K2 victim’s girlfriend pregnant, says Kaltenbrunner

A Swede who died trying to scale the K2 is to become a dad posthumously, an Austrian climber has revealed.Upper Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner said in a radio interview yesterday (Sun) she heard that the girlfriend of Fredrik Ericsson, a Polish doctor, is expecting a baby.Kaltenbrunner and Ericsson were members of a group of climbers who tried to reach the summit of the 8,611-metre K2 mountain located in the Pakistani-Chinese border region in August. The 36-year-old Swede was killed as he slipped and plunged down a cliff. The group immediately agreed to abandon their bid to reach K2’s peak.Now Kaltenbrunner, who turns 40 today, broke the news that Ericsson’s girlfriend fell pregnant shortly before the tragic incident.The Upper Austrian also admitted she was still having difficulty coming to terms with her colleague’s death. Kaltenbrunner refused to reveal whether she had plans to climb K2 again. It is considered to be the most difficult summit to reach in the world.Kaltenbrunner would have been only the third woman in the world to conquer the world’s 14 highest summits had she reached the peak of the K2 this summer.South Korean Oh Eun-Sun achieved that goal earlier this year. Spanish climber Edurne Pasaban following just weeks later.Spital am Pyhrn town hall bosses decided to erect a monument in honour of Kaltenbrunner – the town’s most famous daughter – last month. The former nurse also received a medal of honour.Meanwhile, Italian climbing legend Reinhold Messner criticised Kaltenbrunner and fellow Austrian climber Christian Stangl for “being tourists”.The South Tyrolean told Austrian magazine profil: “Kaltenbrunner walks up on routes prepared for tourists. How did she supposedly avoid using them? What I and (climbing comrade) Peter Habeler did at Mount Everest (in 1978) was alpinism. What Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Christian Stangl did at Mount Everest is tourism.”Messner, who entered the record books as the first human to reach the summits of the world’s 14 highest mountains without supplemental oxygen, also said: “I’ve never met Kaltenbrunner personally. I have invited her but she refuses to speak to me.”He added: “She also wanted to prohibit me using pictures of her for my new book about female climbers. Her husband (Ralf Dujmovits) even wanted to forbid me writing about her.”