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Skitouringtrip to the Antarctic 2016

Iceberg at the Antarctic coast
Iceberg at the Antarctic coast
Picture: Andreas Unterkreuter

With my four friends Anda , Roger , Thomas and Frank I wanted to experience a relaxing skitouring time in exceptional surroundings of the Antarctic Peninsula.
It was truly exceptional.
Hug Andy. Hold tight. Cling or hold on. I do not know anymore. Throw myself backwards. Cry out something like “He’s falling!” Feel your own body electrically. Feeling the jolt through Andy’s body. Body to body. Breathing making hissing noises. Being spun around. Realising that we are still ‘here’. Hearing the “rope tension”. Crawling five metres backwards, knowing that Andy has to hold on alone for those few seconds. Tensing the rope. Pressing your feet into the snow, breathing again for the first time. Andy wondering if I should unbuckle my skis. Interpreting the lack of response as an answer. Hearing “Guys, put some…….”

The entire blog by my companion Thomas Andreas Beck read here…

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Wish fulfilled – Climbing through the Mayerlrampe on the Großglockner with Thomas Nothdurfter and Andi Keil on May 12, 2015

Andy gibt alles.
Andy on the way to the summit.

I don’t feel as at home on a steep ice wall as I do on a rock face, but for my friends and budding mountain guides it was a welcome challenge to tackle this demanding day tour together: first skiing, then a 70 degree sheer ice slope with crampons and ice axes, and wrapping up with more skiing through very, very “firn snow” to Lucknerhaus in Kals. In the end, I can only say THANK YOU! Future guests of Thomas and Andi are in good hands!

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Mt. Everest, North Route – 2015

Thame, the village where Tenzing lives after the earthquake.
Thame, das Dorf wo Tenzing zu Hause ist, nach dem Beben.

Actually, this was supposed to be a photo of one of the lucky ones to reach the peak, or at the very least, a shot of our dream destination: Mt. Everest. Unfortunately, the terrible earthquake on April 25, 2015 didn’t just ruin our lunchtime summit picture. As of May 15, 2015 it wiped out more than 8,400 lives in Nepal, India, and China. My team and I could only tell everyone else left on this earth, “nature is simply stronger,” and for us there was nothing to do but help. The people in the region need our help.

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Mt. Everest – My journey to my 7th summit – Spring 2014

Wolfi, Andy and Daniel amatLobuche Peak (6119m) (Picture: Daniel Kopp)
Wolfi, Andy and Daniel amatLobuche Peak (6119m) (Picture: Daniel Kopp)

The deadly avalanche on April 18th in Khumbueisfall changed everything… The 6119 meter Lobuche Peak would be the highest Wolfi, Daniel, and I would reach this time. Our change of plans seemed meaningless compared to the unspeakable loss for 16 Sherpa families on that tragic Good Friday.

zur ARD Doku
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Bottom to Top 3: Ecuador and the Galapagos

 Fuya Fuya 4275m (Picture: LIFE EARTH Reisen)
Fuya Fuya 4275m (Picture: LIFE EARTH Reisen)

n late December of 2013 along with 23 kind and open-minded people, I embarked on a charity mountain and cultural tour designed especially for the blind in developing countries. Off the west coast of Ecuador, in the far reaches of the Pacific 1000km from South America, the Galapagos Islands were our goal. (Bottom to Top 4 is in the works!)

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A journey into a somewhat familiar, yet very mystical world.

Andy riding a camel (Picture: Andreas Unterkreuter)
Andy riding a camel (Picture: Andreas Unterkreuter)

The destination of our special trip this time was the cradle of my personal faith: Jerusalem, Israel continuing into her eastern neighbor, Jordan where we suddenly found ourselves immersed in a completely different world. There for a TV production, my friends Andreas Unterkreuter and Daniel Kopp accompanied me and our film team on this adventure for two weeks in December 2013.

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Video from SERVUS TV

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Reaching Biblical Mount Ararat

Summit photo Ararat
Summit photo Ararat

At 9:15 a.m. on May 3, 2013, I reached the 5165m high summit of Mount Ararat along with five of my friends. We stood together at the top in eastern Anatolia, within a few kilometers of Armenia and Iran.

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7th Place in the 2012 Climbing World Championship in Paris

Andy sport climbing in Paris
Andy sport climbing in Paris

As an athlete, it was a special kind of trip to Paris as a member of the AUSTRIAN NATIONAL TEAM for the IFSC Climbing World Championship. My debut in the competition on the climbing wall brought a lot of new impressions. The warm-hearted, team spirit of my teammates, however, was no stranger having accompanied me on so many mountain experiences. Even though Paris was not a “life or death” climb, it was an honor to represent Austria, and was tremendously motivating.

More Information in German

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A successful first ascent at East Greenland

Summit photo
Summit photo

A wonderful trip led me and my fantastic guys to the to the east coast of Greenland. There we joined forces to ascend a great line through the southeast face of what was up to that point, an unclimbed mountain. Our efforts were rewarded with hearty climbing maneuvers on some of the best granite.

Mehr Infos (german)
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Enjoying a Ski Tour in Norway – April 2012

Endless tour destinations  (Foto: Erwin Reinthaler)
Endless tour destinations (Foto: Erwin Reinthaler)

This time I got to enjoy traveling with my friends without thinking about technical performance or summit expectations—a journey distinguished for its relaxing, homey atmosphere. Our goal was Tromso in northern Norway, where the Atlantic meets the Arctic Ocean.

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MT. Kenya 2012 – bottom to top 2

MT. Kenya 2012 group picture
MT. Kenya 2012 group picture

This is the second time I had the privilege to climb with a group of friendly, selfless, strong, and motivated people to the top of a beautiful mountain in East Africa. In the early morning hours of January 7, 2012, 19 of 20 people who had set out for the summit that day reached Point Lenana and left many tears of joy at the top.

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More Information available at www.lifeearth.at (german) and www.sehenohnegrenzen.org (german)

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„Three Blind“

Andy at the ascent of the South Rim on direct Gamsleitenkopf
Andy at the ascent of the South Rim on direct Gamsleitenkopf

New climbing route through the South Rim directly on Gamsleitenkopf in Hochkönig area.
On Sunday, September 11, 2011, I was part of a team that included Albert Precht from Bischofshofen, legendary for his first ascent of over 1,000 routes, and his longtime climbing partner Sigi Brachmayer from Altenmarkt.

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Shisha Pangma 8027m – 2011

Shisha Pangma
Shisha Pangma

I didn’t bag the summit, but the remarkably beautiful experiences and the deepening of our friendship taught us that sometimes you can learn a lot from the harsh conditions in Tibet. This was a much more fulfilling trip than a solitary climb to the top.

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Mt. Vinson

Mt. Vinson summit photo
Mt. Vinson summit photo

With my super team Andi Scharnagl, Thomas Nothdurfter, and Udo Ebner, I was able to climb to 4892m, the highest elevation of Antarctica. I have now succeeded in reaching six of the “Seven Summits” on the first attempt.

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„Bottom to Top“ August 2010

Picture of the group on Kilimanjaro
icture of the group on Kilimanjaro

Together to climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa, and give the poorest of the poor a shining light in their lives. Personally, this was one of the most outstanding trips of my life.

More Infos available at www.lifeearth.at (german) and www.sehenohnegrenzen.org (german).

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Carstensz Pyramide 4884m

Carstensz Pyramide summit photo
Carstensz Pyramide summit photo

Success on the Carstensz Pyramid, my 5th „Seven Summit“ triumph.
On August 30, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. I reached the exotic summit in the jungle of West Papua with my friend Andreas Unterkreuter.

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CLIMB HIGH – CLIMB BLIND Team Andy Holzer

Cho Oyu from the base camp
Cho Oyu from the base camp

Unfortunately, we had to cancel this adventure at 7,200m due to adverse weather conditions. The 8,201m CHO OYU isn’t going anywhere, so I will be back to try again.

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Broadcast (ORF – Tirol heute, 18.04.2009)

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Ski Tour Winter 2008/2009

Andy and Sabine enjoy the winter
Andy and Sabine enjoy the winte

This snowy winter meant my partners and I carved through miles of white powder.

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Climbing with Blind Children – September 2008

Andy shows Anna how to climb
Andy shows Anna how to climb

At the invitation of Mountain Rescue Göppingen, Andy climbed with blind children on the rocks of the Schwabian Alp. Parents and guardians were delighted by the skills their kids displayed that day.

Broadcast (SWR, September 2008)

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Expedition to Mount McKinley May/June 2008

Acclimation tour at Mt. McKinley
Acclimation tour at Mt. McKinley

At 3:15 pm on Friday, May 30, 2008, my friends Andreas Scharnagl, Thomas and Andi Nothdurfter, Felix Goller, and I arrived at the 6194m summit of Denali — or Mt. McKinley as the locals know it.

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Broadcast (ORF, 30.06.2008)
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24 Hour Ski Tour Race – Bad Gastein, Austria

Gastein 24h Ski Tour Race
Gastein 24h Ski Tour Race

With my super team “Blind McKinley” I returned once again to the 24 hour ski race Graukogel in Bad Gastein. Exceptional team spirit and tremendous sporting efforts by everyone on the team took us to 18,631 vertical meters and a sensational 6th place finish out of 42 relay teams.

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Filming ARD

Filming for Brisant
Filming for Brisant

Scenes from filming with TV station ARD for the magazine “Brisant.” On location in Lienz Dolomites, where Hans Jörg and I crossed the 2707m Lavanter Gamswiesenspitze on skis.

Broadcast (ARD, März 2008)

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Ski Tour Winter 2007/2008

Burgwartscharte Glocknergruppe with Andreas Unterkreuter, Walter Laserer and Andy Holzer
Burgwartscharte Glocknergruppe with Andreas Unterkreuter, Walter Laserer and Andy Holzer

Many wonderful moment in the mountains with friends this winter. I even left some tracks in the snow with Walter Laserer, the first Austrian to complete the “Seven Summits.”

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