When you consider the fact that “Netherlands” literally translates to “Low Country,” you probably won’t be surprised to learn that the country is not a hotspot of international climbing fame. Not only is the highest point in the country barely over 1,000 feet, but also a significant amount is below sea level. However, the Dutch have been a determined group of people throughout history, and they have become quite famous merchants, sailors, and engineers. This has carried over to a few mountaineers making names for themselves.
He has the reputation as being the most famous adventurer to ever come out of the Netherlands. Being born in a flat city named The Hague didn’t discourage him from aspiring to the tops of peaks. His climbing obsession really began in the 1970s, and he made the first ascents of many major mountains, including the famous Seven Summits, by any Dutchman. Unfortunately, much of his international fame came from an expedition he was leading on Mount Everest, where he ordered a guide to be left for dead. His justification was that the man knew the risks he had signed up for, and the rest of the team would be in danger trying to save him. Naar himself later perished in 2011 while attempting to climb a Tibetan mountain.
Wilco van Rooijen
This is another modern climber who got caught up in a fatal catastrophe on one of the world’s tallest peaks. The summer of 2008 saw 11 climbers from different expeditions lose their lives on the slopes of K2. Wilco van Rooijen was a member of a Dutch team who saw chaos ensue at a dangerous altitude above a bottleneck. Fortunately, not only did he survive, but he also published a book to share the story with the world.
Carstenszoon wasn’t a mountain climber, but he had in influential impact on climbing history. In reality, he was a 17th century Dutch explorer who led and participated in expeditions in the Australia region for the Dutch East India Company. In 1623, he spotted a mountain so large that it contained snow on it, but this tale was too ridiculous to be believed back in Europe. No one thought that glaciers could exist so near the equator. It turns out that they had found Indonesia’s Mount Carstensz, which is also known as Puncak Jaya, and is one of the famous Seven Summits.
For years, no one was able to determine which of the three summits of the aforementioned Mount Carstensz was the highest. To solve this problem, the Dutch Carstensz Expedition attempted to climb all three of them in 1936. Unfortunately, the expedition, which was led by Colijn, only managed to get to the summit of two, and the unreachable peak, Carstensz Pyramid, actually turned out to be the highest.