The Mountains are Calling, and Dávid Klein Must Go
Tom Szigeti 2016.11.14.
Dávid Klein and his climbing partner, Szilárd Suhajda, want to become the first Hungarians to summit Mount Everest without the use of oxygen tanks, according to Origo.hu.
There are fourteen peaks on Earth that rise above 8000 meters. Hungarian climbers have summited twelve of them without the use of oxygen tanks, leaving only the two giants, K2 and Mount Everest; less than 200 climbers in the world have ever accomplished such a feat on Everest.
“I have a long and complicated relationship with Everest,” Dávid Klein says. I have many memories: some beautiful, some forgettable, some tragic.”
Klein has come close to reaching the summit of Mount Everest without the aid of oxygen tanks on two occasions, reaching 8600 meters in 2007, and 8700 meters in 2014; each time he was forced to turn back, each time tantalizingly close yet agonizingly far from the 8,848-meter summit.
“After my 2014 failure, I decided I needed to put some space between myself and Everest,” Klein said. “Since then, I’ve had two beautiful 8000 [summits], and the desire to climb the world’s tallest mountain has returned.” This past May, he successfully summited the 8091 meter Himalayan peak Annapurna.
Klein is a man who has experienced more than enough tragedy related to Everest. For years, he climbed with partner László Várkonyi, until a 2010 expedition to Everest ended in disaster. Klein and Várkonyi were attempting to climb Everest without oxygen tanks, when they were both hit by an avalanche. While Klein was rescued, his 54-year-old climbing partner did not survive.
Klein went years without a climbing partner following Várkonyi tragic death, until an expedition to K2 brought him together with Suhajda. “I had a hard time opening up to others after [Várkonyi’s death]. Of course I got to know plenty of people, I climbed with some of them, but I had no expedition partner. Szilárd is the first person I have been able to imagine [as a climbing partner] since then,” said Klein.
Klein and Suhajda grew close during an expedition that was attempting to summit K2. That climb took place in July of this year, but an avalanche forced them to turn back. “The K2 expedition brought us together. I know how it ended, but it was very good in the sense that it got us to start dreaming, now we would like to make our dream a reality.”
The new expedition, called The Hungarian Everest Expedition 2017, is leaving in March of next year, and will last roughly two months. According to Klein, if the weather permits it, and if they are in good enough shape to handle it physically, they might attempt to summit the mountain as well.