Karl Unterkircher in July 2007
27 August 1970|
|Died||15 July 2008
Karl Unterkircher (27 August 1970 in Sëlva – 15 July 2008) was an Italian mountaineer. He is mostly known for opening new mountain routes. In 2004, he was the first alpinist to climb the two highest peaks on Earth (Mount Everest and K2) without oxygen in the same year (within 63 days)  Karl made the second ascent of Mount Genyen, China, (first ascent by Japanese in 1987) and the first ascent of the North face of Gasherbrum II (together with Daniele Bernasconi and Michele Compagnoni). He also climbed the Jasemba, Nepal, (together with Hans Kammerlander). He has received several awards including the Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana.
On 15 July 2008 he fell into a crevasse during an attempt to open a new route to the top of Himalayan mountain Nanga Parbat and is presumed dead. "Karl Unterkircher was the new star of mountain climbing", commented Reinhold Messner when told of his death.
Karl Unterkircher Award
Was conferred for the first time in July 2010 in Sëlva to the Swiss rock climber Ueli Steck. The second edition took place on 6 July 2012. The winner of this award were Marina Kopteva, Galina Chibitok and Anna Yasinskaya (Ukraine) – new opening of the northwest wall route Great Trango Tower (Pakistan) The 3rd edition prize 2014 was given on July 23rd to the brothers Auer Hansjörg and Matthias (A) and their climbing friend Simon Anthamatten (CH) for the first ascent of the east face of Kunyuang Chhish (Karakorum / Pakistan) in July 18th, 2013
- Ariel David (2008-07-17). "Italian mountain climber believed dead in Pakistan". The Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- "'Star' climber dies in Himalayas". Ansa. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- Second edition of the Karl Unterkircher award on July 6, 2012
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