Karl Unterkircher

The extreme alpinist Karl Unterkircher was born on August 27 1970 in Selva di Val Gardena.

At the age of 15 he discovered his passion for climbing, he was a climbing trainer in the military service and passed the mountain guide exam in 1997.

He celebrated his first big success in 2004 when he ascended Mount Everest and K2 without artificial oxygen in just two months. For this, he was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records in 2008. The ascent of the Jasemba, Nepal, with Hans Kammerlander and of the Gasherbrum II with Daniele Bernasconi and Michele Compagnoni followed in the next years.
On July 15 2008 the 38-year-old Karl Unterkircher was killed in an accident while climbing over the Rakhiot-ice wall on Nanga Parbat.

Award 2018
14.07.2018 Selva Val Gardena / Italy

Family, friends and colleagues have decided to create an award in honour of him to keep his name alive in the world of mountaineering. The award will be granted to three mountaineers or group of mountaineers who have demonstrated great climbing skills or carried out extreme expeditions in alpine style. It is intended not as competition but an award as fair play.  The event is organized every second year.


The climbing guild Catores and The Gardena Mountain Guide Association nominate in 2016 the following three climbers/groups:

Link Sar West 6.938m (Karakorum) climbed by Jon Griffith (FR) and Andy Houseman (UK)
In July 2015 they made the first ascent on the Northwest Face and called it Fever Pitch.

Trollveggen (Troll Wall in Norway - the highest vertical face in Europe) The Polish Duo Marek Raganowicz (PL) and Marcin Tomaszewski (PL) open in February 2015 the Katharsis winter route.

Civetta/Dolomites (Italy): new rock climb  “via degli student” up the NW face
In August 2015 Giorgio Travaglia, Alex Walpoth, Martin Dejori and Titus Prinoth (Italy) completed an important new rock climb on the north-west face of the Civetta. The alpinists made a first attempt with Marta Mozzati in September 2014.

Prize ceremony

Their achievements of the nominated alpinists were presented on Wednesday July 27th  at 21.00 hrs at the Culture house “Oswald von Wolkenstein” in Selva di Val Gardena with video recordings and slide shows. The awards consisted in a sum of money of Euro 2000,00 or 1500,00 and a plaque of dolomite stone.


Guests of honor: Kurt Diemberger (the only alpinist, who has made the first ascents on two Eight-thousander).

Work group:
Silke Perathoner (+39 339 7 160 765); Peter Unterkircher (+39 348 7 791 997); Herbert Mussner (+39 335 8 097 735); Ellis Kasslatter (+39 338 7 599 257)

Val Gardena Mountain Guide Association
Catores Climbing Guide
Marketing Val Gardena

Entry: entry with voluntary donation
Informations: +39 0471 777900

Photos by Diego Moroder