David Lama

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David Lama
Lama in 2014
Personal information
Born(1990-08-04)4 August 1990
Innsbruck, Austria
Died16 April 2019(2019-04-16) (aged 28)
Howse Peak, Alberta, Canada
Climbing career
Type of climberSport climbing, bouldering, mountaineering
Highest grade
Updated on 13 May 2013.

David Lama (Nepali: डेभिड लामा; 4 August 1990 – 16 April 2019) was an Austrian sport climber and mountaineer. He won the European Championship in bouldering in 2007 and the European Championship in lead climbing in 2006. He is known for his first free ascent of the Compressor Route (South-East Ridge) on Cerro Torre.[1] In 2018, in a solo expedition, he was the first to climb Lunag Ri in the Himalayas.[2]


David Lama was born in 1990. His father was a mountain guide from Nepal and his mother is an Innsbruck, Austria native. David was five years old when Himalaya veteran Peter Habeler first watched him climb in a climbing camp organized by him. Afterwards, Habeler immediately called his parents to tell them that their boy had an unusual talent. Lama then became part of the competition climbing team coached by Reinhold Scherer. He became the youngest person to compete at the world cup at age fifteen and the first to win both a lead and the bouldering world cup in his first season.[3] In 2011, he retired from competition climbing and focused on mountaineering.


On 16 April 2019,[4] Lama, along with climbers Jess Roskelley and Hansjörg Auer, were caught in an avalanche on Howse Peak in the Waputik Range of the Canadian Rockies.[5][6] The group had climbed a route on the east face of Howse Peak known as M16, one of the most difficult Canadian alpine routes.[2][5][7] Photos from Jess Roskelley’s phone indicate the three climbers had reached the summit on Tuesday, April 16 at 12:43pm.[8] Their bodies were found 21 April 2019.[6]

Competition climbing[edit]


  • European Youth Cup Winner 2004 and 2005
  • Youth World Champion 2004
  • Youth World Champion 2005


Boulder World Cup[edit]

1st Place at

Lead Climbing World Cup[edit]

1st Place at

Rock climbing[edit]

  • 2000 Osp (Slovenia): Kindergarten (8a). Lama was the youngest person to climb a route of that grade at the time.
  • 2004 Gorges du Loup (France): On-Sight of „Devers Satanique“ 10- (8a+)
  • 2004 Gorges du Loup (France): „7pm JP Chaud“ 8c (10+/11-), his first for the grade.
  • 2006 Spain: On-Sight of several routes up to 10+ (8b+)
  • 2007 Niederthai (Austria): In a single day, he climbed „Gondor“ 11- (8c), „Mordor“ 11-/11 (8c+/9a) and „In Memo Reini“ 11- (8c).
  • 2015 Avaatara (Lebanon): 9a.

Alpine climbing[edit]

  • 2010 Sarche (Italy): Lama and Jorg Verhoeven climbed the first ascent Brento Centro, which they then freed within a day.[17]
  • 2010 Dolomites (Italy): Lama repeated Bellavista (11-) on Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Cima Ovest, after one day of trying.[18]
  • 2011 Cerro Torre (Argentina): Lama and Peter Ortner climbed Cerro Torre via the Compressor Route.
  • 2011 Grindelwald (Switzerland): Lama climbed Pacienca (8a) in the North Face of the Eiger with Peter Ortner.[19]
  • 2011 Kashmir (India): Lama, Stephan Siegrist and Denis Burdet climbed a first ascent Yoniverse, on Cerro Kishtwar.[20]
  • 2011 Lofer (Austria): Lama repeated Feuertaufe (8b) by Alexander Huber as well as Stoamandl (8b), Donnervogel (8b) and Woher Kompass (8a+)
  • 2012 Cerro Torre (Argentina): In 24 hours, David Lama did the first free ascent of the Compressor Route (South-East Ridge) of Cerro Torre with Peter Ortner. The route was subject of much controversy after two other climbers, American Hayden Kennedy and Canadian Jason Kruk, removed many of Maestri's bolts some days before Lama's ascent.[1]
  • 2012 Lama and Ortner repeated the route Eternal Flame on Trango Tower (also known as Nameless Tower; 6239m) in the Karakoram region (Pakistan).[21]
  • 2012 Chogolisa (7668m) on the Baltoro glacier in the Karakoram (Pakistan):[22] Lama and Ortner summited Chogolisa I and skied down the mountain's North-West Face.
  • 2013 Sagwand (Austria): First winter ascent of Schiefer Riss on the Sagwand in Tyrol with Hansjörg Auer and Peter Ortner.[23]
  • 2018 First ascent (solo) of Lunag Ri (6907 m) in Nepal via the West Pillar, after three attempts (in 2015 and 2016).[24]


  1. ^ a b
    • "David Lama frees the Compressor route… while Kruk & Kennedy's bolt chopping is hotly debated". planetmountain.com. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
    • Jack Geldard (January 2012). "David Lama and Cerro Torre; A Mountain Set Free". ukclimbing.com. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b Peter Beaumont, Joanna Walters (19 April 2019). "Three mountaineers killed in avalanche in Canada". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2019.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ "World Competitions: David Lama". International Federation of Sport Climbing. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  4. ^ Francovich, Eli (April 18, 2019). "Spokane climber Jess Roskelley missing and presumed killed by avalanche in Canadian Rockies; David Lama, Hansjorg Auer also presumed dead". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  5. ^ a b CNN, Nicole Chavez and Rebekah Riess. "North Face climbers likely killed in Banff National Park avalanche". CNN. Retrieved 2019-04-20.
  6. ^ a b Bisharat, Andrew (18 April 2019). "Three top mountain climbers presumed dead in avalanche". National Geographic. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Top climbers die in Canadian avalanche". BBC. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  8. ^ Family, The Roskelley. "A Statement From Jess Roskelley's Family". Climbing Magazine. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  9. ^ "UIAA Climbing Worldcup (B) - Hall (AUT) 2006 - Result: M E N bouldering". ifsc-climbing.org. 23 June 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  10. ^ "IFSC Climbing Worldcup (B) - Reunion (FRA) 2008 - General result M E N bouldering". ifsc-climbing.org. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  11. ^ "IFSC Climbing Worldcup (B) - Fiera di Primiero (ITA) 2008 - General result M E N bouldering". ifsc-climbing.org. 15 June 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  12. ^ "UIAA Climbing Worldcup (L+S) - Dresden (GER) 2006 - Result: M E N lead". ifsc-climbing.org. 20 May 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  13. ^ "UIAA Climbing Worldcup (L) - Penne (ITA) 2006 - Result: M E N lead". ifsc-climbing.org. 12 November 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  14. ^ "UIAA Worldcup (L) - Kranj (SLO) 2006 - Result: M E N lead". ifsc-climbing.org. 19 November 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  15. ^ "IFSC Climbing Worldcup (L) - Imst (AUT) 2007 - General result M E N lead". ifsc-climbing.org. 12 May 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  16. ^ "IFSC Climbing Worldcup (L) - Imst (AUT) 2008 - General result M E N lead". ifsc-climbing.org. 20 September 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  17. ^ Meghan Ward (14 July 2010). "Lama and Verhoeven Free 29-Pitch 5.13d". alpinist.com. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  18. ^ "David Lama, Bellavista and Voie Petit". planetmountain.com. 14 July 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  19. ^ "David Lama climbs Paciencia on the Eiger North Face". mammut.ch. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Cerro Kishtwar important Himalayan first ascent for David Lama, Stephan Siegrist, Denis Burdet and Rob Frost". planetmountain.com. 30 October 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  21. ^ "DAVID LAMA KARAKORAM EXPEDITION 2012 - CLIMBING CHOGOLISA". redbull.com. 26 Sep 2012.
  22. ^ "DAVID LAMA KARAKORAM EXPEDITION 2012 - CLIMBING CHOGOLISA". redbull.com. 26 Sep 2012.
  23. ^ "Sagwand first winter ascent by Auer, Lama and Ortner". planetmountain.com. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  24. ^ "David Lama climbs Lunag Ri". Planet Mountain. 29 October 2018.

External links[edit]