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  EverestHistory.com: Brigitte Muir

Brigitte Leonce Suzanne Koch was born in Belgium in 1958. She graduated with honours in archaelology, history of art and musicology before dedicating herself to the art of mountaineering. She moved to Australia after she married Jon Robert Muir, and became an Australian citizen in 1987.

Awards and citations

1997    Australian Geographic Award for excellence

1998    Australian Achiever Award Australia Day Council

2000    Order of Australia Medal, for services to mountaineering

2001    Member of the first Victorian Honour Roll of Women, Centenary of Federation

2001: Director of Adventure Plus, international guiding business.

January: became the first Australian woman to do a walk to the South Pole, as part of a reconnaissance trip for major expeditions in Antarctica.

2000: Director of Adventure Plus, international guiding business.

January: guided Aconcagua, highest mountain in South America

May- June: guided trekking and climbing expedition in Bolivia

August: first longitudinal traverse, unsupported, of Tirari Desert, with husband Jon

1999: Director of Adventure Plus, international guiding business.

March- June member of Makalu International 1999 expedition, aiming to climb Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world (8463m), without oxygen or Sherpas. Brigitte abandoned the climb after her close friend Michael Joergensen died abseiling from the summit. Her high point was 7600m.

August: walk across Lake Gairdner (salt lake) and Island Lagoon in SA

October: guided Three Peaks in the Khumbu expedition (Nepal)

1998: Director of Adventure Plus, international guiding business.

Author of ‘The Wind in My Hair’ published by Penguin

January and February guided two expeditions to Aconcagua (6960m)

June guided Pequeno Illusion, Huyana Potosi and Illimani in the Cordillera Real, Bolivia

November leading a trek to Pokhalde and Everest Base Camp, Nepal 

1997: Director of Adventure Plus, international guiding business.

January and February guided two expeditions to Aconcagua, highest mountain outside the Himalaya, and highest in South America (6960m).

April May joined Team Ascent Everest expedition to the South Col route. summited on 5/27/97, becoming in doing so the first Australian to climb the highest mountain on each continent, and the first Australian woman to climb Mount Everest

1996: Director of Adventure Plus, international guiding business.

January and February guided two expeditions to Aconcagua, highest mountain outside the Himalaya, and highest in South America (6960m).

April- May: joined expedition to the South Side of Everest, reached the South Col at 8000m before having to descend due to storm and death of a number of climbers at and above the Col.

1995: Director of Adventure Plus, international guiding business.

January and February guided two expeditions to Aconcagua, highest mountain outside the Himalaya, and highest in South America ( 6960m).

April, May, June joined commercial expedition to Everest North Ridge (from the Tibetan side), and climbed twice above 8000m. Once with husband Jon, who became ill with bronchitis and had to be escorted down the mountain by Brigitte (high point 8200m, Camp 3), and once with three other climbers: at 8400m, at 2AM, Brigitte’s headlamp failed and the others, although directly in front of her, failed to notice the problem and kept climbing. Brigitte had to sit and wait for daylight for three hours, almost dying of hypothermia in the process, before making her way down to the last camp for warming herself up.

The high point of 8400m reached by Brigitte makes it a new Australian female altitude record. 

1994: Director of Adventure Plus, International guiding business.

Rock-climbing instruction at Mount Arapiles.

Extensive bushwalking in Grampians, Victorian Alps and Kosciuszko National Park.

January and February Leader of two commercial expeditions to Aconcagua (6960m ) in Argentina. Worked as mountain guide, cook and organiser.

April, May, June first Australian female ascent of an 8000m peak,

Shishapangma (8008m). Alpine style attempt on Cho Oyu (8206m),

defeated by arriving monsoon. Went up to 6750m.

July expeditions planning, instruction at Mt Arapiles.

December first Australian female ascent of Mount Vinson, highest mountain in Antarctica.  

1993: Director of Adventure Plus.

January all woman expedition to Aconcagua, for Wildwise Pty Ltd.

February guiding Aconcagua for Adventure Plus.

August, September, October attempt on Everest North Ridge. Spent two nights at 7600m before retreating in bad weather. 

1992: Setting up Adventure Plus with partner and husband Jon Muir.

Extensive bushwalking in Victoria. 

1991: Hunting sponsorship for Seven Summits Quest on a full time basis. 

1990: Ascent of Mt Kosciuszko, ascent of Opera House for Greenpeace protest.

Ascent of Elbrus, highest summit in Europe.

1989: Tanzania: ascent of Umbwe and Western breach Route on Kilimanjaro (5985m)

Argentina: solo ascent of Normal Route of Aconcagua (6960m). Attempt on South Face with Jon Muir and Geoff Little.

1988: Alaska: ascent of Mt McKinley, 6194m, via West Buttress

Beginning of Seven Summits Quest.

1987: India: climbed to 6250m on Kedarnath Dome with Geoff Little.

Pakistan: joined NZ Karakoram expedition to Gasherbrum I (8068m).

Climbed to 6800m. Turned back by avalanche prone slopes. 

1986: India: ascent of West Peak of Shivling (6505m) by new route on South

West Pillar. Fourteen days of continuous climbing in ' capsule style'.

Rock pitches up to grade 21, A4. Ice climbing to Scottish grade 5 with

Graeme Hill and Jon Muir.

1985: India: single day ascent of Kedarnath Dome ( 6830m)

attempt on South West Pillar of Shivling II with Ed Neve, Terry Tremble and Jon Muir.

France: winter ascent of Mt Blanc with Jon Muir, Via Tacul and Maudit. 

1984: Nepal: Island Peak (6189m) with Veronique Koch. Extensive trekking in Khumbu.

1983: European Alps: Gervasutti Pillar, West face of Aiguille du Plan and other climbs with Jon Muir.

1982: India: first Himalayan expedition. Ascents of Hanuman and D I (both around 6000m) with Elke Rudolph.

1981: New Zealand: climbing in Mount Cook area.

1980: Australia: rock-climbing at Mount Arapiles and other cliffs.

1979: Canada: attempt on the Lotus Flower Tower in the Logan Mountains.

Extensive rock-climbing in Belgium and France.

1976 to 1978: Caving in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain. Several alpine peaks by

standard routes in France, Italy and Switzerland. Rock-climbing in

Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland.



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