Ludwig Purtscheller (October 6, 1849 – March 3, 1900) was an
Austrian mountaineer and teacher.
Purtscheller pioneered climbing without a mountain guide, who in the
19th century did all the route finding and lead climbing. By the end
of his life he had recorded climbing over 1,700 mountains. A
celebrated climb was the traverse of the
Meije together with the
Zsigmondy brothers in 1885, which to this date is considered a classic
alpine route. He is best known as the first European to ascend
Kilimanjaro in 1889, together with the German mountaineer Hans Meyer.
After a descent of the
Aiguille du Dru
Aiguille du Dru with G. Löwenbach and Jakob
Oberhollenzer on August 25, 1899, an ice axe broke and the rope team
fell into a bergschrund. Purtscheller was injured and he was
transferred to a hospital in
Geneva and later Bern. After several
months of recovery, he contracted pneumonia and died on the
approximate date of his planned return home. In a eulogy, the American
climber and mountain historian
W.A.B. Coolidge called him "the
greatest mountaineer who had ever lived".
^ Fritz Schmitt, Ludwig Purtscheller, Bergsteiger, July 1984
ISNI: 0000 0000 7692 5190
BNF: cb15442813d (data)
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