About Tomaž Humar

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Born on February 18, 1969 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, died in november 2009 while climbing on Langtang Lirung. He worked for the Customs Office in Ljubljana. He was a member of the Kamnik branch of the Alpine Club since 1987. Tomaž Humar completed 1500 ascents, 70 of them first ascents at home and abroad.

  • mountaineer (1990)
  • mountaineering instructor (1993)
  • mountain rescue (1993)
Tomaž Humar a mountaineer from Slovenia, is thought of as a man with either insanely good luck or connections money can't buy. It is believed that the Gods are fond of him. He believes that the Himalayas are fond of him. He doesn't climb for fame or mountaineering awards, although he has received many and his ascend of the south face of Dhaulagiri made him famous in the whole world. He climbs because he can only truly start breathing at an altitude of 5000 m. There is no rest for him in the valley - his heart, his mind, and his legs have been hauling him up there in the mountain faces for as long as he can remember. The reason he climbs is that the mountains are the only place where he is really close to Him.

When he explained his plan before ascending Dhaulagiri to Elizabeth Hawley, one of the greatest experts on the Himalayas and its visitors, she said: "He is crazy, but certainly not dumb."

He was never a man of rules. He decided very early on in his life that his story with the mountains would be his alone and that his journeys would be set by nobody but himself. He denounced classical Himalayan expeditions where one has to follow the rules of a leader and became the master of his own destiny. He climbed Dhaulagiri, the most difficult face of his carrier, solo, alpine-style.

He says alpine-style is basically about the simple art of surviving in the vertical, where there is no room for lingerers or great heroes. Ice and rocks are his natural environment. Instead of teams of experts he takes with him his 'private horde', as his Dhaulagiri expedition was called in some professional circles. It consists of his closest friends and co-climbers, a personal physician, a bio-energy practitioner - people who breathe with and for him and don`t try to get smart even when the situation seems hopeless.

After his successful return from Dhaulagiri, after surviving the impossible - he fell backwards into a hole while building a house and severely damaged both of his legs. In the next months spent in hospitals and health resorts, there were a few occasions when he was at the edge of surviving. The doctors were certain he would never walk again. After a series of operations it became apparent in May 2001 that he would be able to use his legs after all, although his right leg is a little bit shorter and the left ankle is partly immobile. But to climb again? Forget it! Nevertheless, to stop climbing was not a realistic option for Tomaž. He got better. A new journey has begun.

That Himalayas are fond of him believes Tomaž. Also are the gods claimed his doctors, when he was able to walk again after a terrible fall on the building site of his own house.

He broke his right thighbone and crushed his left heel. Ten operations. His life on a thread. Then the diagnosis: wheelchair till the end of his life.

" Gozdni Joža" as he has called himself since he was quite young, is back on his feet again. "Where there is a will, there is a way", but with consequences; the lower knuckle on his left foot is inflexible, and his left leg is 2.5 cm shorter. Walking is harder than climbing. His passion remains. After Daulaghiri - where now?

This question keeps turning up in the last years, like always in the past at milestones, when it seems that the development, atleast in reflection of oneself, is slowing down, if not standing still. For that we can blame the lack of real motivation and above all, the lack of ideas, which might bring an individual to new cognitions and these to new conciusnes.

He was waiting for an invitation and She - the naked mountain - Nanga Parbat - has called him.