dangerous route. Known as the mountaineer's mountain, K2 has taken the life of roughly one climber for every four who have succeeded in making the summit. On this expedition, heavy snowfall just before the team's summit attempt increased the danger of avalanches on the mountain's steep slope. The team faced many critical decisions. Two members, including her husband Ralf, decided to abandon the climb halfway through. Kaltenbrunner pushed on with three other climbers, and, despite the dangers, reached the summit first.