Andrej Stremfelj of Kranj was
born in 1956. He started climbing at the age of 16 with his brother Marko. They
climbed throughout the Slovenian mountains making many first ascents along the
way. It did not take Andrej long to set his sights on higher mountains and
distant lands. He has climbed Mount Everest twice. The first time was in 1979.
He climbed the West Ridge, the most demanding route on May 13. He made a second
climb on Everest in 1990 up the South Col, with his wife Marija. Together they
made history, becoming the first married couple to summit Everest.
Two years after leaving
Slovenia and after his first expedition to Caucasus, Andrej completed the first
ascent of Gasherbrum I by the south west ridge, he was only 20. And just two
years later he climbed Everest for the first time with his climbing partner Nejc
Zaplotnik. In his youth he climbed hard, Lhotse, Pik of Communism and a first
ascent up the east face of Dhaulagiri. With just one week between climbs in 1986
he climbed Broad Peak and Gasherbrum II. He also made a first ascent of the
south face of Shisha Pangma before summiting Everest with his wife.
Andrej was awarded the
prestigious Golden Pick award in 1991 for his perfect, technically demanding,
elegant alpine style climb up the south ridge of Kangchenjunga (8476m). The
following year, along with the same climbing partner Marko Prezelj, he reached
the summit of until then, unclimbed Menlungtse (7181m).
In the early 1990s he slowed
down a little and changed scenery by climbing more in North America and
Patagonia. By 1995 he was ready to return to the Himalayan Mountains with his
wife and climb Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang. He remains a living legend and
continues to climb hard back in the Slovenian Mountains of his youth.