Tomaž Humar

Tomaž Humar bigraphy, stories - Slovenian mountaineer

Tomaž Humar : biography

18 February 1969 – 10 November 2009

Tomaž Humar (February 18, 1969 – c. November 10, 2009), nicknamed Gozdni Joža (akin to Hillbilly), was a Slovenian mountaineer. A father of two, Humar lived in Kamnik, Slovenia. He completed over 1500 ascents, and won a number of mountaineering and other awards, including the Piolet d’Or in 1996 for his Ama Dablam ascent.

He became widely recognized in 1999 after his famous solo ascent of the south face of Dhaulagiri, considered one of the deadliest routes in the Himalayas with a 40% fatality rate.

During a solo attempt to climb Nanga Parbat in 2005, Humar became trapped by avalanches and melting snow at an altitude of nearly 6000 meters. After six days in a snow cave he was rescued by a Pakistan Army helicopter crew on August 10, 2005.

On October 28, 2007, Humar reached the Eastern summit of Annapurna I (8091 m) via a route at the far eastern end of the South Face.

On November 9, 2009, Humar, who was on a solo climb via the South Face of Langtang Lirung (last climbed in 1995 ), had an accident during the descent. His only contact with the base camp staff via a satellite phone was made on the day of the accident and he appeared to be in critical condition with leg, spine and rib injuries. He was stuck on the mountain at an elevation of approximately 6,300 meters for several days before his body was found on November 14, 2009 at an elevation of 5,600 meters.

Prominent expeditions

  • 13. November 1994: Ganesh V (6989 m), in Ganesh Himal, new variation on SE face, with Stane Belak-Šrauf
  • 6. May 1995: Annapurna (8091 m), N face, French Route, solo climb (the only traditional expedition in which he participated)
  • 4. May 1996: Ama Dablam (6828 m), new route on NW face, with Vanja Furlan
  • 2. November 1996: Bobaye (6808 m), 1st ascent of the summit, NW face, new route "Golden Heart", solo climb
  • 1. October 1997: Lobuche East (6119 m), NE face, new route "Talking About Tsampa", with Janez Jeglič and Carlos Carsolio
  • 9-11. October 1997: Pumori (7165 m), SE face attempt of new route up to 6300 m – then after participation in rescue action at N reached the summit by normal route), with Janez Jeglič, Marjan Kovač
  • 31. October 1997: Nuptse West top (NW, 7742 m), W face, new route, with Janez Jeglič (who died during descent)
  • 26. October 1998: El Capitan (2307 m) (Yosemite), route Reticent Wall A4-A5, 3rd solo climb (1st solo by non-American)
  • 2. November 1999: Dhaulagiri (8167 m), new route on S face (up to 8000 m, without reaching the top), solo climb
  • 26. October 2002: Shisha Pangma, (8046 m), with Maxut Zhumaiev, Denis Urubko, Aleksej Raspopov, Vassiliy Pivtsov
  • June 2003: Nanga Parbat (8125 m), his first attempt to climb Rupal (S) Face, up to ca. 6000 m
  • 22. December 2003: Aconcagua (6960 m), S face, new route with Aleš Koželj
  • October 2004: Jannu (7464 m), E face, attempt solo up to 7000 m
  • 23. April 2005: Cholatse (6440 m), NE face 2nd ascent with new variation, with Aleš Koželj, Janko Oprešnik
  • Aug 2005: Nanga Parbat (8125 m), attempt to solo climb Rupal (S) Face, up to 7000 meters (with famous helicopter rescue action – see main text above)
  • October 2006: Baruntse (7129 m), W face of SE ridge, solo
  • 28. October 2007: Annapurna (8091 m), S face, new route, solo climb
  • (ca.) 8. November 2009: Langtang Lirung (7227 m), S face solo attempt, died during descent