Dujmovits was born in 1961 in Bühl, Baden-Württemberg. After completing his Abitur (final school exams) in 1981 he spent a year traveling around South America and climbing in the Andes before commencing his degree in medicine at the University of Heidelberg. He left the university after eight semesters and in 1985 began his training to become a certified mountain guide instead.
Dujmovits' mountaineering career began with the German Alpine Club, where he worked as a guide and led clients on international expeditions including highest mountains on six of the seven continents. He also climbed extensively in the Alps, with and without clients, making successful ascents of the Matterhorn, the Eiger, Mont Blanc, the Grosshorn, Les Courtes, Laliderer, the Reissend Nollen, and peaks in the Engelhorn Range. In 1989, he left the German Alpine Club to start up his own trekking outfitter, Amical Alpin.
Dujmovits began climbing in the Himalaya and Karakorum in the 1990s, starting with successful ascents of Dhaulagiri I (1990), Mount Everest (1992), K2 (1994), Cho Oyu (1995), and Shisha Pangma (1997). He began to attract attention from the wider public in 1999, when his climb of the Eiger's north wall in Switzerland was publicized as a 33-hour-long live television broadcast. Dujmovits went on to summit Broad Peak (1999) and Gasherbrum II (2000), but it was not until he climbed Nanga Parbat in 2001 that he decided to attempt to climb all fourteen mountains in the world higher than 8000 metres ("eight-thousanders"). In 2004, he climbed Annapurna I and Gasherbrum I within a two-month period, followed by ascents of Shisha Pangma (2005), Kangchenjunga (2006), Manaslu (2007), Broad Peak (2007), and Makalu (2008). On 20 May 2009, Dujmovits climbed Lhotse—his final 8000-metre peak—with his former wife Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Hirotaka Takeuchi and David Göttler. This made Dujmovits the 16th person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders, and the first German person to do so.
Dujmovits returned to Mount Everest in 2012 for the sixth time, attempting to climb it without bottled oxygen (Mount Everest is the only eight-thousander he has not climbed without bottled oxygen). Although he did not reach the summit, while he was descending he took a photo of a long queue of climbers queuing to ascend the mountain; the photo subsequently went viral and was described by Outside magazine as "the year's most iconic photo" and "the image that embodied a disastrous year on Everest". In 2014, he and Darek Zaluski attempted to make the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat, but abandoned the expedition, citing dangerous conditions.
Dujmovits has made more than 40 mountaineering expeditions in the Himalaya and Karakorum. In addition to climbing all 14 eight-thousanders, he has completed the Seven Summits challenge, which involves climbing the highest mountains on each continent.
Dujmovits lives in the Black Forest, Germany.
- Burmester, Sarah (4 April 2013). ""Entscheidend ist das Durchhaltevermögen" - Extrem-Bergsteiger Ralf Dujmovits im Interview" (in German). Klettern.de. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "Ralf Dujmovits". Schoeffel.de. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "Ralf Dujmovits". K2News.com. February 2002. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- Jurgalski, E. (20 May 2009). "Gerlinde and Ralf summited Lhotse". 8000ers.com. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "Ralf Dujmovits". LOWA.de. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- Viesturs, Ed (2013). The Mountain: My Time on Everest. Simon & Schuster. p. 298.
- Connolly, Kate (31 May 2012). "Everest mountaineer says crowding by 'hobby climbers' is path to tragedy". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- Rosenfield, Scott (1 May 2013). "The Photo that Captured the 2012 Climbing Season". Outside. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "Ralf Dujmovits abandons Nanga Parbat winter attempt". PlanetMountain.com. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- Official website (German)