Climbing rope of Silvio Baglioni

Climbing Rope teared appart
Climbing Rope teared appart; Installation, 2015

Did you ever ask yourself whether a climbing rope can be torn apart? I did, but all I learned was, that this is unlikely. Climbing ropes loose elasticity but they will not break unless the have a damage seen from the outside.

Then Silvio Baglioni [47] died. August 2nd 2013, Five-Fingers, Dolomits, Italy.

His rope was older. When he fell it was scouring over a rock and broke.

The famous Adam Holzknecht, whom I got to know on the summit of Langkofel,fetched the rope and showed it to my Langkofel guide Gregor Demetz, not less known, and myself.

It looked like my installation.

R.I.P., Silvio.

Landmarks of Mount Everest

Mount Everest is getting an attraction for none-mountain-experienced tourists. As they probably never will climb the mountain I created a series of paintings of the most influencial landmarks.

This Gallery shows some of them, partially finished, partially work in progress. They stand for moments of happiness, frustration and death. Mount Everest is a beast which has not been tamed so far.

George Mallory

Georg Mallory

Georg Mallory
2013, 90 * 90 cm, Oil and tempra on linen

George Herbert Leigh Mallorys (18 June 1886 – 8 or 9 June 1924) contributions to the “Legends of Everest” were: First to extensively explore Mount Everest in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s. During the 1924 British Mount Everest Expedition, Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew “Sandy” Irvine both died only about 800 vertical feet from the summit.

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Marco Siffredi

Marco Siffredi

Marco Siffredi
2013, 90 * 90 cm, Oil and tempra on linen

Marco Siffredi (22 May 1979 – September 8, 2002). His contributions to the “Legends of Everest” were: First to descend Mount Everest on a snowboard in 2001 via the Norton Couloir. In 2002, he disappeared after making his second successful Everest summit, while attempting to snowboard the Hornbein Couloir.

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David Keaton

Robert Hall

David Keaton
2013, 90 * 90 cm, Oil and tempra on linen

Robert Edwin Hall (14 January 1961 – 11 May 1996). His contributions to the “Legends of Everest” was: Not first but known for being head guide of a 1996 Mount Everest expedition in which he, a fellow guide, and two clients perished.

However, this painting shows David D. Keaton. I painted the wrong person, but David is also a well reputated mountaineer. Born in 1953 he became the youngest person (29) to complete either version of the ‘Seven Summits’ in 1995 and the first person to finish both the ‘Seven Summits’ and the ‘Fifty State Highpoints”.

David participated in five expeditions with the well-known New Zealand climber Rob Hall including an ascent of Everest in the spring of 1994. This commercial expedition set a number of records including the first to place all its members on the summit and return them safely, the first person on foot to attain the ‘three poles’ (Everest, South and North poles), and the second oldest man (56) to summit. Additionally, Rob Hall became the first westerner to scale Everest four times. This would be the last time he would return safely from the summit.

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Legends of Everest

Mount Everest, also named Sagarmatha (Nepalesian), Chomolungma  (Tibetian) or Zhumulungma (Chinese), is a symbol of extremes. It is supposed to be the highest mountain on earth,  to be really dangerous and one of the last remaining adventures on earth. However, both aspects are not fully correct

The conquest of Everest started in the early 20th century. It produced many legends who had first achieved remarkable ascends or descends. Today, records are measured for almost everything: the youngest person to climb Mount Everest, and the oldest one. The fastest ascent with and without bottled oxygen, the first helicopter landing, the first descent by paraglider and the first descent by snowboard or skies.

I selected nine of those legend climbers and painted them.

Legends of Everest

Legends of Mount Everest
2013, 9 * 90 * 90 cm, Oil, Primer and Tempera on Linen

I chose this approach to characterize Mount Everest. Like Claude Joseph Vernet I am not convinced that any painting, drawing or photography existing so far is able to reflect the full size of Mount Everest – even the 2 GB photo of David Breashears fails in this aspect.

The portraits of George Mallory, Sir Edmund Hillary, Reinhold Messner,  Junko Tabei, Russell Brice, Marco Siffredi Robert Hall, Long Dorjee and an unknown climber give an impression of what it took to master the mountain.  See the table for information from left to right and from top to bottom:

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Peter Kinloch *1982 +2010

Peter Kinloch, a 28 year old British climber died in 2010 of frostbite and exhaustion in deteriorating weather hours after he summited Everest.

Three sherpas spent 12 hours administering drugs and oxygen in an attempt to coax him down the mountain but at 2am they finally had to leave him at 8,600m as the weather closed in in order to save their lives.

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Fran Arsentiev *1958 +1998

Oil and tempera on canvas, 2011, 50 * 50 cm

Francys Yarbro Distefano-Arsentiev got famous because she was the first American women to reach the summit of Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen. She died on her way down. Years alter, her body was buried by the man who stayed with here while she was dying.

Fran was born in 1958 in Honolulu Hawaii. At six her father took her to the Colorado Mountains. She was forever hooked. In 1992 she married Sergi (Serguei) Arsentiev, a Russian climber. It is reported that they have a son. Both of them died six years later on Mount Everest.

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David Sharp *1972 +2006

David Sharp
Oil and tempera on canvas, 2010, 40 * 50 cm

David Sharp (15 February 1972 – 15 May 2006) was an English mountaineer who died near the summit of Mount Everest after possibly reaching the summit of Mount Everest on his third attempt. His death caused controversy and debate, because he was passed by a number of other climbers heading to and returning from the summit.

Continue reading David Sharp *1972 +2006