Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hari Berger Lost

Harald Berger, three-time ice climbing world champion and father-to-be, died while ice bouldering yesterday in Austria. His partner, Kirsten, had the couple's baby last night. She must now be super-human, but I trust she will because she is.

This whole situation is crushing. The wheel of living and dying turns with such savage cruelty sometimes. Hari was a good man--a good climber, a moral human and, as he often demonstrated while staying at our house, a good cook. I'm sure he would have been a fantastic father to his new daughter. None of us get to choose when or how we die, but this is a rough one.

Peace and love to Kirsten, and Hari's many friends around the world.


PS--These photos show the sheer scale of the situation.

Web translation of the German story:

ce climbing world champion exhausted by ice with a collapse of the ice chapel with Hintersee (flat gau) died on Wednesday the threefold ice climbing world champion Harald Berger. With the enormous avalanche cone a eisscholle broke off, which buried him. Photo: Ferdinand Farthofer torso under 150 tons ice bury the 34-jaehrige ice climbing professional, who originated from Linz and lived in Salzburg, climbed into approximately three meters height of an overhang. Against 14.15 o'clock might have released a Pickelschlag a nuclear chain reaction in the ice - the enormous over-hanging eisscholle broke off. Berger was buried by approximately 150 tons, estimates the task forces. Like enormous the "Hinterseer glacier" and/or. "Eiskappelle" in the Salzburger flat gau is, shows the size comparison to an aid of the task forces. The dead one could be saved only after some hours - specialists of fire-brigade, mountain rescue and alpine police divided the 30 times 25 meters large and two and a half meter thickened ice block with Schremmgeraeten. With a lifting cushion the fragments were then raised, in order to save the 34-Jaehrigen. Berger leaves high pregnant woman Mrs. Berger leaves a high pregnant woman woman. With it three further Kletterer were with the ice chapel for training. These witnesses of the misfortune were not hurt. Fragments at the accident scene according to data of the eye-witnesses only one blow with the eisbeil is sufficient, in order to produce in the unstable ice tongue a long transversal crack, before the ice masses fell on Harald Berger. Heavy accident before 30 years already before approximately 30 years occurred in the ice chapel a particularly tragic accident: A German vacationer placed herself under the gewoelbe, so that their man could make a photo. After the Knipsen of lightning the ice chapel broke down and buried the woman under itself. She could be saved likewise only dead. Avalanche cone a popular goal the ice chapel below the Wieserhoerndls in the Osterhorngruppe is a popular moves and ice-climbing-obtains: The numerous avalanches, which go off into the valley boiler on 850 meters sea-height, melt often the whole year long not completely. As is the case for a glacier columns and caves in the old snow, which can collapse at any time, form.


sam said...

Thats a real shame. Best wishes to the family.

Andy Arts said...

Sad news again, such sad news. Strenght to the family and friends.

Anonymous said...

Saturday morning I had just finished placing my Venison jerky in the smoker. Oooooohhhhh, I thought Hari is going to have plenty of the "best" jerky to chew on while he climbs, laughs, & visits with all around him.
Last year we talked for long time about things other than climbing --- traveling, cooking, motorcycles, adventure stuff. The smoke pushed thru my shop while I jumped on the 'net to check out the latest alpine news . . . .
oh no! Hari was there, smiling and talking and now he is not. And Kirsten is in her 9th month. And now I see she has given birth.
Godspeed to you Hari, the grace of God to you Kirsten and to their new little world, Zoe.