Ronald Naar passed away on May 22, while attempting Cho Oyu. [Photo] Ronald Naar Collection
Renowned Netherlands mountaineer and expedition leader Ronald Naar died yesterday, May 22, of unexplained causes at 8,000 feet while climbing Cho Oyu (8201m).
Naar, 56, was a mountaineering icon in the predominately sea-level plains of Netherlands – a place where alpinism is usually an international pursuit. When Naar began climbing in 1968, he quickly established himself as a national figure with notable ascents of the seven summits and the Eiger, Matterhorn and Grandes Jorasses’ North Face.
In 1976, Naar was invited to accompany a team for his first international climb up Pakistan’s Istor-o-Nal (7373m). Four years later, Naar and his partner Bas Gresnigt climbed six 6,000-meter mountains in the Puruvian Andes in under two months. A year later, he arranged an expedition to a mountain that would form the cornerstone of his career: Nanga Parbat (8124m).
Naar soon began seeking the more remote and exotic mountain ranges of Borneo, New Guinea, Soviet Central Asia, Mongolia and West China. Since Naar’s introduction to alpinism 43 years ago, he climbed over 600 summits and partook in over 40 expeditions.
His affinity for adventure also introduced him to rafting, parasailing, skiing and dogsledding. And of these adventures, Naar was responsible for many Dutch records, such as his kite skiing voyages across the icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica.
Aside from Naar’s mountaineering accomplishments, he was a writer and photographer, and had numerous books featuring his photography published.
Despite this international loss, Naar’s achievements on and off the mountain have memorialized this Netherlands icon and will continue to inspire and motivate others.