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Slovenian climbers: A Very Brief Overview


Slovenian climbers, the many man and women who have achieved tremendous elevation heights and overcome technical difficulties the rest of us remaining mortals could only dream of, are now being recognized due to the world community communication technology.

That Slovenians have historically been great climbers, venturing into altitude oblivion is and will remain a fact. Records have been maintained for some of this endeavors, such as Himalayan triumph of Alez Kunaver in 1960s who reached Trisuls 7120 meter summit. That his expedition made it is an accomplishment, that they were able to even get to Himalayas in 1960s is equivalent of strolling on the moon. In the grip of communist regime and depressed humanism of that era it took more then physical and athletic ability to do what Alez did. Steel power, that Slovenians have in abundance.

In the 70s and 80s more and more teams ventured in the Himalayas. Such greats as Jernej Zaplotnik, Stane Belak, Andrej Stemfelj and Stipe Bozik opened west ridge on Everest. In 1982 Peter Podgornik with team members made a new route up Aconcagua to the south summit.

1985 saw Tomo Cesen and Borut Bergant scale the north face of Yalung Kang. New routes were also established by Karo, Knez and Jeglic.

Taking a brief historical overview of the Slovenians, one could scientifically propose that the great discovery of the Ice Man in the Tyrolean Alps could well have been a Slovenian. That Italians and Austrians claimed him so unquestioningly as their own is typical of how Slovenians, being squeezed among the four countries, seem to get lost in the shuffle. But guess what, what if ..

Cvetka

Also of Note: Andrej Stemfelj and his wife Marija later became the first married couple to Summit Everest on October 7th, 1990.

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