With 14 years of Reinhard Karl began an apprenticeship as a car mechanic. " The dirtiest and nastiest of all dream jobs " as he later wrote. His fondness for because of rock books sent him his mother in the Heidelberg section of the German Alpine Club. It was not until 17 years Reinhard Karl made his first climb on Battert, north of Baden -Baden. The climbing on the weekend was to escape from the unpopular job. There he also learned people know better educated, fully accepted him, giving him an additional boost. The cozy lap at the end of a climb, at Bärenbrunnerhof, part of the ritual. " Intensive Life " was the maxim of his life.
Karl studied in Karlsruhe and later sports economics and geography in Heidelberg, but reached no conclusion.
In 1969 he succeeded together with Hermann Kühn the Eiger North Face climb in then very good day and a half.
In the 1970s, Karl was, by his visits to Yosemite and in Saxon Switzerland the pioneer of free climbing in Western Europe. Along with Helmut Kiene 1977 he opened the first alpine climbing route in the seventh degree of difficulty, the meat Bank pumping cracks in the Wilder Kaiser.
On 11 May 1978, he reached the first German to the summit of Mount Everest, in a roped with Oswald Oelz. He had the same Austrian expedition connected, first climbed in with the then Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler the mountain without supplemental oxygen.
A name as a writer and photographer Karl made himself especially by his expedition reports.
Reinhard Karl came on 19 May 1982 an ice avalanche on Cho Oyu ( Himalaya ) in a tent at camp 2 killed.
2010 handed Eva Altmeier Charles the photographic estate of her husband the archives of the German Alpine Club.
- Adventure Mountain. Time to breathe. 1st edition. Limpert, Bad Homburg 1980, ISBN 3-7853-1342- X. Reinhard Karl, Elmar country (Ed. ): Adventure Mountain. Time to breathe. Reprint edition of the Mountain, Munich 1994. ( Since the new edition 1993, ISBN 3-7654-1116-7, edited and expanded by additional texts). Alpine Classics, Volume 18, Bruckmann, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-7654-5152-2.